Outlets in Floor of Workshop?

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Forum topic by wilschroter posted 12-20-2020 04:23 PM 914 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wilschroter's profile


164 posts in 1583 days

12-20-2020 04:23 PM

I’m designing a new workshop for a new home and would like to have some outlets accessible in the middle of the floor of the workshop that I could plug my rolling workbenches into, as well as other stuff that hangs around in the middle of the floor space.

Could anyone recommend a rugged floor outlet receptacle? Also, other than the concern of water getting into the receptacle, any issues any of you have had with floor-mounted power?

16 replies so far

View 987Ron's profile


844 posts in 374 days

#1 posted 12-20-2020 04:54 PM

My shop has a concrete floor, no outlets there. I too have a planner and jointer that gets rolled into the center of the shop and a bench for assembly. I use a couple of overhead pull down outlets. These are easy to reach, out of the way when not used and I do not have to bend over to plug something in.
I would be concerned over dirt, dust, sawdust and such in a floor mounted outlet. Have no experience with a floor mounted outlet.
Not a direct answer I know. Hope you find what you need or want.

-- Ron

View Andre's profile


4462 posts in 2864 days

#2 posted 12-20-2020 04:56 PM

Check out industrial and commercial suppliers. Costs more but worth it in the long term and safety.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7158 posts in 4252 days

#3 posted 12-20-2020 05:26 PM

When I built my shop in 2003 I had wall and floor outlets installed. My shop is 2,000 square feet, and I had plugs put in every 4 ft. on every wall. I had 3 outlets put in the floor. One 220 for the table saw , which is directly under the saw, and one on each end of the shop, which are 110. They are on their on seperate circuit , and the wiring for the floor plugs are run in conduit. These were installed before the concrete was poured for the floor. These plugs came with brass screw-on covers that could be used when the plug was not being used. I took them off and have never been put back on. I use the one in the rear of the shop to plug in my other table saw, and the one up front is used to plug in my outlets I have mounted on my work bench. They both are double plugged for ext. cords, etc. I’ve never had a problem with them getting dirt, grime, sawdust, etc. in them. When I vacuum the floor, I always vacuum them out. They are located under work benches, and kind of hidden…...!!
Check with a good electrican for the types of plugs you need for floor plugs.

One note: You need to install the plugs before pouring concrete if you’re going that route.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View dbw's profile


536 posts in 2694 days

#4 posted 12-20-2020 05:43 PM

My shop has a concrete floor, no outlets there. I too have a planner and jointer that gets rolled into the center of the shop and a bench for assembly. I use a couple of overhead pull down outlets. These are easy to reach, out of the way when not used and I do not have to bend over to plug something in.
I would be concerned over dirt, dust, sawdust and such in a floor mounted outlet. Have no experience with a floor mounted outlet.
Not a direct answer I know. Hope you find what you need or want.

- 987Ron


-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

View AMZ's profile


301 posts in 447 days

#5 posted 12-20-2020 06:15 PM

SO cord, from the ceiling

View Madmark2's profile


2518 posts in 1646 days

#6 posted 12-20-2020 06:31 PM

Ceiling drops with twist lock connectors.

I put twist lock connectors on the TS & DC even tho they are wall connected – just because.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Kelly's profile


3499 posts in 4002 days

#7 posted 12-20-2020 06:34 PM

My shop is 1,800 square feet. I went with two leapfrogging circuit on each wall. Except under the windows, all outlets are at about waist height. That makes for eight circuits alone. This allows a buddy to come over and neither of us has to worry about tripping a breaker.

I have two lighting circuits on three ways (three man doors, one to the garage). All lead to outlets to allow me to plug in 4’ LED’s. Among those and clearly marked are strategic 12 gauge ceiling outlets (concrete floor too).

I have a couple 10 gauge, 220 circuits, for big toys, in the ceiling. One 6 gauge for an overhead heater. Each wall has a 10 gauge for 220, but it looks like a second bandsaw may need another, since I’d have to run ten for it anyway (20 amps at 115).

A few of the wall outlets have quadplex boxes. I find myself swapping from duplex from time to time. For example, over by the bandsaws I also have a scroll saw. Two 120 volt bandsaws, a scroll saw and a light later, I found myself having to unplug something to plug something else in, be it the other saw or a hand tool. That makes no sense, when a quadplex box requires nothing more than enlarging the hole and wiring the extra outlet.

Of course, merely that four things are plugged into an outlet box does not mean they are all running at the same time.

Having the leap frogged circuits allows me to, for example, plug the miter into one and one of the dust collectors into the one next to it, so when they are both on, they are not taxing a single circuit.

View LesB's profile


2956 posts in 4501 days

#8 posted 12-20-2020 06:56 PM

Besides outlets don’t forget to set up good lighting. There are numerous types of LED lights that are great for the shop. You might pay more that for fluorescent lights but there is no cold start up or humming and they last virtually for ever. Some of the flat panels set right against or into the ceiling…only 1” deep.

One draw back I have found is that I like to listen to the radio and most LED lights emit a RF (radio frequency) that can interfere with the reception. I don’t know it it also affects WiFi or Bluetooth.

-- Les B, Oregon

View pottz's profile


16308 posts in 2042 days

#9 posted 12-20-2020 08:55 PM

i have drop cords for 110v and 220v in 4 places,works great.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4359 posts in 2552 days

#10 posted 12-20-2020 09:40 PM

+1 visit your local industrial/commercial electrical supply for best information.

