The electrical socket market has changed considerably over the past years and strangely for such a simple product it is still changing. The introduction of metal switches and sockets has accelerated the introduction of floor mounted sockets in many applications, particularly in the business and office world. The problem with floor mounted electrical sockets is that the plastic type sockets although scratch resistant do mark when trodden on and do not have the inherent strength to resist the normal operational conditions required for a socket mounted in the floor. As electrical sockets became increasingly better protected by improved electrical insulation products and designs, it became possible to introduce a metal faceplate onto the front of the socket. This was first used as decorative feature for switches and sockets in order to change the general appearance of the electrical fittings and give the interior designer some other material to work with. The metal faceplate then also became only part of the design as the socket face was then protected by a hinged metal blank cover plate that gives total protection to the electrical socket when the socket is not in use.
It is true that floor sockets existed before the introduction of metal faceplates but in this case the metal covers were invariably a separate cover to keep the insulation integrity of the sockets absolute at all times. Now it is possible to get the cover and socket as one integral unit.
The floor socket is ideal in many applications as they are easy to use, do not take up wall space that may be useful to put cupboards or storage cabinets or other furniture against. In many cases the electrical cable runs are easier to gain access to as it is easy to insert the suitable electrical cable conduits into the floor during construction and easier to gain access for repairs.
There is a superb range of floor sockets available in a range of different materials from brass to steel with a range of different finishes such as antique brass, satin and brushed steel and a range of chrome finishes. The sockets can be single or double although in this case the double socket needs a separate metal cover for each socket so that one is protected whilst the other is in use. There are a range of International power sockets and a full range of communication sockets for television aerials and telephone access available for floor mounting and this gives the designer another route to examine when the original construction is planned.