Where to Put Electrical Outlets - Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know

Electrical
Additions and Remodels
Small Projects and Repairs
By Contractors.com Team June 09, 2021

A home renovation opens new possibilities. It's a time to reimagine the spaces that you use every day. It's an opportunity to modernize your home as well as make it more practical. Sometimes, that means completely reconfiguring a space. But a great way to make a huge difference with small changes is to adjust the layout of your electrical outlets.  

When thinking about where to put electrical outlets in your home, there are several things to consider. Finding the right place for electrical outlets is about more than just practicality. It’s also about taking the design of your home into account. The best places to put power outlets are the ones that balance your needs as a resident with the particular layout of your home. Smartly placed power outlets can make the difference between a functional home and an awkwardly designed one. With that in mind, here are some essential tips to consider if you’re planning to install some electric sockets in your home. 

5 Best Places to Install Electrical Outlets

Building codes usually include some requirements for electrical outlets, such as spacing restrictions. A contractor or a licensed electrician can give you pointers on the specific building codes in your area. Of course, there is still a lot you can decide when it comes to placing or adding new electrical outlets. Some places are better than others, so it’s important to consider all possibilities. Adding power outlets to these five parts of your house will measurably increase the practicality of your home:

The kitchen.

There are a lot of places to put new electrical outlets in a kitchen. The kitchen is filled with all sorts of power-hungry appliances, so putting more outlets will make things much more convenient. Cabinet and drawer outlets might seem unnecessary, but they have a lot of benefits. However, having a bunch of outlets out in the open can tend to clash with your kitchen’s decor. Hiding them away in drawers and cabinets can bypass this problem. Placing outlets in these places also allows you to install lights inside the cabinets, which can make rummaging through them much easier.

You can also put outlets under cabinets. This not only increases the number of outlets but also gives you the choice of installing affordable under-cabinet lighting in the future. A kitchen island can also benefit hugely from some electrical outlets, especially as it’s commonly the most multi-functional area in the house. It’ll make food prep-work much easier, and accommodate anyone studying or working from there as well.

The Best Places to Install Electrical Outlets

The Best Places to Install Electrical Outlets

Your entryway.

At first glance, your vestibule doesn’t seem to be a great place for outlets. Most of us don’t spend much time there except to put up our coats and take off our shoes. But having some power outlets in your entryway comes with some sweet pros. For one, it means that you now have an out-of-the-way place to charge guests’ phones. It also means you have a place to charge your devices near the entrance so you don’t forget them at home. This way, your devices can be charged up and waiting for you as you prepare to step outside.    

Entryways and Other Great Places to Install Electrical Outlets

Entryways and Other Great Places to Install Electrical Outlets

Your bedroom.

The fast pace of technological advancement means that many bedrooms aren’t equipped with enough power outlets for all our devices. This is especially true if you live in an older home. A home renovation is an ideal time to change that with some power outlets for each side of the bed. For even more convenience you can even add an outlet to each wall, and your master closet.

The living room.

Tired of all the extension cords and charging cables running all over your living room? Consider installing some power outlets on the floor. Place these outlets under furniture so you can run your cables under couches for lamps and power strips. This will keep everything streamlined.   

Floor Power Outlets and Other Discreet Solutions

Floor Power Outlets and Other Discreet Solutions

Bathrooms.

Do you enjoy listening to music or watching YouTube videos on DIY home projects while showering? Some extra power outlets will make sure your soapy karaoke session doesn’t end because of low battery. The important thing to keep in mind if you want to install power outlets in your bathroom is safety. If you do put in extra power outlets in your bathroom, be sure they aren’t too near water sources to reduce the risk of shock. 

Don’t Forget Smart Outlets

Smart Electrical Outlets to Include In Your Remodel

Smart Electrical Outlets to Include In Your Remodel

Smart outlets are an option worth considering if your construction project aims to make your home more practical. They allow you to control your appliances via a smartphone or a digital assistant. Using voice commands to turn your appliances on and off your appliances was once something that only happened in the movies. But thanks to a wide range of smart outlet options, the smart home is now an affordable reality. 

The most basic smart outlets plug directly into existing power outlets and can be linked up with voice assistants like Alexa. There are also smart multi-plug power strips that give you more smart plugs for a higher price. Many brands offer smart plugs, and some are offered by the same companies that make voice assistants (like Amazon). Others are provided by third-party manufacturers. If you want to take the plunge into the brave new world of smart plugs, be sure that you buy from a brand that has protections against hackers. For added practicality, look for sockets that include USB outlets and USB C outlets so that your home is ready for your “i” devices.  

5 Things to Avoid When Installing Electrical Outlets

Putting in new outlets is an easy and affordable DIY project. Having said that, common mistakes are made by individuals who have less experience with electricals. Electricity is dangerous, so it's important to be mindful of the risks and to take precautions.   

Things to Avoid When Installing Electrical Outlets

Things to Avoid When Installing Electrical Outlets

  • Too close to water sources. In general, you should make sure that your power outlets are at least three feet away from any water sources. Power outlets that are next to bathtubs or showers are a real electrocution hazard. If you have any electrical outlets that are closer than three feet to a water source, you should have them removed. This is where hiring an electrician is a good idea, so you can make sure electricity and water never mix. For added protection, install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet (GFCI). GFCI outlets are designed to trip (cut current flow) in the event of a short circuit and are meant for use in places that get wet. 

Avoid Placing Electrical Outlets In These Locations

Avoid Placing Electrical Outlets In These Locations

  • Loose or recessed outlets. Sometimes, improperly installed electrical outlets will hang out or sink into the wall. This is more than just a minor annoyance. It can also become a major hazard. The plastic cover plate on the outlet may crack over time due to stress, making the outlet less safe to use. As the outlet shifts, wires can come loose as well, and this could spark a fire. Fortunately, this is a problem you can easily fix yourself with some plastic spacers which will help keep the outlet from shifting. 

  • No ground wire. If you’re replacing your two-slot outlet with a three-slot one, it's important to check that there is a ground wire for you to use. Not all two-slot outlets have a ground wire, so you’ll need to test your outlet with an electrical multimeter to make sure.   
How to Prevent Short Circuits and Other Electrical Outlet Mishaps

How to Prevent Short Circuits and Other Electrical Outlet Mishaps

  • Too many wires. A container called an electrical box is what holds your electrical outlet. This is also what holds the various connections between the outlet and your home’s wiring. You don’t always have to replace the box when you put in a new outlet. However, if you find that your outlet’s box is overfilled with wires, you should get a bigger one. Sure, that extra step will take longer and make your project more complex, but it's better than having a tiny electric box crammed with wires. Having an electrical box that is too small increases the risk of shorting and is a huge fire hazard. 


Reversing hot and neutral wires. Hot wires carry current, and neutral wires act as grounding wires. It's really important to wire these correctly. An outlet where the wiring is reversed will still work, but it won’t have any grounding. This means there’s nothing keeping the voltage from rising to dangerous levels, increasing the risk of a fatal shock. Beginners can easily make this mistake, but a licensed electrician will help you avoid it.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team