Does a Kitchen Need a Floor Drain? (Explained)

We’re installing a new kitchen as part of our home renovations, and my wife is considering fitting a floor drain. I’ve started researching them but aren’t convinced we really need one. Are they even fitted in modern kitchens?

A residential kitchen doesn’t need a floor drain. They are usually found in commercial kitchens or other industrial settings where large amounts of water are used and there is a risk of flooding. However, many homeowners choose to install a kitchen floor drain for safety or aesthetic reasons.

Let’s dive down into the topic of kitchen floor drains in more detail, and discover more about where they’re fitted, how they’re fitted, and what they’re used for…

Does a Kitchen Need a Floor Drain?

Does a Kitchen Need a Floor Drain?

No, a residential kitchen does not need a floor drain. Floor drains are typically found in commercial kitchens or other industrial settings where large amounts of water are used and there is a risk of flooding.

However, many homeowners choose to install a floor drain in their kitchen as an added safety measure or for aesthetic reasons. If you are considering installing a floor drain in your kitchen, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, make sure that your floor can support the weight of the drain and the water it will hold. Second, check with your local building codes to see if a floor drain is allowed in your area. And finally, be sure to have a qualified plumber install the drain so it is properly fitted and functional.

When Should I Use a Floor Drain?

There are several situations when you might want to use a floor drain. If you live in an area with a high water table or flooding is a concern, a floor drain can help prevent water damage to your home.

If you have a lot of foot traffic in your kitchen, a floor drain can help prevent slips and falls. And if you are doing a kitchen renovation, a floor drain can give your kitchen a sleek, modern look.

Is it Legal For a Residential Kitchen to Have a Floor Drain?

In most cases, yes. However, you should check with your local building department to be sure. They may have specific requirements for the installation of a floor drain in your area.

Why Don’t Many American Kitchens or Bathrooms Have Floor Drains?

A drawback of kitchen floor drains that are rarely used is that wastewater in the trap evaporates, allowing sewer gas to enter the kitchen.

To avoid this, you’ll either need to change to a trap that doesn’t require water or tip some water down your drain every few weeks to keep the trap’s level maintained with fresher water. See our video later in the article for details on how to do this.

American bathrooms are also frequently larger than those found elsewhere, especially in Europe and Asia. Because US showers are generally separate and sealed in their own enclosure, then no water spills out. As a result, there is no need for a floor drain.

What Is the Difference Between a Floor Drain and a Floor Sink or Mop Sink?

A floor drain is a larger, deeper sink that is typically placed in the center of a room and used to collect large amounts of water.

A floor sink (sometimes called a mop sink) is a smaller, shallower sink that is typically installed near walls or other fixtures and used to collect small amounts of water. Floor drains are often used in commercial kitchens and other industrial settings, while floor sinks are typically used in residential kitchens.

If you are not sure which type of sink is right for your kitchen, consult a qualified plumber. They will be able to help you choose the right sink and install it properly.

How Do You Install a Kitchen Floor Drain?

If you decide to install a kitchen floor drain, it is essential to hire a qualified plumber and not try to do it yourself. Improper installation can result in water damage and other problems.

The plumber will first determine the location of the drain and mark the outline with chalk. They will then drill a hole in the floor and insert the drain. The drain is connected to the sewer line and fitted with a trap to prevent odors from escaping.

Once the drain is installed, the plumber will test it to ensure it’s working properly. They will also install a floor drain cover to keep debris and other objects out of the drain. This effectively looks like a small grill over the main drain hole.

Installing a kitchen floor drain is a big job, so it is best to leave it to the professionals – like these guys:

How Much Does it Cost To Install a Floor Drain?

It depends on the type of floor drain and the amount of work that needs to be done. Installation costs can range from $3-5000 so it’s not something to take lightly.

If you need a new trap or if the drain needs to be connected to the sewer line, the cost will be higher.

It’s always best to consult with a qualified plumber before deciding to install a floor drain. They will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the cost and how long the job will take.

Does a Floor Drain Have a Trap?

Yes, a floor drain has a trap. The trap is a curved section of pipe that prevents sewer gasses from entering the home. It also collects wastewater and prevents it from flowing back down the drain.

If your floor drain does not have a trap, it should be replaced. A trap is essential for the proper functioning of the drain.

Are Floor Drains Connected to The Sewer?

Yes, floor drains are connected to the sewage system. A trap has to be fitted to the drain to prevent unpleasant smells from escaping into your kitchen or bathroom.

Can a Utility Sink Drain Into a Floor Drain?

It depends. In some cases, a utility sink can drain into a floor drain. However, it is important to check with your local building codes to see if this is allowed.

It’s also important to make sure that the floor drain can handle the additional water from the utility sink. If the drain is not big enough, it could overflow and cause water damage to your home.

Why Does My Floor Drain Overflow When I Use The Sink?

There are several reasons why a floor drain might overflow when you use the sink. One possibility is that the drain is clogged. Another possibility is that the sewer line is blocked.

Here’s a great article on the many reasons why your floor drain might be blocked.

Kitchen floor drain

Do Washing Machines Need a Floor Drain?

Sometimes. Most washing machines do not need their own floor drain as they’re connected directly to the water supply and drain via a hose connector, but there are some exceptions.

If you have a front-loading washing machine, it is recommended that you install a floor drain as a backup for leaks. Front-loading washers can leak water during the wash cycle, and a floor drain will help prevent water damage.

Some top-loading washing machines also come with a floor drain hose connection. If your washing machine has this feature, you can connect the drain hose to the floor drain and avoid any potential damage from leaking water and soap suds.

If your washing machine does not have a floor drain connection, or if you are not sure whether it does, and even if you need one – then consult a qualified plumber. They will be able to help you choose the right washing machine and install it properly.

Why Does the Floor Drain in My House Smell Bad?

There are several reasons why the floor drain in your house might smell bad. One possibility is that the trap is full of debris and needs to be cleaned, or the trap could just be dried out.

Another possibility is that the drain pipe below the floor drain is clogged with hair or other objects. If this is the case, you can try to clear the clog yourself using a plunger.

Finally, the bad smell could be coming from the sewer line itself. If this is the case, you will need to have the sewer line professionally cleaned or repaired.

If the clog is severe, you will need to call a plumber to clear it for you. In some cases, the entire drain pipe may need to be replaced if it is damaged or corroded.

Check out this video on how to combat floor drain odor:

Final Thoughts

On reflection, I can see the attraction of fitting a floor drain – especially in a commercial kitchen – but I just don’t think we need one in our new kitchen build.

Although there are five of us in the household, the water use in the kitchen just won’t be high enough to merit installing such an industrial-scale solution.

I’m hoping these aren’t famous last words though! 🙂