Trufig Oulet Review: Design, Installation, & Issues

Trufig Outlet Review and Installation Tips

Understanding Trufig Outlets: Design, Installation, and Issues

After the success of our post on Bocci Outlets, we decided to undertake a similar investigation of another equally-interesting luxury outlet product: the Trufig Mounting System for Wiring Devices (AKA Trufig Outlets).  Similar to Bocci, we have a lot of respect for Trufig - and not just because of their outlets.  They've developed an entire catalogue of products to help designers integrate switches, keypads, outlets, and home automation devices. In this post, we'll focus mainly on Trufig's Mounting Platform for outlets, starting with a basic overview of product's design and then diving into its installation process.  Lastly, we'll cover some issues that users have with Trufig products.

Trufig Outlet Kit Parts
Trufig Mounting System for Wiring Devices: Kit of Parts
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Trufig Outlet Design
Trufig outlets are beautiful because they're invisible.  The system is designed to blend seamlessly into a variety of material installations, with tight-tolerance manufacturing, fine-tune adjustability, and a paintable face.  To illustrate this, we've collected a few images of different Trufig Outlet installations below.
 
Trufig Drywall
Trufig Outlet Installation in Painted Drywall
 
Trufig Installation in Wood
Trufig Outlet Installation in Wood Counter
 
Trufig Installation in Stone
Trufig Outlet Installation in Stone with Faux Painted Finish
 
As you can see from these images, the Trufig system works well with a wide variety of materials.  From super minimal white on white to completely camouflaged faux-painted stone or wood, Trufig installations are all about disappearing.  It's our opinion they remain the best choice for making outlets vanish no matter the material.
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Trufig Outlet Installation
To understand a standard Trufig Outlet Installation, it's important to understand the different components of the Trufig assembly.  The Trufig Mounting Platform for Wiring Devices kit is composed of three parts, with a fourth that the contractor or electrician provides to compete the installation.

Trufig Outlet Replacement Parts
Trufig Kit of Parts - Image from Trufig.com
 

Mounting Platform:  The mounting platform is composed of heavy-duty gypsum board, and is available in a variety of thicknesses to match the board thickness of the adjacent wall.  The gypsum board is oversized to accommodate different stud spacings and is designed to be cut on site to span neatly between studs.  The mounting platform features an integrated junction box for installing components and is marked with clear center lines to aid with centering multiple devices during the rough-in phase.  Note that the kit photographed in our review is designed for a stone installation, which is why the box is protrudes from the adjacent surface of the gypsum.  This is to accommodate the added thickness of the stone on top of the gypsum wall.

Leviton Decora Outlet:  Although not included in the Trufig Outlet Kit, the Leviton Decora Outlet acts as the functional receptacle for the installation. Similarly, when utilizing Trufig for switches or keypads, the functional electrical component is not provided by Trufig, but is specified to match the equipment throughout the home. For all intents and purposes, one can understand the Trufig system as an alternate faceplate and junction box for these standard electrical components.

Trim Component:  The trim component holds the electrical device, centering it accurately within the Mounting Platform, and providing depth adjustability.  This is one of the most important pieces of the Trufig kit, as it allows the installation to be tuned on site to match perfectly with the finish adjacent the outet.

Trufig Outlet Platform alignment

Attachment of the Trufig Trim Component to the Leviton Outlet & installation of the assembly into the Mounting Platform

Fascia: When complete, the Fascia is all one sees of the entire Trufig assembly.  To avoid any exposed hardware and allow the outlet and box to be serviceable, the fascia attaches via four rare-earth magnets - one on each corner.  Cleverly, these magnets link directly to the leveling screws in the trim component, ensuring perfect alignment between the holes on the fascia and the holes of the outlet below.  The plastic in the center of the Fascia is very thin, allowing users users to still make a secure connection with the outlet below.  As shown above, the Fascia is paint-able to match the adjacent wall color, or can be faux-painted to match stone or wood finishes.

Trufig Mounting Platform Components

Each of the Trufig Parts Fits Together to Create a Super Minimal Installation

Now that we've explained the different components of the Trufig Outlet assembly, we can get more specific about its installation.  Below, we've broken down the Trufig Outlet installation process into a series of step-by-step images.

Trufig Mounting Platform on Studs

Step1: Install Trufig Mounting Platform and Integrated Box onto Studs. Center and Cut Platform as Required.

Trufig Installation Drywall

Step 2: Install Adjacent Drywall Flush with Trufig Mounting Platform.

Trufig Outlet Drywall Tape

Step 3: Tape All Seams, and Reinforce Opening Around Trufig Outlet Box.

