Best garage floor drains


Questions and Ideas

When water has nowhere to go, and just sits and stares back at you, they risk causing plenty of hazards and can ruin many things.

It’s not just your home we are referring to here. It’s about every place that’s got the silver screen of standing water snaking around.

Unfortunately, this also includes your RVs, garages, bathrooms, toilets, and every room that should probably have a drainage system installed.

Standing water is dangerous if they have nothing channeling them out. They can cause slips, deface surface materials, and worse, spread germs and diseases. 

garage

Choosing the best drain for your garage floor typically depends on the size of the garage, the preferred size of the drain, quality of drain material, drainage capacity, life dependency, and the direction of the sloped ground surface.

With all things considered and the structure of floor drains predominantly existing as (1) rectangular trench floor drains and (2) round or square floor drains, rectangular stainless steel floor drains are considered the best.

Rectangular stainless steel drains provide durability. That’s because stainless steel is known for its life expectancy, style, more resistant strength against a considerable amount of load, low maintenance cost, and, due to its long rectangular shape, it has high drainage capacity.

An example of such a drain is the Zekoo linear rectangular floor drain, a perfect buy for linear rectangular floor drains that are to be installed along the sidewalls of the garage. It fits well into existing concrete and provides an improved stylistic outlook to the garage floor. 

When the sloped surface is being directed towards the garage door or towards the sidewalls of the garage, trench floor drains are advised. If the slope is directed to a corner or the center of the garage, a square or round shape floor drain is required.

Of course, this can be interchanged or altered by personal preference, but the aforementioned is the best choice.

Standing or stagnant water is very common on surface structures where drains are absent, especially garages. The sight of standing water can make your skin crawl and leave you drenched with lividity.

But like all drainage problems that steal their way into homes, garages, RVs, they can be solved. That is why in this article, we will be sharing the importance of floor drains, going in-depth into the types of floor drains with their benefits, including tips and facts on how to install them and prevent damage.

Floor drains are effective plumbing systems that are used to eliminate completely the problem of stagnant water.

These plumbing devices are easily interchangeable. This means you don’t need to replace the whole when there is a fault.

They are installed on the floor of any structure to trap stagnant water. Floor drains are usually sloped away from the center and sometimes towards the center.

Why Should I Install a Floor Drain in My Garage?

Garages are car savers. They collect water dribbling down your car to the floor. They are a perfect place for your car to dry and thaw out.

You can also use them as a storage area for whatever you don’t need to be kept in your house.

Just in case you want more value from it, you can ramp up things. For instance, you can move in some gaming equipment there, lift those gates up, and chill with friends.

But what happens if your car thaws out, or there is a large pool of water just sitting there in your garage and can’t escape? That’s a sign that you need to install a floor drain in your garage.

There are other good reasons why you should install one:

  • Floor drains in the garage help to collect excessive run-offs. Not only do they collect standing water, but they also collect other fluids that may come from your car. Fluids like coolants, oils, etc.
  • If there are floor drains in place, it’s easier to clean your garage because you won’t have to worry about draining the water. With floor drains carefully installed in place, you work cleaning stains off the garage floor, and rinsing them off using a hose is easier. Because most garage floors are sloped anyway, these waters are easily collected by the drains and disposed of properly.
  • Floor drains are there to collect water and not allow them to sit idly in your garage. But beyond that, they provide a safe working environment. It would be a horrible experience working under wet conditions with water just sitting everywhere.
  • Floor drains prevent water stains from spilling into your driveway during a thorough clean-up.
  • The chances of mosquitoes, scorpions, and bacteria breeding under a pool of water is drastically cut down when you have a floor drain nearby.

Best Floor Drains for Garage Floor

A good garage is underpinned by a good floor drainage system. Garage floor drains are basically divided into two:

  1. The trench floor drain
  2. The square or round floor drain

Trench Floor Drain

If you have ever seen a gutter running down the length of a floor from the end of a fence to the beginning, that basically is a glimpse of what a trench floor drain looks like. Only one difference: there are grates covering the mouth of a trench drain.

Trench floor drains are widely considered one of the best water drains. These are favorites among garage owners.

They are an excellent option when it comes to collecting water from a particular area and dumping them in a safe place like a sewer, septic tank, or dry well.

Trench drains vary in length and width. Usually, when constructed and installed, the volume of water to be removed is always considered.

If more volume of water is expected to be collected within that area, they are dug a few inches deeper to contain the volume.

The trench floor drains installed in a garage are narrower and shallow, and usually come with an elongated metal grate that stretches through the entire length of the floor drain.

Trench drains are made up of different building materials depending on what you want. There are ceramics, galvanized steel, cast iron grates, polymer, etc.

Trench floor drains are easy to install, but they may not be as easy as fitting a round or square drain in your garage.

Installing a trench floor drain involves cutting down your concrete or slab, if you haven’t had one before. Usually, before starting, your garage needs to be pitched or sloped to make this work.

They are a little expensive, but they are a bang for the buck. Their ability to control high water pressures makes them ideal breakers.

trench drain

Benefits of Installing Trench Floor Drains

  • They can handle a high volume of water.
  • They don’t get clogged easily.
  • They work so well in harsh temperate weather conditions, like snowstorms.

Round or Square Floor Drains

Square or round floor drains, usually called point drains, are used to collect runoffs and standing water, just like trench drains. They are commonly found in home bathrooms and toilets.

