Article
Floor boxes are a great way to bring power and communications/data connections away from the walls and into the middle of a room. This could be to provide AV access for a presenter at a podium or needed kilowatts to a convention center floor.

Put a Lid on It: Finding the Right Floor Box Cover

Chuck Ross
Floor boxes are a great way to bring power and communications/data connections away from the walls and into the middle of a room. This could be to provide AV access for a presenter at a podium or needed kilowatts to a convention center floor. While a few uses – like helping to distribute wiring to office cubicles – might not require a cover for the box, most applications will incorporate some sort of protection for the electrical and data connections inside the box. There are a number of choices to make when selecting these covers, so it can pay to think through all the options.

Material matters   
First off, there’s the decision of whether to go with a metallic cover or one fabricated from PVC or another plastic material. Brass and nickel-plated covers can provide sturdy protection in trafficked areas, while non-metallic options can offer a greater ability to match surrounding floor and carpet colors.

Accessibility
Pop-up and trapdoor-style outlets within floor boxes spring open or flip up easily to raise the receptacle above the level of the floor for easier access. A problem to consider, however, is the chance a user might not push the outlets back down into the box when they’re done with it. This could make for some significant tripping risks.

Cover operation
Manual covers generally come as either flip-tops or threaded plugs. With flip-tops, there’s always the chance the cover could be left up after use, which could pose a tripping hazard. The threaded plugs create a clean look when they’re screwed into place – but you also have to take care not to misplace the plug over time.
Photo courtesy of Arlington Industries
Voltec Power & Lighting
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