Conrete floor with a floor drain

We want to put waterproof vinyl snap-together vinyl plank flooring in a new bathroom with a bare concrete floor. (We don't want to use adhesive.) My question is how do I install it around the floor drain? I wrote the manufacturer of the brand that Lowe's sells and never got a reply.

2 Answers 2


I think you need to replace the floor drain with a vinyl shower/floor drain that has an adequate thickness to intercept the floor tile.

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  • Replacing the floor drain is a great option so the tile has a edge to finish to. The floor still needs to be flat for a floating install.
    – Jack
    Dec 18, 2021 at 19:08

If the floor drain has a slight recess to allow the water to run towards it, that is too much deflection in the floor for the laminate to go over. It has to be a flat surface. The floor manufacturer, in the install instructions should have listed in it how much deflection is allowed. For example 3/16" over an 8 ft area. Using a straight edge, 8' long placed on the floor and check the low or high spots. If they are over the recommended dimension, it needs to be corrected, or the joints will fail.

That being said, If you must keep the floor drain, you really need to glue it down to keep the drain well centered in the cut of the floor, AND seal around the perimeter of the cut to the drain. This may not get all the water to get directed to the drain and not go under the floor, but it will do better than it not being there at all.

In my opinion, I would assess how bad the drain is really needed since 95% of bathrooms do not have floor drains. Pop the drain grate, fill it with grout, flush it all out, and go over it. The only concern I would have otherwise is if the floor drain has a primer to keep water in the J bend so sewer gases to not come up through the drain should it dry out from no water going down it regularly. If it has one it can be disconnected.

  • I measured the floor and it's flat until it gets within about 12" of the drain and then it drops. Looks like we'll have to step back and reassess.
    – Duston
    Dec 19, 2021 at 16:14
  • If you must have a drain, the recess helps a bit. The old could be chiseled out, that has its own issues trying to salvage the pipe to reconnect a new drain like mentioned in another answer. The new drain could be set so the floor is flat and the drain ring is set so the flooring can finish to it. Of course this leaves a flat floor, then how well will the drain work?
    – Jack
    Dec 19, 2021 at 17:08

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