They can be spotted in the middle of a bathroom. This happens when your bathroom is sloped towards the center.

These drains can also be found at the end of the bathroom. This is often the case when the bathroom floor is pitched away from the center and from its entrance.

Square or round floor drains are simpler to install and won’t drain your pocket.

For a garage floor, installing a square or round drain under the garage floor at the center is a good spot. Water collection is maximized at that spot. Just ensure to check the pitch of your garage before installing one.

Benefits of Round or Square Floor Drains

  • If you are looking to save a few hundred bucks, round and square drains are worth considering.
  • Aside from being cheaper than trench floor drains, they are easy to install.
  • The smaller ones can be scattered around your garage where there is a good slope.
  • Installation is fast and simple compared to trench floor drains.

Things to Consider Before Installing Floor Drains

Before installing any floor drains on your garage floor, there are important things that need to be thoroughly checked.

One of them is the pitch or slope of the garage. Doing this will help you decide where exactly you should install a typical floor drain.

If you wish to put up round or square floor drains, know these facts first:

  • They are considered favorites among garage owners because of their simple-to-install technique.
  • Installation is usually done at the center of the garage.
  • A pocket of spaces should be put in the concrete before placing the pipes in-between the hard floor.
  • Chemicals from garage floors that are collected from drains are red flags, as they are harmful to sewers. Installing strong water filtration helps sift out these chemicals before they drift into any central sewage system.
  • If you are strongly keen on installing a square or round drain yourself, ensure pitches are right where they should be. Or at the very least, try and create one. For a more precise result, garage floors should be level 1/8 inches per foot in the direction of the drain from the farthest corner. This means that the floor should be sloped directing water to where floor drains are to be fixed.

As for trench floor drains:

  • Trench drains, despite their lengths, arrive in sections. Like building a castle out of Legos, these come like a set and can be pieced together.
  • Extra attention should be given when fitting a trench drain unto your garage floor. If the trench drain is loose under the concrete, the chances of experiencing a water disaster are extremely high, so they need to be properly tightened and sealed at all joints.
  • Although they are more expensive than round floor drains, they are a fine blend of superior quality. If properly installed, they last for a good number of years.
  • Trench drains that are built from polymer concrete with a galvanized grate sitting on top offer a better draining result.

How to Self-Install a Trench Floor Drain in a Garage

Trench drains provide an easy way out of a standing water disaster when you don’t already have a floor drain installed.

Though installing round and square floor drains is easy, however, a thorough assessment of your garage must be done first.

Areas where pipes need to be fit must be checked to see if they can be buried well under the garage floor. If you don’t already have one installed, it means you’d have to consider hammering your entire floor.

However, you are better off not doing that. This is where a trench floor drain provides relief. For trenches, there is no need to break and smash a wide area of your concrete floor.

Here’s how to install a trench floor drain in your garage by yourself:

  1. Buy a trench drain. Take note of the size of your trench drain.
  2. Find a good slope in your garage. Cut the concrete slab in your garage using a standard circular saw with a diamond blade and a sledgehammer. Keep an 8-inches distance for the drain both vertically and horizontally.
  3. To divert water through the drain pipe, carve out a hole through the foundation walls.
  4. Dig a trench outside your foundation wall far away from your garage. Place the drainage pipe in the dug trench.
  5. Place your trench drain on the cut-out concrete floor. Fill up the remaining spaces with mixed concrete and smooth out using a hand trowel. The mixed concrete should be a little lighted than your original floor.
    • Alternatively, you could use an asphalt patch to fill up spaces left between your trench drain and your garage floor.
  6. While installing, ensure the trench floor drain is a little lower than the entire surface of your garage.
  7. Once these are done, you are all ready and set.

Take note: For the drain pipe in the trench, ensure they are covered properly under the soil. Make sure that the soil is also fairly compacted with water.

What to Do If Floor Drain is Clogged

At some point in the future, your floor drains are very likely to get clogged if adequate care and attention are not given to them.

While the metal grates are there to ensure only water is filtered through its pores, clogging incidents are usually inevitable.

When water starts pooling again in your garage or the flow rate has dipped completely, then those are symptoms that your drains are in serious trouble.

Here’s what you can do to save it:

  1. Take out the grate carefully.
  2. Clean out every dirt in the drain channel, if you find any, using a shovel.
  3. Clear out any clog in the drain pipe as well. Once that is done, flush out whatever’s left in both the trench drain and the pipe in the trench.
  4. Once that’s solved, you can close the open trench drain with the grate.

If any of that doesn’t solve the problem, you could try this alternative method:

  1. Mix table salt with de-icing water until the salt can no longer dissolve.
  2. Take your mixed solution and spill them into the garage drain.
  3. Wait until the lump of garbage blocking the section has turned completely to mush, and begins to flow.
  4. When that’s done, you can expect your drain flow to run normally again.

To Conclude

Floor drains in the garage help to collect spills, standing water, and many other different liquids.

They prevent wastewater, rainwater, and runoffs from huddling in your driveway, giving neighbors the impression that your garage is ugly. This is why it’s important to have one installed quickly.

If you are still wondering which is the best for you: it depends.

If you already have your garage covered, then a trench floor drain should do the job. However, if you’re just building a new one, a round or square floor drain would make a good fit.

Joe Taylor

Over 2 decades of remodeling experience, Joe is an expert in home improvement. He is now the Managing Editor of PlumbJoe where he writes guides for homeowners. His hobbies include climbing, running and playing the piano.

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