I am in the process of putting down hardwood floor.

As a first step, I am reinforcing the subfloor by screwing and glueing 1/2 plywood on top. Then, I'll add a felt/vapor guard layer, and then a 3/8in click floating hardwood floor on top.

I am looking at options on how to lay electricity to get to a kitchen island (to be installed).

The basement below is finished, and it wouldn't be easy to drill holes into the joists. This is also awfully close to the support beam and heating ducts.

Since I have not yet laid the subfloor reinforcement, I wonder whether I could:

  1. Leave a gap and cover it with a steel plate after laying the conduit
  2. Add a steel channel
  3. Anything that I didn't think of

If this would help in any way: The electrical will be approximately at the entry to the kitchen - I could add t-molding to separate the two floors.

I want to be legal, too (US/Maryland).

Any help greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    Hey, is it hardwood flooring or laminate floating floor. 2 big different things.
    – Jeff Cates
    Feb 20, 2018 at 22:16
  • It is engineered hardwood.
    – Ursula
    Feb 20, 2018 at 23:06
  • Have you looked at 1/2" EMT conduit? Could you get your needs met with 4 circuits max inside that conduit? Feb 20, 2018 at 23:57
  • You want (and code may require) some sort of metal conduit or shield.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 21, 2018 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


Cut a few openings in your current subfloor, spanning across from the centers of joists, and pull flex conduit (or just cable if that's all that's needed). You'll easily be able to drill through the joists with a compact drill. When you're done just glue and screw the cutouts back in place, then add your second layer. Don't fiddle around with hokey sandwich solutions.

  • 4
    Heavy emphasis on CUT THE CENTER OF THE JOIST. Notches are a disaster waiting to happen
    – Machavity
    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:46
  • 2
    Use a circular saw and set the depth of the blade to the thickness of the subfloor. Cut wherever you need to.
    – paul
    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:35
  • 2
    For guidance on drilling joists : This post is a good reference
    – J...
    Feb 21, 2018 at 12:23

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