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5 Basic Requirements for a Commercial Kitchen Floor Drain

In the United States, commercial kitchen floor drains are expected to be designed so that any liquids present on the floor are quickly and safely removed. This can be achieved with a floor gradient to the drainage point in the order of 1–1.5%.

Floor drain capacity is also expected to be adequate for the intended application. In a commercial kitchen, overall drain capacity can be affected by a combination of factors including hydraulic head, outlet size, grating design, filter basket or sieve design and any foul air trap provision.

Generally you are advised to specify more capacity than is required to accommodate any debris build up between cleaning cycles, and in the longer term, changes in the scale of the operation or use of the area. Note that the surface of all gullies and channels should have the same slip resistance as the adjacent floor.

The surface is also expected to be designed so that larger quantities of fluid can be discharged smoothly and splashing of the fluid is substantially prevented. When choosing grates or covers for a commercial kitchen floor, it is always advisable to consider the cleaning conditions of the environment together with chemical use.

What is the Function of a Kitchen Drain?

One of the major functions of a drain is the interception of fluids produced in kitchen operational or cleaning processes. Note that the property of interception can be related to the efficiency of surface fluid removal: products with high interception remove fluids over a wide area quickly.

However, the type of drainage selected – gully or channel, tend depend on the nature of the kitchen’s operation and its requirements. Some channels simplify floor gradients and offer better interception than gullies.

One good example of the interception benefits of even small channel lengths is given by considering the use of a floor wipe blade – it is far easier to move cleaning liquids to a 1m channel than a single gully. Typically, drains should be positioned near the source with space allowing access for cleaning and maintenance.

Another function of a good drain in a Commercial Kitchen is conveyance. Conveyance relates to the physical movement of fluid, it may take place in a sealed system such as a pipe, or in an open system such as a Box Channel. Conveyance in a channel is also attributed to gradient – channels with built-in-fall increase conveyance rate. Conveyance of Fluids across the floor normally should be entirely avoided.

Immediately surface and equipment based liquids are intercepted and conveyed to a gully outlet, it is imperative to manage the wastewater proactively to prevent problem occurrence in the facility and in the receiving external drainage system.

In the commercial kitchen, the focus may be on only the local drain infrastructure, however, drainage should be considered from a ‘system’ perspective in that moving a problem down the line ultimately creates the potential for feedback.

Reduced capacity in sewers is now a recognised problem due to few contamination, coupled with increased rainfall intensities, sewer backflow is becoming a major issue, especially where the facility is prone due to location. Proactive drainage management helps control problems at kitchen, building, local and Regional level. The net effect is more sustainable drainage – a credible aim for all.

5 Basic Requirements for a Commercial Kitchen Floor Drain

There are several codes and standards that determine the design of any project. Same is the case with kitchen designing; factors like local building code, plumbing code, local sewer department and others have to be extensively considered as well as whether the kitchen is a part of school, hospital or office have to be seen also.

When installing a new floor drain or replacing an existing one, it is pertinent to ensure the design and drains meet the following requirements:

1. High Durability

Note that commercial kitchens floors and drain are always exposed to salts, alkaline compounds, and ingredients that contain acids that can eat away at flooring. Also note that some food processing chemicals, harsh cleaners, and disinfectants contain industrial solvents.

These drains also take physical punishment from heavily loaded, steel-wheeled carts, foot traffic and more. Nonetheless, these drains and the floors are expected to be capable of surviving some of the most extreme conditions.

2. Thermal Shock-Resistant

Also note that commercial kitchen floor drains are often subjected to extreme temperature ranges from ovens, freezers, and other appliances, as well as during cleaning. It is imperative to find a floor drain design that can withstand these changes and won’t delaminate under the stress.

3. Sanitary

Anywhere food is prepared and/or manufactured in the United States; cleanliness is expected to be a top priority. Commercial kitchen floors and the floor drains are also expected to be easy to clean. It simply means finding materials that can stand up to strong cleaners that might be acidic or alkaline.

It is also necessary to use a design that doesn’t have seams or joints that could harbour bacteria. The FDA, for instance, mandates food establishments to have floor and wall junctures that are covered.

4. Clog and Slip Resistant

It is quite very common for oils, grease, and other potentially slippery substances to end up on commercial kitchen floors and into the drains. To prevent employee falls and injuries or the drains from clogging, it is pertinent to find flooring and floor drainage options that are textured and slip-resistant.

However, the appropriate degree of textures will be determined by the kitchen operating conditions, as well as cleaning and maintenance practices.

5. Quick Installation

Have it in mind that it is not practical to close commercial kitchens for long periods of time for renovations. Everything concerning kitchen floors should be installed quickly and easily. If a commercial kitchen has quarry tile, it is possible to install coatings over the existing surface.


Kitchen is an integral part of any building, be it commercial or residential. Here you prepare meals for the entire day. Although information concerning commercial kitchen floor drains are rarely available, it is a very important to pay adequate attention to them when designing your kitchen. It is advisable you seek the expertise of a good plumber.

The plumber will provide plans that include drainage and water connections for refrigeration purposes and also systems like beverage conduit for routing hoses from soft drink dispensing systems, steam connections, fire protection systems and natural gas connections. Without an expert plumbing guide, a kitchen cannot function positively.