When you're putting electrical into many spaces, you have a lot of choices to make. One of those is the question of floor box vs. wall outlet. In many ways, this, along with voltage, is the choice that has the biggest practical ramifications on day-to-day usage. Many people think of the question of whether to use floor boxes as a purely aesthetic choice, and many others have misconceptions about floor boxes. In reality, both styles of outlet can work well in different circumstances, and it's important to know which one is going to serve you best. So let's take a look at the real differences in the floor box vs. wall outlet debate.
To understand whether to choose a floor box vs. a wall outlet, it's helpful to look at some common misconceptions about floor boxes. Many people think that floor boxes are more expensive to install. Strictly speaking, this is not true; the cost of putting in one fixture or the other is generally the same. However, it is true that floor boxes will sometimes require more wiring and thus drive up costs a little. For example, in most buildings, there are already going to be electrical wires running through the walls, and adding outlets does not require adding extra wire. Running wire through the floor will often require extra wire. Also, since many floors are not designed to have wiring running through them, it would require drilling through the joists. This makes floor boxes most cost-effective on a ground floor where the wiring can be accessed and installed from the basement level.
Once installed, floor boxes can make a space significantly more practical. This is because you no longer have to stretch cords to outlets across the room. Instead, it's possible to plug in nearby in the middle of the room. This also gives more flexibility in where you place furniture or fixtures since you don't have to worry about blocking the wall outlets
and cords can usually run underneath furniture easily. In the floor box vs. wall outlet debate, this means floor boxes often win out in larger rooms where or open layout floor plans.
Aesthetically, a floor box can give a more industrial-looking space. Floor boxes are always installed flush with the floor and can easily be covered with a rug if desired. On the other hand, wall outlets tend to come in more available styles.
So which one is better? It's usually a personal choice. If you want easy to access power outlets on the ground floor or in a wide-open space, floor boxes are more practical; otherwise, wall outlets work great. Do you have a preference for floor box vs. wall outlet?