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#59967 - 12/20/05 05:12 AM Decora switches
sockets Offline

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 31
Loc: Sebring FL USA
What do most of your customers tend to want for switches and outlets? Here I tend to see in new construction decora switches and standard duplex sockets. They tend to not pay more for decora sockets as they are not visible behind the furniture, etc.

Is decora worth the cost? I tend to find the ones in mobile homes to be quite cheap feeling.

I've never found a reason for the decora except that they all have a common coverplate that is easier to wallpaper.

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#59968 - 12/20/05 06:08 AM Re: Decora switches
DougW Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Originally Posted by sockets:
I tend to find the ones in mobile homes to be quite cheap feeling.

I haven't done much with the Decora line, but if they're like everything else in the trades, there are most likely different grades for different wallets. I don't doubt that the ones you've found in mobile homes are the stylized version of the "59 cent" switch that fails 6 months after install.

#59969 - 12/20/05 11:14 AM Re: Decora switches
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9026
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think they are just the latest fad. It started as a way to set the rich folks homes away from the regular folks. Now I think it is seen as a quick way to act like you have a more expensive house. I don't think there are any 43 cent devices but they are getting cheaper.
The first ones I installed were in the bathrooms when I retrofitted the GFCIs. At that time combo plates were hard to find. Once my wife saw them, I was replacing all the switches. For some reason the receptacles don't have the same allure. I was able to keep the round ones (mostly because I convinced her they didn't make commercial grade decora).
Greg Fretwell

#59970 - 12/20/05 11:42 AM Re: Decora switches
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Personally, I've always liked rocker switches as opposed to the standard toggles.

The rocker isn't so prone to getting smashed or ripped off by whatever ugliness could happen in the neighborhood of the switch.

As far as the "Decora" sockets are concerned, the ones I've seen sold in the USA are very bad quality.

The contacts lose their spring action over a relatively short period of time (when heavily used) - and the face of the receptacle tends to crack around the grounding hole. I've seen that happen at work often enough.

The Decora-style devices I've seen manufactured and sold in South Korea, Mexico and Colombia seem to be of much better quality.

They're also the default standard style for receptacles and switches in those three countries. However you can also find "standard" devices there also.

#59971 - 12/20/05 12:22 PM Re: Decora switches
John Crighton Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 172
Loc: Southern California
The general approach for new construction in my area seems to be Decora at counter height and above, conventional duplex for everything lower.

I agree, the Decora receptacles do seem to be more prone to cracking at the U-ground than good-quality duplexes. I also find it easier to plug "blind" into a standard duplex, which has chamfered entry features.

#59972 - 12/20/05 01:01 PM Re: Decora switches
hbiss Offline

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
I usually do Decora switches and also counter height receptacles. All other receptacles are duplex but with the flat front. These are a good choice where Decora is a waste but they don't like the "old fashioned" look of the conventional duplex.


#59973 - 12/20/05 02:31 PM Re: Decora switches
Speedy Petey Offline

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 175
Loc: Upstate, NY
I only use them if a customer wants them. I have NO reason to push them. Just one more line of stock I'd have to carry on the truck.

All the ones I've seen are good quality. Not much more available than Leviton around here.
I had a customer buy thier own devices (ok with me, I had devices in my bid ) for a small renovation. They were the new Cooper decorator line. VERY nice pieces. They used the charcoal with silver scrwless wallplates.

To anyone who says they are a fad...
I guess they are a fad that has lasted 30 years. That's about how long they have been around.
Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein

#59974 - 12/20/05 02:56 PM Re: Decora switches
Sixer Offline

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 264
Loc: Canada
For new homes in this area, most want white decorator with about 5% wanting ivory. I generally base my new home bids installing white decorator since that seems to be the trend, unless the customer specifies otherwise.

"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"

#59975 - 12/20/05 03:56 PM Re: Decora switches
Sandro Offline

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
A fad?? No way, we have been installing Decora's for many years and with the relatively new Light Almond colour, demand has increased. Decora's are a great way to up-sell to your customer (we are here to do business, aren't we?). People are more than happy to pay more for them and they don't take any more effort to install.

Highly recommend only using the Leviton or Pass and Seymour brands for quality reasons. Keep in mind the 4 way Decora's are hyper-expensive and are very delicate. Also, check out the Light Almond. Looks much better than Ivory, and because there is so much more to touch on a Decora switch, doesn't show dirt marks like the White ones do.

#59976 - 12/20/05 07:46 PM Re: Decora switches
distributor x Offline

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 57
Loc: Canada
I would say that in my part of the country, most home are custom built. 90% are all white decora devices, 2% light almond and 2% black. A few go with Lutrons coloured plates

From what I have seen, ivory is a dead colour!.. used just a little more often then brown!

The most popular dimmer I sell is the Lutron Diva style

In some applications guys will install decora switches and regular receptacles.

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