Covering the old hole by the front door

Ours is a Ring Video Pro, but I imagine this issue applies for installations of any of the several Ring doorbells, so I wanted to share how we are dealing with this issue.

Thse Ring devices are fabulous and a marvel of miniturization! But, as a result of their small size, sometimes the hole left after removing an old doorbell device ends up being larger than the width (and perhaps the height) of the new Ring device. Under such circumstances, it becomes necessary to first install a “cover plate” over the hole and then mount the new Ring device onto (or through a hole in) that new cover plate.

But where to find a plate to cover the approximately 4" x 5.5" hole left in our wall after we removed the Nutone intercom system’s Front Door doorbell/speaker unit?

Originally, I planned to make a panel (maybe about 5" x 8") from wood or sheet metal, then paint it, then install the Ring. BUT, that concept (me making it) – in ANY material or ANY color – was completely unacceptable to the decision maker, who insisted there must be something already available on the market that will look “nice”. (Having heard this criticism a number of times in the past, I wasn’t terribly offended.)

So I began looking for alternatives. (I did notice Ring’s $129 faceplate, but it’s too small for our hole, even if I could make it fit our Pro unit, and quite expensive).

Then I thought about switchplate covers - particularly the nice-looking all-metal ones. That seemed like something “pre-made” that could look “nice”. So I began looking into them.

I learned that regular size “single gang” switchplate covers are only about 2.75" x 4.5". So, clearly a 4.5" x 1.85" Ring Pro mounted on to that would look WAY out of proportion, plus – for us – it couldn’t even cover our hole. Even the mid- and jumbo- sized “single gang” plates wouldn’t really look right, plus neither of those sizes would fully cover our hole, either.

Next, I quickly discovered that once you get past “single gang” switchplate covers, a “blank” cover is necessary - that’s a cover that comes with NO holes for switches or outlets. This is because (at least for the Ring Pro) the Ring device is too narrow (1.85") to cover even the standard holes for two adjacent switches (about 2"), much less the larger space of two adjacent outlets.

But, the good news is that “blank two-gang” covers are not terribly difficult to find and may work for many people. However, be aware that the regular sized ones are only about 5" tall, so you’ll probably prefer to buy a “mid-size” or “jumbo” two-gang blank plate, either of which will be a bit taller. The other possible concern is that you may not be terribly happy with the shape of the “blank two gang” covers, because they are more or less square. Putting a rectangular device (a Ring) onto a square may or may not be to your liking. Plus, for us, even the “jumbo two-gang plates” I found are too small to cover our hole.

Finally, for those you still reading this and who (like us) are having to deal with the larger hole left by a Nutone (or other) intercom front door unit, I can tell you what I found that I believe can work: A three -gang blank cover.

The three-gang blank covers I found are 6-3/8" W x 4-1/2" H x 5/32" D, so once turned on its side, its dimensions become 6-3/8" high x 4-1/2" wide - just enought to cover our hole both ways! The ones I found are made in the USA, solid metal (some are actually solid brass), and come in a variety of colors (“available metal finishes: white, light almond, ivory, red, brown, black, satin stainless steel, silver polished chrome, polished brass, oil rubbed bronze”). _[I’m not affiliated with the company, but I believe you can find it by Googling Kyle and switchplate.] _ The other thing I noticed about this company is that they customize at least some of their switchplates with metal decorations that make them look much fancier. I’ve written to find out whether they can also decorate the three-gang plates.

There is one thing that may bother some about using a three-gang switchplate cover in this manner. When installed as I intend, it will show three screws vertically on each side. The screws that come with it match, so I’m hopeful this minor feature will not be disturbing to the decision maker. And, if I learn that they can decorate these, I will request that they do so in a way that I hope will camouflage those screws.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

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I also replaced a nutone intercom doorbell unit. What I did was remove the metal housing box as well. Then I took a smooth 2x6 and cut it to fit the hole, very snug. I rubber malletted the piece into the hole, very tight and smooth to the front. Painted it to match the wood frame that was around the original nutone box. Looks very professional, you would never know it is a retrofit.

You “could” remove my new wood plug, which I wanted to be able to do for futureproofing, but it would probably take putting a screw into it and a puller, or drilling it out. Also, be sure to drill a hole for the wires and pull them through before you secure the plug.

If you house is not wood siding (like mine was) and is maybe stucco, then I would do the same thing and stucco over the wood plug, for example.

Thanks for the detailed info. Have you installed it yet. I am just beginning to plan on installing over a standart Junction Box.

Not yet. The holidays & a bout with the flu have slowed me down. I think I’ll be OK to get back to it tomorrow. I plan to take photos & upload.

FYI - I’m putting the new circuitry into a small plastic “project box” ($5.99) & installing 2 screw terminals on each end of that box. Then I’ll cut the doorbell wire up in the attic, attach the 2 wires from the doorbell to one side of the box & the 2 wires going on to the Nutone to the other side of the box. Then I’ll just leave that sealed plastic box in the attic to keep critters from messing with it.

I ordered two different Blank plates from Kyle and hope to use them to mount to my existing electricl junction box (this is a new build condo and I had pre wire run for the doorbell. I did not want an exectricle box but it was required by the building code) and then mount the ring pro to the plate. Suspect that I will have to go to a machine shop to get the holes drilled “Exactly”. Look forward to you pictures and comments if you get yours done first.

Thank you, DIY experts with time and energy to spend on creative solutions.

I bought a Ring Pro - piece of cake to set up. Need to keep an eye on the backyard … shady characters roam the alley at all hours. Locking gas caps on both cars since my gas was evaporating or something like that.

Old house (1938) - brick. Ancient wired doorbell in junction box. 4" x 6" — Ring unit will neatly fit inside - and, look like hell. MY decision maker would be apoplexic if I even thought about spending a day or so on any DIY project … and would be in ‘told you so’ land at the end of it.

WHY does Ring (or after market) make a compatible mounting/mating plate to a.) cover the hole, b.) allow a quick installation of the Ring, and c.) Not cost $100 ?

Great information! I would simply tell people that if they are having an issue installing their RING doorbell over on an existing intercom or other device, simply go to Kyle Switch Plates website and they will have a solution for you.

Just wanted to say thank you for putting together this thread. It saved me a lot of time!