Shower drains are an essential part of any bathroom, but they can quickly become a nuisance when clogged with hair and soap scum. There are many types of shower drains available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 types of shower drains you need to know about to keep your drains free from clogs and your bathroom in top shape.
Types of Shower Drains
- Traditional Point Drain
A traditional point drain is the most common type of shower drain found in households. It is a round-shaped drain located in the center of the shower floor. This type of drain is inexpensive and easy to install. However, its size can be a disadvantage as it can clog easily and requires frequent cleaning.
- Linear Drain
A linear drain is a long, narrow drain located along one side or all sides of the shower floor. It is becoming more popular as it provides a sleek and modern look to the bathroom. Linear drains are more expensive than traditional point drains, but they are easier to clean and maintain as they have a larger surface area for water to flow through.
- Square Drain
A square drain is a more modern variation of the traditional point drain. It is square-shaped and located in the center of the shower floor. It has a larger surface area than the traditional point drain, which allows for better water flow and reduces the chance of clogs. However, square drains are more expensive than traditional point drains.
- Trip Lever Drain
A trip lever drain is a type of shower drain that is operated by a lever located outside the shower area. This type of drain is popular in hotels and other public facilities as it allows for easy cleaning without having to enter the shower area. However, it is not as commonly used in households as it is more expensive and requires professional installation.
- Slot Drain
A slot drain is a type of linear drain that is designed to be hidden under a grate or cover. It provides a seamless and stylish look to the bathroom as the drain is not visible. Slot drains are more expensive than traditional point drains and require professional installation.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type
Each type of shower drain has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Traditional point drains are inexpensive and easy to install but require frequent cleaning. Linear drains are more expensive but easier to clean and provide a modern look to the bathroom. Square drains have a larger surface area for water flow but are more expensive. Trip lever drains are easy to clean but more expensive and require professional installation. Slot drains provide a seamless look but are the most expensive and require professional installation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Drains
When it comes to designing a bathroom, shower drains are often overlooked. However, selecting the right type of shower drain is important, not just for functionality but also for aesthetics. A poorly chosen drain can cause issues such as slow draining or even clogging, and can also detract from the overall design of the space.
- Drain Size and Location
The size and location of your shower drain will depend on the size and layout of your bathroom. The size of the drain affects the rate at which water can drain from the shower, and the location of the drain determines where water will flow to. It's important to consider these factors when selecting a shower drain.
- Type of Material
Shower drains can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, brass, and plastic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the material that best suits your needs. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its durability, while brass adds an elegant touch to the bathroom. Plastic is a cost-effective option that is easy to install, but may not be as durable as other materials.
The grate-style of your shower drain can impact the overall design of your bathroom. There are a variety of styles to choose from, including linear, square, and round. Each style has its own unique look, so it's important to consider the overall design of your bathroom when selecting a grate-style.
- Drain Installation
The installation of a shower drain can be complex, so it's important to choose a drain that is easy to install. Some drains require specialized installation techniques, while others can be installed with basic plumbing knowledge. It's important to consider the installation process when selecting a shower drain, especially if you plan to install it yourself.
Maintaining a shower drain is important to ensure its longevity and functionality. Some drains require regular cleaning and maintenance, while others are self-cleaning. It's important to choose a shower drain that fits your maintenance needs and schedule.
- Water Flow Rate
The water flow rate of a shower drain is important for ensuring efficient drainage. The flow rate is determined by the size of the drain and the slope of the shower floor. It's important to choose a drain with a flow rate that can handle the amount of water your shower will produce.
The price of a shower drain can vary widely depending on the type of drain you choose. While it may be tempting to choose a less expensive drain, it's important to consider the long-term cost of the drain. Cheaper drains may need to be replaced more frequently, leading to higher costs over time.
- Building Codes and Regulations
When selecting a shower drain, it's important to consider building codes and regulations in your area. Some codes require specific types of drains or installation techniques, so it's important to research these requirements before making a selection.
- Compatibility with Shower Base
The compatibility of your shower drain with your shower base is important to ensure a proper fit and efficient drainage. Some shower bases may require a specific type of drain, so it's important to consider the compatibility of the drain with your chosen shower base.
- Brand Reputation
The reputation of the brand you choose can impact the quality and durability of your shower drain. It's important to choose a reputable brand that is known for producing high-quality, durable products.
- Environmentally-Friendly Options
If you are environmentally conscious, there are a variety of shower drain options that are eco-friendly. These drains are designed to conserve water and reduce the amount of waste produced. Some eco-friendly options include low-flow showerheads and shower drains that recycle water.
- Style and Design
The style and design of your shower drain can impact the overall look and feel of your bathroom. There are a variety of styles to choose from, including modern, traditional, and minimalist. It's important to choose a style and design that complements the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
- Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning a shower drain can be a daunting task, so it's important to choose a drain that is easy to clean. Some drains are designed with removable grates or strainers that make cleaning a breeze, while others may require more effort and time to maintain.
Durability is an important factor to consider when selecting a shower drain. A high-quality drain will last longer and require fewer repairs over time. It's important to choose a drain made from durable materials that can withstand frequent use and exposure to water.
- Additional Features
Some shower drains come with additional features that can enhance their functionality and efficiency. These features may include anti-clogging technology, water-saving mechanisms, or built-in hair strainers. It's important to consider these additional features when selecting a shower drain.
The installation process for each type of shower drain varies. Traditional point drains are the easiest to install and can be done by homeowners themselves. Linear, square, trip lever and slot drains require professional installation as they require precise measurements and cutting of the flooring. It is important to hire a licensed plumber or contractor to install these types of drains to ensure they are properly installed and functioning.
Regular maintenance is important to prevent clogs and ensure your shower drain is functioning properly. Here are some tips to keep your shower drain clean and clog-free:
- Remove hair and debris from the drain after each shower.
- Use a drain cover to prevent hair and debris from entering the drain.
- Pour hot water down the drain once a week to remove any buildup.
- Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean the drain once a month.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the drain.
Conclusion: Types of Shower Drains
Choosing the right shower drain is essential to keep your bathroom clean and free from clogs. Each type of shower drain has its own unique features and benefits, and it is important to choose a drain that is suitable for the specific needs of your bathroom. By following the maintenance tips provided, you can ensure your shower drain is functioning properly and prevent any future clogs.
What is the best type of shower drain to prevent clogs?
Linear drains are the best type of shower drain to prevent clogs as they have a larger surface area for water to flow through and are easier to clean.
Can I install a shower drain myself?
Traditional point drains are easy to install and can be done by homeowners themselves. However, linear, square, trip lever, and slot drains require professional installation.
How often should I clean my shower drain?
It is recommended to remove hair and debris from the drain after each shower, pour hot water down the drain once a week, and use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean the drain once a month.
What should I do if my shower drain is clogged?
You can try using a plunger or a drain snake to remove the clog. If that does not work, it is recommended to contact a licensed plumber or contractor.
How much does it cost to install a shower drain?
The cost of installing a shower drain varies depending on the type of drain and the complexity of the installation. Traditional point drains are the least expensive, while slot drains are the most expensive. It is recommended to get a quote from a licensed plumber or contractor before starting the installation process.