IME – Floor mounted power boxes are not rugged enough for serious work shop with mobile tools.
Would not use them if any heavy tools need to move over the boxes. An open outlet will not support weight of any tool rolling over the top. Closed covers will only support ~100lbs before then bend/deflect, depending on point loads. Have seen loaded carts with casters dent/bend floor plates. We always instructed equipment moving folks to never roll anything over the outlet boxes.

Flush mount floor boxes are hard to create in concrete, as you need dummy covers exact thickness of actual used and skilled concrete finishing staff to keep floor level. They always seem to end up not flush, or the area around the box has low spot. Flush mount floor boxes in wood floor use floating cover that is mounted flush during flooring install, and won’t even support weight of desk chair on top. Again, you need skilled flooring folks to keep these flush too.

Another challenge with floor receptacle is cover plate limitations. Tend to be limited to standard duplex 15-20A receptacle in floor outlets. There is a newer style pop up floor outlet for decora outlets. They work well in office environment, as long as don’t need to roll desk chair over them as they are not flush.

Have never seen a 30A flush floor outlet? These are often supported with conduit thru floor and box mounted on top after floor is installed. This is one reason ceiling drops are popular for mobile power tools with large motors. BTW – When using ceiling drops, make sure to proper strain relief methods to meet local electrical codes.

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View ibewjon's profile


2361 posts in 3851 days

#11 posted 12-21-2020 10:46 AM

I have floor receptacles in my shop. No problems at all. It is easy enough to not run equipment over the covers. As an electrician, I put in hundreds of floor receptacles. I would have looked foolish with cords running across the floor. And a ceiling drop cord gets in the way at a table saw. There is an item called Walker duct. A rectangular steel tube with capped knock outs spaced the length of the tube. If you want receipts in a line, this might help you. You only install the ones you need, and the others can be added later. There are plenty of high quality floor receptacle boxes and covers, Hubble is one brand. Don’t forget dust collection duct in the floor to spots near your planned table saw location. I like not tripping or stepping over that hose. Norm always said that is something he forgot in his shop. Another option would be to stub rigid conduit, 3/4 and possibly 1”, up at locations you need. Put a coupling on the threads, plugged. Make this flush with the floor. When you want to use it, mount the proper box to the conduit and pull wire. Of course this is a setup you would have to remove if you rearranged tools and don’t want the trip hazzard.

View Aquaticjim's profile


1 post in 117 days

#12 posted 12-22-2020 03:10 PM

I am building a workshop as well and was wondering about floor outlets. Installation is not an issue as they make cylindrical PVC floor boxes that are designed to be mounted proud of the finished floor. You then cut off the exposed portion and PVC cement in an adapter flush with the floor. The covers are proud of the floor by about 1/8” and are made of solid brass so they should handle moderate traffic. I my case, I wanted to create work zones with a few stationary tools throughout the shop so the outlets will always have something connected. I was concerned about the accumulation of saw dust or metal shavings in the outlets.

The other option is the ceiling mounted outlets. If I have dust collector runs from the ceiling, a few cords should not matter.

View therealSteveN's profile


7514 posts in 1632 days

#13 posted 12-22-2020 03:43 PM

I have a tower in my shop, and it has 4 220’s and 8 110’s in it. When I priced having that done, less than 400 bux counting the 12 breakers. I priced drops at the same time. Being it was going to be inspected for code each drop was a set 600 bux, and the 220’s added 150 bux each. I’m in Warren Co, Ohio, not sure if it’s just something here?

I think in the floor at a home, when a “SET” layout of furniture is to be used you can put in outlets, and not have issues. I know a few guys who tried this in their shops, and all of them had issues, usually kicking, or rolling a tool into the plugs, and damaging them. I know. Youda` thought they would have remembered a plug was right there.

Stuff happens, always remember that.

-- Think safe, be safe

View gerrym526's profile


301 posts in 4866 days

#14 posted 12-23-2020 05:01 AM

I’m currently building my shop and will have one floor mounted receptacle that will service my table saw-which will be in a central location on the shop floor.
In reading articles on wiring a shop, floor receptacles were not recommended because of the danger of sawdust falling into them and being ignited by a spark.
Instead, pedestal style receptacles were recommended-i.e. a pipe coming through the floor goes into a vertically oriented pedestal with the duplex (or single if you’re using 220V) receptacles perpendicular to the floor.
No danger of sawdust falling into them (or as you mention, water either).

-- Gerry

View JCWI's profile


2 posts in 106 days

#15 posted 01-02-2021 02:39 PM

I suggest keeping outlets off the floor to avoid trip hazard, collecting dust, bending over, cost, etc. I suggest drop cords from the ceiling and receptacles long the walls. . My shop is 14’ wide x 40’ long. Most tools are along the walls and I have quad receptacles every 6’ or so at 4’ above floor. I also have a row of 6 drop cords down the center of the shop—at least 1 over each surface that could be used for work, assemblly, etc. plus some others as well. The cords are fixed length and terminate in a female plug. Plug is about 6’6 above floor level (easy to reach but I dont have to duck). It was super easy to install: plug wired to short length of SJO cord, cord mounted to steel 2 hang box with a steel mesh strain relief. good luck.

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