I have a concrete foundation, and am finishing the basement. We just
decided on putting in a bar, with an island bar about 4 feet off the
nearest wall. I will need to run electric to the island in order to
power the fridge and wine chiller, but just don't know what the code-
friendly way to do this is. Can I just put the electric wire under the
final flooring (seems doubtful), or do I need to break up the
concrete, put in some sort of conduit, and put the wire inside it,
then re-concrete the top? Is there another easier way I'm not
thinking of? Thanks.
If the finished flooring is going to be raised off the concrete for
insulation you should be able to run conduit in that gap just fine. If
not, then you would cut a small channel in the concrete with a suitable
masonry blade in a circular saw, angle grinder or similar and remove
just that thin strip to install the conduit and then patch over with
Of course the easiest option would be to drop down to the bar with a
decorative column like polished brass tube. You could disguise this
further by using two of them and installing some nice shelving for
bottles on them, perhaps 1/2" thick glass shelves with brass rails front
and rear. Most of these components are available as standard items, and
any good glass place can produce the shelves (you could also use wood
In any case, if you're going to all this effort you should put a sink in
the island as well. Running PEX supply lines and a drain line from a
small pump unit of the type often used with laundry sinks should be easy
We will be having a dry SS sink in the bar, figuring that there's
really nothing we'd need a running faucet for right there. As for the
glass shelves, these will be on the bar back, which will be up against
the wall. I plan to have two outlets right above the counter on the
bar back, but since that's up against the wall, that isn't the issue
so much. The keg box and wine chiller will be in the island, which
will stand alone with no connection to the ceiling or walls. I'll be
putting in an engineered wood floor over a Delta-FL underlayment, but
I don't think that will provide enough clearance to lay conduit
underneath. So it sounds like I'll have to put the conduit into the
concrete and re-pour new concrete over the top, right? Thanks for the
How about raising the bar floor up above the surrounding area by an inch
or so? That should provide the additional clearance necessary and not
look particularly out of place, especially if you finish the bar floor
in a different material like vinyl/linoleum tile.
He indicated the shelves were on the bar back, which would seem to
indicate the bar consists of two cabinet sections, one against a wall
and one parallel in front of it as an island with a walkway between
them. This would make it seem reasonable to raise the floor level
slightly and use different flooring in that walkway area between, which
would allow conduit to be run from the wall side cabinets up to the
That's true. And I'm also thinking of those things you sometimes see at
trade shows and on stages. They look like speed bumps, made for running
wires along floors without creating a sharp edge that people will trip over.
Right, and that's what the raised floor section would effectively be,
just a lot wider so it doesn't look out of place. I think a raised floor
of a water resistant flooring like vinyl tile in that bar area would
look "normal" vs. a small cord guard strip looking ugly.
Okay, I DO appreciate the tips, but my question is how do I get power
to the island WITHOUT attaching to the ceiling or raising the floor.
I've already gotten approval from the wife to put in a bar (and pool
table, and TV on the wall, etc), and want to just take that and run
with it. If I have to, I'll use the speedbump power cord idea, but
would really like something that doesn't look so industrial. The
floor will be engineered wood floor, and the plan is to have that wood
flooring across the entire basement (except in the bathroom and
workout space), so running a Romex cable underneath isn't really a
possiblity I don't think. I have an angle grinder, so I guess I'll do
some test-cuts tonight. Would 1/2 inch conduit be sufficient? Any
idea how deep it would need to be?
I wouldn't go hacking up your floor until you've explored some other ideas,
via resources IN ADDITION TO this newsgroup. Open your yellow pages phone
book and find a real electrical supply place. Not Home Depot. Not Lowe's.
You might get multiple benefits from visiting such a place:
- Touch and see the ideas
- People who work at these places are often familiar with local building
Second reviewing all options, cutting the slab should be the last
As for conduit, 1/2" sch 40 PVC conduit would be sufficient for the
items you want on the island. You'd only need larger if you intended
something like an electric cook top. Depth need not be more than a
couple inches since it will have concrete cover as well as being
blatantly obvious due to the different concrete color on the strip
(you'll never get a perfect match), but from a practical perspective it
will likely be full slab depth since it will be easier to cut full depth
and remove that strip than to cut partial depth and try to chisel out to
the depth you want.
I'm curious about why you don't want to run the wire up to the ceiling. If
it's a dropped ceiling, the rest would be a breeze, and the wire would be
much easier to work on if you had to do future maintenance.
I gotta tell ya, everything suggested so far is much more work
and expense than just cutting into the concrete and laying some cable.
With a rented quickie saw, it should take you about 15 minutes to cut
two grooves in the concrete. Then take a cold chisle and knock it out.
I would try and lay romex cable instead of conduit. With conduit, you
run the risk of moister collection with no way of draining. Run a 4
12 guage, just in case you want 2 circuits.
You'd have to use UF, not Romex (NM) if you were to direct bury it.
Conduit is cheap and allows for pulling new or additional conductors in
the future. You generally don't run Romex in conduit either, you usually
pull individual THHN conductors. Moisture in the PVC conduit will
certainly happen, but rarely bothers the conductors in it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.