Installing a floor outlet in a kitchen floor.

Kitchen Improvement:

Installing A Floor Outlet

An Outlet Near The Kitchen Table Keeps Power Cords Off The Floor When Using Computers At The Dinner Table

In This Article:

A hole is cut in the floor and a metal junction box is installed. New electrical cable is run into the box and the floor outlet is connected and covered with a brass cover plate.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 3 (Intermediate) Time Taken: About 2 Hours

By , Editor

Start:

My family often uses two or three laptop computers at the kitchen table. Since laptop batteries never seem to last long enough, we prefer to keep the machines plugged into AC power. But that meant running some type of power cord across the floor, which quickly became a nuisance. It occurred to me that many people probably experience the same problem. The solution to this problem is simple: Install an outlet in the floor near the table and keep the cords off the floor.

I've been running an orange extension cord across the kitchen floor to provide power to laptop computers used at our kitchen table.

The blue rectangle on the floor marks the desired location of the floor outlet.

Extension cord running across floor to kitchen table.

 

Raco Number 6236 Floor Outlet Kit. I bought this Raco No. 6236 floor outlet kit at Home Depot.

This kit includes a deep metal junction box, a single receptacle, and a brass cover plate. When the outlet is not in use, there is a round plug that can be screwed into the cover plate.

 

In The Basement Below:

This is the general area where the floor outlet will be located.

Area between ceiling joists where floor outlet box will be located.

 

Drilling 3/8 inch hole in floor for electrical box. I drilled a 3/8" hole at one corner of the junction box location.

This j-box is only a couple of inches away from a floor joist, so I drilled the first hole at the farthest edge of the planned location. If I need to move the box farther from the joist, this hole will still be within the confines of the box area.

Down in the basement, I checked to see where the drill bit broke through. There is more than 6 inches between the bit and the joist to the left, so I know the "potential problem joist" (at the left side of the picture) won't interfere with the hole for the J-box. Location of drill bit penetrating floor into basement.

 

I drilled another hole at the diagonally opposite corner. Only two holes are needed when cutting a square hole with a jig saw.

 

Using jigsaw to cut hole in floor for electrical box. Then I used a jig saw to cut the rectangular hole.

First I made sure the jig saw blade wouldn't hit anything (like pipes) below in the basement.

 

I test-fitted the box in the hole. Test-fitting metal junction box in hole in floor.

 

Protruding metal tab on j-box interferes with floor. These tabs on the junction box (red arrow) prevented the box from fitting in the hole. So I used the jig saw to cut some notches in the floor.

 

Then the j-box fit almost perfectly.

I needed to cut a shallow notch in the floor to accommodate the "ears" that the outlet is screwed into.

Junction box for floor outlet.

 

Removing knock-out from metal junction box. Before installing the j-box, I removed a knock-out near the bottom.

The wire will enter the j-box here.

 

Then I fastened the junction box to the floor with 1-1/4" sheet metal screws. These screws have a shallow head that shouldn't interfere with the cover. Screwing metal electrical box to floor.

 

Electrical  wire sticking out of floor outlet junction box. I ran some 12-2G wire into the new junction box and tightened the cable clamp. I left about 6 inches of wire sticking out of the box.

Note: I used 12-2G wire because the circuit I planned on tapping into was a 20 Amp circuit, which used number 12 wire. If I had a nearby 15 Amp circuit that was easy to tap into, I would've used 14-2G wire.

In the basement, I fastened the wire to the floor joist with cable staples.

The cable needs to be fastened within 12 inches of the junction box. Beyond that, the cable needs to be fastened every 4 feet or less.

Electrical wire stapled to floor joists and entering metal junction box.

 

Ends of electrical wire stripped for connecting to outlet. I cut away the outer jacket and stripped about 3/4" of insulation from the black and white wires.

 

I cut a small piece of bare #12 wire to use as a pigtail. I wrapped the end of the wire around a green ground screw. Ground wire pigtail wrapped around green grounding screw.

 

Ground pigtail fastened to metal junction box. I fastened the ground screw and pigtail (red arrow) into one of the threaded holes in the back of the J-box.

 

I used a green twist-on wire connector (wire nut) to connect the ground pigtail to the incoming ground wire. Then I formed a hook on the end of the ground wire and fastened it under the ground screw on the outlet. Ground wire connected to receptacle and ground pigtail.

 

White (neutral) wire connected to silver screw on outlet. Then I secured the white wire under the silver screw. This outlet had the "deluxe" connectors where you simply insert a straight stripped end of wire under a metal plate and tighten the screw.

Next I fastened the black wire to the gold screw.

I folded the wires neatly inside the j-box and pushed the outlet into position. Then I fastened the outlet to the box with the screws provided with the kit. Fastening the outlet into the metal junction box in floor.

 

Installing brass cover plate on floor outlet. I placed the brass cover plate over the receptacle and secured it with the brass screws.

 

This is the brass plug that screws into the face of the cover plate. There is a rubber O-ring that seals the cover so liquids don't get inside. Threaded brass plug used to seal cover plate on floor outlet.

 

Completed floor outlet with water-tight brass cover plate. The completed floor outlet. The cover plate sticks up above the floor by about 1/4 inch, so this could be a trip-and-fall hazard if the outlet was in a place where people frequently walk.

 

 

Connecting The New Floor Outlet
To The Existing Electrical System:

WARNING: In the following steps the power must be shut off to the circuit being worked on.

In the basement, about 8 feet away from the floor outlet, I ran the new 12-2G cable (red arrow) into a junction box in the ceiling. This box didn't have any light fixture or outlets... it was just a connection point for other receptacles on that circuit. Existing ceiling junction box with new electrical cable entering it.

 

New wires are stripped to allow connection to existing wires. I stripped the outer jacket from the new cable and stripped about 3/4" of insulation from the ends of the black and white wires.

 

I removed the original wire nuts from the ends of the wires and added the new conductor to each group.

I found it best if I slightly untwisted the previous set of wires before adding the new wire. Then I re-twisted the cluster of wires and installed the wire nut.

Note that I had to replace the red wire nuts with larger blue twist-on wire connectors, because the red connectors could only handle 4 number 12 conductors. The blue wire nuts can handle up to 6 number 12 wires.

Electrical connections in ceiling junction box.

 

Wires tucked into electrical box after making connections. When I was done making the electrical connections, I carefully folded the wires into the junction box, making sure the wire nuts were still tight.

Then I replaced the plastic box cover, turned on the power, and the project was complete.

It's a good idea if the power to the floor outlet is supplied from a GFCI outlet, so the new outlet will have ground-fault interruption protection in case liquids are spilled onto the floor outlet while a cord is plugged into it.

More Info:

Tools Used:
  • Basic Carpentry Tools
  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • 3/8" Drill Bit
  • Jig Saw
  • Wire Strippers
  • Pliers
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Flat Screwdriver
Materials Used:
  • Raco No. 6236 Floor Outlet Kit
  • Screws: 1 inch Truss Head
  • Electrical Wire
  • Wire Staples
  • Twist-On Wire Connectors
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Written February 7, 2010