Floor Sink vs. Floor Drain: What’s the Difference? (Let’s Compare!)

When choosing a floor drainage system for your home or business, there are two options: floor sinks and floor drains. While both are designed to provide effective drainage, each has unique advantages and drawbacks that could make one more suitable depending on your needs.

This blog post will look at both systems and compare their features. We’ll also guide how to choose the right floor drainage system for your particular needs. Let’s get started!

At a Glance

Floor sinks and drains are designed to help direct water away from the structure of a building. However, they have several key differences that make them suitable for different applications.

Floor Sink

A floor sink is an open channel or receptacle in a concrete slab with no moving parts.

It has a shallow lip that allows it to catch and contain liquids, preventing them from spilling out onto the floor.

Floor sinks are typically used to direct water from a building or collect water for reuse.

Floor Drain

Floor drain.

A floor drain is also an open channel in concrete, but it does have moving parts.

It has a strainer at the top that collects debris and a trap below the strainer that prevents sewage gases from entering the building.

Floor drains are typically used to carry wastewater away from a structure, such as in showers and laundry rooms.

Types of Floor Sinks and Floor Drains

Floor sinks come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. They can be round or rectangular and have flat or sloped bottoms for better water flow. Some floor sinks also feature grates to catch debris.

Many floor drains are available, including no-hub, hub, and PVC.

The most common type is the no-hub floor drain, which has a trap below it to prevent sewage gases from entering the building.

Hub drains have separate components that must be connected and require more installation time than no-hub drains.

PVC floor drains are usually used in exterior applications such as patios or pools.

Features and Benefits of Each

When choosing the right floor drainage system for your needs, there are several factors to consider.


Floor sinks are generally easier to install than floor drains since they don’t require separate components or plumbing connections.


Floor drains generally cost more than floor sinks due to the complexity of their installation.

Cost of Maintenance

Both floor sinks and drains require regular maintenance, but floor drains require more frequent maintenance because of their moving parts.

Size and Capacity

Floor sinks are usually shallower than floor drains and can have a lower water capacity.

Debris Collection

Floor sinks don’t usually have grates or strainers to catch debris, while floor drains do.

How to Decide What’s Best For You

When deciding which floor drainage system is best for your needs, it’s essential to consider the size, cost, and ease of installation.

A floor sink might be the right choice if you don’t need a large capacity or have limited space in your home or business.

On the other hand, a floor drain might be the better option if you need to collect large amounts of water or need a system that’s more resistant to clogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a floor gully and a floor drain? 

A floor gully is a shallow open channel or receptacle that collects and contains liquids before they spill onto the floor.

A floor drain is an open channel with moving parts, such as a strainer to collect debris and a trap to prevent sewage gases from entering the building.

Can I drain a sink into a floor drain? 

Yes, you can drain a sink into a floor drain. However, checking the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so is essential, as some drains may require special connections.

Do floor sinks need to be flush with the floor? 

No, floor sinks do not need to be flush with the floor. Depending on your needs, they can be slightly higher or lower than the floor’s surface.

What is a sink on the floor called? 

A sink on the floor is called a floor sink. It is an open channel or receptacle installed in concrete or other solid surfaces to collect and contain liquids before they spill onto the floor.

Final Thoughts

Floor sinks and drains are effective solutions for containing liquids or carrying wastewater away from a building.

Floor sinks are typically easier to install and cost less than floor drains. Still, they don’t usually include grates or strainers to catch debris.

Due to their moving parts, floor drains require more complex installation and regular maintenance. However, they can have larger water capacities and include grates or strainers to catch debris.

Ultimately, deciding between the two is to consider factors such as installation cost, maintenance costs, water capacity, and debris collection.

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