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Flush Mount vs Surface Mount Electrical Panel: Which One Is Better?

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Electrical panels are a very important part of any household. Its safety and installation should be given enough attention and importance. In most common mounts for electrical panel flush and surface mounts are two significant ones.

Then, which one should you choose between flush mount vs surface mount electrical panel?

Installation of the flush mount is more complicated. While the surface mount is easier to install. The design of the flush mount is more stylish whereas the surface mount is odd-looking. The flush mount also offers more safety without creating any obstruction issues.

Interested to know more? I got your back! I have accumulated all the core differences between these two types of mounts.

Let’s dive right into the details!

Quick Comparison

Flush mount and surface mount are technically the same things just placed differently. A flush mount means it’s mounted in the wall without any part being out. You can flush mount electrical outlets too. But make sure they are grounded. If the outlet isn’t grounded it can be quite problematic.

On the other hand, a surface mount means it’s mounted on the wall. The object is on the wall so the whole of it is on top of the wall.

But this small difference can make a lot of difference. There are factors to consider before choosing a type of mount for your wall. I have created this small table comparing the core differences between these two. Check it out!

FactorsFlush MountSurface Mount
InstallationComplexEasy
DesignGood AestheticsOdd-looking
SafetySaferPotentially unsafe
AccessibilityHardEasy
CostExpensiveInexpensive

Not satisfied? I’ve got your back! I have a complete guide comparing these two mounts waiting for you. Need a decision right now? You can also jump to the final verdict section if that’s the case.

Now let’s jump right into the detailed comparison.

In-Depth Comparison

A flush mount and surface mount for your electrical panel are nearly the same thing. Both of them can serve you the same way. The difference is all about the look and the user experience. There are also some significant differentiating factors for many cases.

So, let’s go through the comparisons one by one.

Convenience

Surface mounts are more convenient in terms of their installation and usage. The surface mount electrical panel is just installed on top of the wall surface. Thus, it’s easier to install while in many cases it’s also easier to use.

On the other hand, a flush mount electrical panel can sometimes be tricky to use. It also requires quite a lot of groundwork for installation. A slot has to be cut out and made ready to install a flush mount panel.

Considering all, in terms of convenience, the surface mount stays quite ahead.

Winner: Surface mount.

Design

In terms of design and aesthetics, a flush mount is definitely massively ahead. As I have said earlier, a surface mount is mounted on top of the wall. This means the electrical panel box is on top of the wall. This looks quite odd unless. It’s fine for places where aesthetics don’t matter. You can also get some flush mount lights for decorative reasons too.

On the other hand, a flush mount is mounted on the wall. This means the electrical panel box is evened out. There is no leftover part of the panel box outside the wall surface level. That means this definitely is more stylish and looks more aesthetic. 

Flush mount takes the lead in design and aesthetics.

Winner: Flush mount

Safety

Both of the mounts are quite safe and there shouldn’t be any problem if installed correctly. But in terms of surface mount, there is a caveat. By now we know how a surface mount is placed on top of the wall. As a result, it creates an obstruction right in front of the wall it has been mounted on.

This can be quite inconvenient and unsafe for many reasons. For instance, it creates more chances of collision with people or objects while they are moving. That means it can create quite a problem in certain scenarios. Especially when it’s an electrical panel, any collision can result in great damage.

On the other hand, the flush mount is flushed out with the wall. So it doesn’t create any obstruction. It’s plain and simple and aligns perfectly with the wall that it’s mounted on. Thus it offers more safety for their users. It also gives a better user experience. Keep an adequate distance for gas lines and outlets for safety reasons.

Therefore, clearly, the winner here is the flush mount electrical panel.

Winner: Flush mount.

Accessibility 

The surface mount is easily accessible through any marketplace. It’s very common and easily installable. On the other hand, a perfect flush mount is harder to find. Because of its complex installation, a lot of factors have to be maintained.

Overall surface mount is just easier to install and start using. Whereas for the flush mount you may have to go through quite a lot of trouble.

Winner: Surface mount.

Cost

It’s quite obvious that the flush mount will be costlier to install. Since it’s more complicated to install, the higher cost is justified. Also, it’s more appealing and aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, a surface mount is very common and easily installed. So it’s cheaper.

Winner: Surface mount.

Final Verdict!

Done checking out the detailed comparison? Probably by now, you know which one you should choose. But in case you are still confused. Let us help you out.

If you don’t need your electrical panel box to look good then the surface mount is good enough. If the obstruction of the surface mount isn’t a problem for you then surface mount it is. For instance, in a basement or garage, the surface mount can be fine. But make sure to upgrade the electrical outlets of your garage to be safe.

In case you are looking for a GFCI electrical outlet, here are some recommended ones:

Product 1
Product 2

However, if you care about looks and safety then a flush mount is the ideal choice. It also doesn’t have the problem of creating an obstruction. Keep in mind that it’s a bit costlier. That’s why if spending that extra bit isn’t an issue for you then choose a flush mount.

Now let’s move on to the FAQ section.

FAQs

Question: Can I flush mount a clock in my living room?

Answer: Yes, you can flush mount a clock. In fact, it’s quite popular because of its aesthetic factor. A flush-mounted clock looks very good and gives your place a more classy look. 

Question: How do I know the size of the flush mount I need to buy?

Answer: It depends on your intention. It’s up to you how you want to have a flush mount. So you need to buy it accordingly.

Question: Where do I put my flush mount light?

Answer: Most rooms in the house may benefit from both flush mount and semi-flush mount lighting. Especially those that require ambient, general illumination. It’s great for corridors, kitchens, family rooms, bathrooms, closets, and bedrooms, among other places.

Conclusion

That will be a wrap from my side. I hope that you know everything about flush mount vs surface mount electrical panel now.

Also, make sure to be aware of your safety while installing any of these mounts.

I wish you all the best. See you in the next guide!