Outlet in floor?

anitaladyroseApril 26, 2014

We are still in the planning stage of our build.

Our new home will have an open floor plan with the kitchen, dining and great room areas all open to one another. We will place the sofa and chairs in an open area - so we may need to place an outlet in the floor to plug in lamps, etc. Our style is slightly eclectic - traditional furniture in the open floor (ranch style home) plan.

Any thoughts regarding this solution? My sister has an outlet on the floor in her great room, and I have always thought it a bit odd - until now.

I am wondering - if we wanted to change the furniture placement, for instance, it would require planning around that outlet - and I don't love that idea. Also, I imagine that cleaning around the outlet might be an issue.

If anyone has an alternative to this arrangement, I would appreciate your ideas Of course, we will have overhead lighting (a fan with lights or ??) but would love to know what others have done.

Thanks so much!

This post was edited by AnitaLadyRose on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 7:30

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We are putting one in our new build. Our kitchen/eating area/family room are all one room. We were advised to put it 'under' where the sofa will go. In our case, there will not be too many places where you would want to 'rearrange' a sofa. HTH

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:54AM
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I don't really have any alternative suggestions, except battery powered lighting - does that even exist in a decent style choice? I chose to put ours in a place where I knew it would be covered by furniture no matter what the configuration and I've had no trouble cleaning around it because there are flaps that close and cover the outlet when not in use - that might even be required for code.

I've lived with this arrangement for about 2 months and I still haven't chosen to plug anything into the outlet, but I like that I have the option. I don't think you'll regret it unless you choose a poor placement. It's always good to err on the side of more outlets!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Thanks to both of you! pookapie, your comments make me feel so much better about it! I agree it's better to have more outlets!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 1:52PM
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I'm doing two in family room and one in living room. Spend the money for brass covers. My last house had them with plastic covers. they got squashed and busted outlets.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 2:44PM
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All of the outlets for our exterior walls are in the floor. We built a log house, and you really don't want to run wiring though the log wall if you can avoid it. The outlets don't get in the way of anything, any more than vents for the heating system do. You definitely want brass covers; the plastic covers wouldn't hold up.

The only thing I wish we would've done differently would've been to have two plug ins for each outlet - if that makes sense? Two plug ins is the standard set up for *wall* outlets, but not for floor outlets. Although we do meet code, we have to use adapters in some areas so we can plug everything in.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 4:17PM
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Doing floor outlets in our build too! Open floor plan and really only one couch spot so it/they will go under there.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:19PM
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carsonheim and gladys1924, do you have links to the brass covers you are referring to?

Anita, what kind of flooring do you have in your great room? I've noticed that outlets in the middle of a carpeted room seem a bit odd, but I've seen flush outlets with covers on a a wood floor that don't seem horribly out of place.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 4:34AM
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we are also doing a floor outlet for our open concept floor plan. I chose a location that would be covered by our couch. My question is though about rugs going over it since floating furniture requires rugs all the way to the back of said furniture. then the rug would cover the outlet too.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 7:47AM
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Sooo...we are also open concept and I haven't yet chosen a location. I guess that would mean now is a good time. I am thankful for this post as it seems most are doing it under the couch and I was thinking you'd want it just outside of it (why I don't know). I would prefer it hidden also.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:09AM
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We had the electrical wires run under our family room during our electric rough-in (we have a crawl space). We also are open concept. I think that is why I was so pressed to buy our new furniture and get a furniture layout down so I would know where to put the outlets. :-)

Here's a funny. My daughter's in-laws built on a slab. They are not open concept. However, their seating furniture and tables are away from the walls in their living room. They have lamps on side tables but they aren't plugged in cause they would have to run extension cords to the walls. They wished they had thought about running floor outlets during their build.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:00AM
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Phil17 - our electrician supplied the brass covers - perhaps that is normal practice? They use a special drill bit when making the holes, so the bit and cover pieces all have to match, size wise. It's a bit more complicated than a simple wall outlet, so it all might have to come from the electrician.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:12AM
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The hardware runs between $30-80 which is why they are not all that popular. We have put them is concrete floors; requires being fully committed to your room's furniture layout at a preliminary stage of work.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:50AM
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In our area, there is a requirement by code that there be an electrical outlet every so often in a living space... You might not get to choose where you want your outlet (or you may have to have more than the ones you planned).

The new houses behind us are very open floor plan with large windows on the backs and there is no room on the wall (because of the floor to ceiling windows/doors) for outlets. They also used brass outlets (double) in the floor.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:53AM
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True. The hardware is a bit pricey, and I gather that installing the floor outlets is a bit more difficult than using the standard wall outlets. Our electrician only did floor outlets as absolutely necessary; when possible he used wall outlets on the interior (non log) walls to meet code.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:55AM
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When we built our last home, we had an unfinished room under our living room and waited til we moved in our furniture and then installed two floor outlets. Of course a few years later after we finished the rec room below and relocated our upstairs furniture downstairs, we bought new furniture and found a better furniture layout which mean't one of our outlets was under the area rug. You are not supposed to use outlets under a rug or run electrical cord under a rug, so we covered that outlet up. (it was a brass plated raised outlet.)
Recently we moved to a home where the floor outlets were in a totally unusable area. We removed the offending outlet, had the wood floor fixed and refinished (which it needed) and relocated the floor outlet between the back of the sofa and the sofa table. We used a double round brass FLAT floor outlet that was recommended by the electrician (it is great) easy to sweep over and cover if you change your furniture around. We got an outlet where the plug covers can be removed and store them in a safe place.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:26PM
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Thank you all for posting. The posts have been so helpful... I'm very glad that I posted this question and hope it has been helpful to others as well. I really like this forum.

We will have tile floors in our great room, so I imagine that it will not be an issue to install the brass outlets. We will be building on a crawlspace (hopefully). We have yet to meet with a builder or architect, so things may change. We plan to meet with a couple of builders this week, very excited to do so.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We installed one in our FR under our sofa as well...we knew we'd need it and as it's open to the kitchen, there are no walls to put an outlet in...works fine for us.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Never thought about this till now, but if you're doing hardwood or tile...

Standard electrical box, outlet and wall plate, snugged to the subfloor like it would to drywall on the wall. Flooring installer installs the hardwood floor right up to the "wall plate" on all four sides. Cuts a special piece that fits right in cutout with a small hole on an edge to allow a sfinger to "fish" the piece out of the floor. For 3/4" hardwood, you would need to plane the panel down to 1/2 or less so it wouldn't sit proud.

You could even recess the box deeper, and allow a plug to sit under the trap door with a cord out of a 3/8" hole on a side. Just spitballing some ideas, you'd need a code ruling locally.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:48PM
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It's a cover for a duplex outlet.

Just google it. Grainger sells them also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brass Duplex Floor Cover

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:26PM
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