Install a Drain in Your Concrete Floor

A drain in a floor.
What You'll Need
Drain pipe

A floor drain in a garage or basement is very handy when you want to drain off any water that that has spilled, or if it is prone to flooding. This can come in handy when it is too cold to wash your car outside. Clean up will be as simple as pushing the water towards the drain.


Of course it is easiest to install your floor drain prior to the cement being poured. This way, you can easily level off the area with a slight bevel so the water will naturally run towards the center of the floor, or wherever it is located.

You will need to know which types of materials will be entering your drain. If you are using just regular water, then you can simply connect it into your current septic or sewer system. You will need to find out the local codes and regulations if you are going to be using hazardous materials in your garage or basement.

Planning Drainage for new Flooring

If you are building a new floor, then plan out where the drainage will go. Lay out the pipes in place and install the drainage cover and trap. A trap will help to make cleaning your drain much easier and will keep larger debris out of the drain. This is the ideal option since you can easily pour the concrete over the floor drain without having to dig.

Planning Drainage for an Existing Floor

In some cases, you will have no option but to install the device into an existing concrete floor. The process is not hard, but it does take some time and the use of heavy equipment since you will have to break through the existing concrete to put the new floor drain in.

Dig Trenches for Drain Pipes

Before you do any digging, you will need to call ahead to have your utilities marked. This will avoid anyone accidentally hitting a gas line.

If you are going to tie into your current septic system, then you will need to dig a trench for the new pipe to go from the area you are placing the floor drain to the existing septic piping. Using a backhoe will make this much quicker, but you can dig it by hand to lessen any damage to landscaping. This will also require digging under the exterior of the garage.

Dig a Trench in the Concrete Floor

Using a jackhammer, you will need to dig out a trench in the concrete for your new floor drain. Ensure you wear the appropriate safety gear, including goggles, to avoid injury. You will need to dig under the wall inside as well in order to connect to the trench you dug outside. Lay the piping and secure it into the septic system.

Pour the new Concrete

At the end of the pipe, where you want the actual floor drain to be located, place a can (a coffee can will work) over the drain hole and pour new concrete to fill in the trench you dug. Mix the concrete according the the mixing directions and smooth out with a trowel. Add a little bevel to the concrete so that the water will go down towards the drain instead of pooling around it.

The concrete will be much lighter than the surrounding concrete floor. If you want to make everything a consistent color, you can paint the floor or add interlocking flooring.

Smoothing the concrete.

Add a Drain Cover

After the concrete has had time to set up, remove the can from the new floor drain hole. Install the cover and trap to finish off your new system.