Safe to run dryer vent underneath hardwood floor?


Hi there, our dryer is located in the basement and has been vented into the garage. Now we are remodeling the garage into a playroom and thinking about extending the dry vent to cross the garage and vent it through the outside wall on the other side of the garage. Our garage's cement floor is lower than the rest of the house but our new hardwood floor will be the same level, so there about 10 inch space in between the old cement garage floor and the new playroom hardwood floor. There will also be insulation materials in this space.

My question is: is it safe to to run the dryer vent through the space between the old cement floor and the new hardwood floor, with the vent being surrounded by insulation materials? Would this make it hard/impossible to clean the dryer vent? Would the insulation materials around the vent cause overheating and become a fire hazard?

Thanks in advance for your inputs!


  14 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 29, 2020

    Hello Dai

    Here is some info that may help you with re-routing your dryer vent. I would not think it would be safe to run the vent where insulation materials are because if there was a fire, it would burn very quickly. Also, I am not sure how you would be able to clean the dryer ducts each year and that needs to be done to prevent fires. There are options where you can run it so it vents to the outside of your basement. We have our dryer in our hallway and it vents to the basement and then outside.

    I think it would be wise to get a free estimate for someone to look at your situation and then advise what is the safest way to re-route this vent. It may be something you can do yourself but at least you would know the safety of the correct way to do this.

  • I know when we installed our dryer there were codes set by the town as to how things had to be vented. You may want to check that out first. Good luck!

  • Seth Seth on Aug 29, 2020


    You generally want your dryer vent duct to be as short as possible to the outside and accessible for cleaning and repair. This link may help.

  • William William on Aug 29, 2020

    If you use a solid pipe for the vent it would not be a problem. Doesn't get that hot. Only problem I see is settling of the lint within the pipe and the long distance you describe. That can become a fire hazard. The vent pipe should be the shortest run as possible and as close to the dryer you can get.

  • Sounds like a wonderful project! Dryer duct venting can be tricky. Run should be as short as possible and MUST MEET OR EXCEED local building codes. Typically the permit and building code department has offices in city hall. Give them a call or pop over for a quick visit before starting so you do it correctly on the first to. If you go to sell your home at a later date and the inspector says it is not to code, you will be responsible for correcting the issue before the sale can go through. That could potentially mean a significant cash outlay and inconvenience and no one wants that.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Aug 29, 2020

    Although building codes in most states allow duct to be run through enclosed areas it might not be a good idea. If you ever need to replace it you’d have to pull up the flooring. Running it across the garage might make it too long to be cleaned.

  • I would consult a professional for this who can come and take a look. I'm not sure if anyone here can give you the right answer.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 29, 2020

    Definitely contact an electrical contractor, you need to follow your city's building codes

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 29, 2020

    I would for sure talk to proffesional about that

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 30, 2020

    Hello there,

    Maybe ask your Building Control Officer at you local Office for their advice. Hope that helps!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 30, 2020

    I think the insulation and hardwood factors are fine. However, the longer it is the more difficult to clean. It’s one of the biggest fire hazards as I understand it b

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Aug 30, 2020

    I don’t think that sounds to safe it might cause a hazard you might need to talk to a professional.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Aug 31, 2020

    The IRC Building Code (US International Residential Code), typically is locally interpreted as 2-90 degree elbows, maximum and 14’ lineal feet of ductwork, total max.

    You can buy an in-line 4” Dia. UL Listed 120v booster fan, to be put in where you can put in a Y for lint clean out. Mine was under $10.

    It needs to be about 10’ away from the dryer.

  • You should check with your local building department. It seems sketchy that it'd be vented into your garage in the first place, it should be vented outdoors. You should consider re-routing it entirely for safety reasons.