Step 4: Utilize Trufig Skim-Coat Cover to Cap Box During Wall Finishing.

Trufig Skim coat cover

Step 5: Remove Trufig Skim Coat Cover After Sanding.

Trufig Outlet Paint Cap

Step 6: Install Trufig Outlet Paint Cap.

Remove Trufig Outlet Paint Cap

Step 7: Paint and Remove Trufig Outlet Paint Cap.

Trufig Outlet Leveton Receptacle Install

Step 8: Install Leviton Receptacle and Trufig Trim Component, Make Electrical Connections.

Install Trufig Outlet Fascia

Step 9: Install Pre-Painted Trufig Outlet Fascia - Level as Required

Trufig Outlet Installation in Drywall

Your Trufig Outlet Installation is Complete!

As you can see, Trufig outlets are much more involved than your average wall outlet, and just as with Bocci, this extra complexity adds cost.  Each installation requires the work of multiple trades, meaning more time spent coordinating and managing in addition to the installation.  No question that the receptacles are incredibly minimal, but you really do pay for it!

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Trufig Outlet Issues

Trufig Outlets (and much of their catalogue in general) are incredibly well designed products.  As shown above, the system has a ton of features to help builders get precision alignment and perfectly flush installations - allowing outlets and switches to almost vanish.  However, this doesn't mean the system is without issue, and we wanted to take a moment to highlight two problems that we've come across through our experience and research on the product.

Trufig Outlet Magnets

Magnetized Connection Can Create Issues with Metallic Dust

Metallic Dust

Admittedly, this issue sounds completely crazy - until you experience it first hand.  As we've seen, the Trufig fascia is held in place with four rare-earth magnets.  These magnets are super powerful, and their effect extends beyond connecting the fascia to the mounting platform's integrated box: often they'll attract metallic dust which will accumulate on the fascia over each magnet.  This is obviously an issue for installations closer to the floor (ie baseboard outlets), but can also be problematic for keypads, touch-pads, or switches.  Super fine metallic dust can circulate in the air of most homes, which will inevitably find its way to the Trufig magnets.

Trufig Issue Dust Stains Image of Trufig Mounted Keypad and Touch-Pad with Metallic Dust Accumulating on the Concealed Magnets.

Trufig Dust Issue

Closeup of Metallic Dust Stains on Trufig Touch-pad and Keypad

This metallic dust can really become obnoxious with Trufig mounted devices, and to complicate matters further the metallic dust is often abrasive - resulting in scratches in the paint or plastic when the dust is wiped away.  Although it sounds obscure, this metallic dust can really become a headache with Trufig outlets!

Cost

I'm sure you all knew this one was coming (especially if you'd read our Case Study or Bocci Outlet Review) but in our opinion this is the biggest downside of the Trufig catalogue.  It's true that some projects are more cost-sensitive than others, and that for some projects design is the number one priority.  In terms of a disappearing outlet perfectly camouflaged into stone wood paneling - Trufig is 100% the way to go.  However for most projects, Trufig outlets are completely out of the question.  Have a look at the breakdown of cost per outlet below, taken from the Trufig price list.

 

 Part Cost
Gypsum Mounting Platform $135
Universal Trim Component $25
Leviton Outlet $2
Outlet Fascia $40
Sanding Shield $3
Paint Shield $2
Total $207

 

$207 per outlet - and that's just for the hardware.  Not to mention that one would need to order specialty equipment like this through a distributor, who will often add an additional markup on top.  And that's all before install!  Installing these bad boys is no joke and involves constant coordination with multiple trades.  It's difficult to quantify the exact cost to install, but with all things considered these will easily be over $500 a piece in most places.

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Trufig Outlet Review Summary

Trufig Outlet Review

There's no question that Trufig Outlets add an incredible level of sleekness and sophistication to a space.  They give designs a wonderful sense of calm, and let the users focus entirely on the space, the light, the art, and the furnishings. Used in tandem with their other products for touch-pads and keypads, all of the standard wall-junk really begins to fade away.  Unfortunately, the product is just far too expensive for use on the majority of homes.

Yet, one need not sacrifice design due to expense!  By using FLUSHTEK and moving your outlets to the baseboard, you can maintain the focus on the design without sending your budget through the roof.  The FLUSHTEK system is significantly less complicated to install, and works well with a variety of project types.  Just have a look at our Testimonials Page to see for yourself - the FLUSHTEK System Pack works for contractors, handymen, woodworkers, and Do-it-Yourselfers.  Check out the our How it Works Page to see just how easy integrated outlets can be!

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