Choosing the right drain for your shower – by Sherry Holmes

By Sherry Holmes

Mike’s Advice / On The Job

Friday, June 8th, 2018 @ 6:29am

A trend I’m seeing in bathroom renovations lately is for homeowners to replace their tubs with tiled, stand-up showers. I am just finishing up a job right now where we took out the tub and replaced it with a shower. The possibilities and selections are endless when it comes to renovating or building a new bathroom, everything from tile, colours, fixtures, design, layout, lighting, and other special features.

One of the most important features in a shower is the floor drain. Over my 10+ years working on my dad’s crew, I’ve met a lot of homeowners who didn’t even know they HAD options when it came to their drains. Choosing a drain for your shower is not the first thing that comes to mind when planning a bathroom renovation, but they are an important part of your shower.

Two of the most common drains are point and linear. Once you figure out the design of your shower and what tile you will use, that will dictate the type of drain that is best suited for your new shower.

Point Drains vs. Linear Drains

Point drains are often known as grate drains. They are usually circular or square shape and are often installed in the center of the shower stall. When installing a point drain, the floor of the shower must be sloped from all directions, to lead the water towards the point drain. You would typically use a smaller format of tile, like a mosaic, that can form to the slope. If you’ve watched any of our shows, you’ve probably seen us use the Schluter®-KERDI-DRAIN, which is ideal because it was designed for tile showers. This drain has a bonding flange that allows the waterproofing membrane to be sealed right to the top of the drain so there is no way for moisture to escape. The grate on this drain can be easily adjusted for different tile thicknesses, so it’s great to work with.

Linear shower drains are long, narrow, rectangular grates that can capture a large amount of water and direct it to a single exit point. They are commonly installed adjacent to walls within the shower or at the shower entrance and often deliver the most efficient removal of water. Linear drains are great if you’re looking for a sleek, curbless shower entry or are planning to use large tile with narrow grout lines. Unlike traditional point drains, when it comes to installing a linear drain, the floor of the shower can be sloped on a single plane, allowing for the large-format tiles to be carried from the bathroom floor right into the shower to create a totally seamless look.

When installing a curbless shower on site, I often use Schluter®-KERDI-LINE low profile linear drain. It’s ideal for barrier-free or curbless areas and can be installed not only in showers but they also work great in wet rooms and other spaces that require waterproofing and drainage. What I love is that it has a collar of the waterproofing membrane integrated right on the channel body, so sealing the drain to the shower floor is a breeze.

Choosing a Drain to Match Your Style

There are so many grate designs to choose from now, be sure to check out all of your options when deciding on the right drain for your shower. Schluter®-Systems recently launched a new line of grate designs that is available for both the standard 4” square point drains and for linear drains in lengths from 20” to 48.”

The three grate styles were designed to touch upon different bathroom styles while keeping the latest tile trends in mind. Each style has been named according to its design – Pure, Floral, and Curve. I took photos with the grate styles at the International Builder’s Show in Orlando this year. Whether you want something with a delicate feel, a little extra flare, or prefer elegant clean lines, there’s something for everyone.

I recently had the opportunity to install new grates with both the point drain and linear drain, in two bathroom renovations and I have to say, the grates not only provide a great look for the shower but they also offer a nice, smooth finish that blends in with the floor tile.

What I love about these new drain grates is that not only are the designs made for both linear and point drains, but they are also made of solid stainless steel with a brushed finish, and are smooth and seamless, making it a breeze to clean – all it takes is soap and water. They are really easy to maintain because they don’t have any surface screws like with most traditional shower grates. And best of all – when you use Schluter® Systems products in conjunction with one another, you are creating a water-tight bathroom that is protected from mould and mildew, which can increase the life expectancy of your bathroom.


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