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8 Different Types of Shower Floor Drains

Different types of shower floor drains.

There are only two types of shower drains, linear and point drains. However, you’ll find five different sub-types of these drains: one, three and multi-piece drains (Point), along with tileable drain grates and decorative(Linear). Grates come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we can install them in a variety of ways.

It may seem like a slight issue, but the type of shower drain you choose can have a big impact on the finished look of your bathroom or rental property.

If you’re thinking of redesigning your bathroom, here are some pointers gleaned from working on countless showers and consulting with other professionals.

Types of Bathroom Drains

Drains for a shower’s center are available in three different configurations: one-piece, multi-piece, and three-piece. Linear drains that go up the side of the shower wall are called “hidden and attractive shower drains.” Even though the most frequent and least priced option is the point drain, linear drains are better suited for use in curbless showers.

1. Point Drains

A bathroom with small tiles and plastic drain.

The most frequent type of drain in a shower is a point drain. It is commonplace for them to be positioned in the center of shower floors, with the floor sloping down to the drain in all directions. The shower floor acts as a gently sloping funnel, funneling all of the water into the drain below the floor. 

A square drain grate is preferable to a round one, so keep that in mind when shopping. Using a square drain will make your shower floor look better, and the installer won’t have to make round cuts on the square tile.

Pros and Cons of Point Drains

A drawback of point drainage is that you can’t always use large tiles to install a point drain. Point drains are inexpensive, simple to set up, and readily available. Point drains may appear small, yet they are rarely unable to drain all of the water.

As a result, point drains are easier to set up than linear drains. If you want to give your shower a unique look, you can buy ornamental drain covers for point drains.

Point Drain Types

2. One-Piece

Easy to install and maintain, one-piece shower drains are a great choice for the home. If your shower was built on top of a concrete slab, you most likely have a one-piece shower drain. The simplest to install are the one-piece shower drains, which fit directly over the drainpipe.

One-piece shower drains may look basic, but they are useful and sufficiently stop clogs and leakage from occurring. Concrete can endure water, therefore one-piece shower drains are ideal for concrete bases.

One-piece shower drains can be found for a reasonable price. Because all you need to connect a one-piece shower drain is a screwdriver, there are no installation expenses.

3. Three-Piece

Leaks and costly repairs can be avoided by using three-piece drains, which are quite effective. Three-piece shower drains are ideal for homeowners with wood floors beneath their showers. If you have a wooden floor, you’ll need a shower pan, and that’s where three-piece drains step in.

An ideal shower drain is a three-piece unit that keeps water from leaking out the bottom. Mold and mildew can cause serious health issues if they are allowed to grow in showers built over wood. Installing a three-piece shower drain is more difficult than installing a one-piece drain, thus it’s best left to a professional.

4. Multi-piece

The most advanced and difficult point drains are multipiece shower drains. If you have a one-piece shower stall, you will require a multipiece shower drain. There is just one portion of a multipiece shower drain that doesn’t connect to a drainpipe: the top.

Drains with several pieces screw together in the same manner as single-piece drains and require two to four screws to secure the top plate in place. In multipiece shower drains, the rubber seals are strong enough to handle heavy water pressure. Installing a multi-piece shower drain is a hassle, but it works with even the simplest showers.

5. Linear Drains

ZOIC Linear Stealth Tile Insert Floor Grate Bathroom Shower Waste Drain 304 Stainless Steel Side Outlet 35.43 Inches (900MM)

Linear drains, as the name implies, are long and narrow, as their name suggests. In recent years, these drains have become increasingly fashionable, adding a dash of elegance to the shower. The majority of the time, however, they are installed along one of the shower walls rather than in the middle of the floor. 

Due to the construction and position of the linear drains, the entire shower floor slopes gently and uniformly in the direction of the drain. There will be no more funnels. Linear drains are available in a variety of lengths, up to 72″.

You need to realize that both drains are equally effective at removing the water. You can use either one as long as your shower doesn’t have an abnormally high volume of water in it. A linear drain will almost always be more expensive than a point drain.

Different Types of Linear Drains

DYRECELVE 36 Inch Linear Shower Drain Black, with Removable Quadrato Pattern Grate, Leveling Feet, Hair Strainer, Professional 304 Stainless Steel Rectangle Floor Drain Manufacturer, Watermark&CUPC

Showers using traditional waterproofing methods can benefit from one of two types of linear drain systems: site-sizable linear drains or fixed-length linear drains.

Customized or Site-sizeable Linear Drainage Systems

A conventional shower pan liner and a clamping floor drain can be used to connect a site-sizeable linear drain to the waste line.

Fixed-length Linear Drain System

We can use a clamping floor drain or a conventional waterproofing floor drain with a fixed-length linear drain system.

This is a fixed-size, fixed-outlet linear drain system, therefore there’s no flexibility on-site. If you’re creating a custom-built home or renovating an expensive mansion, this can be a problem.

Fixed-length systems, on the other hand, might be an excellent choice for new construction, big multifamily or tourism projects, or any situation where speed of installation is critical. Offset or centrally-placed outlets are available, depending on the manufacturer.

Linear Drainage Design

6. Decorated Drains for Showers

A shower drain with nice design.

Drains for decorative showers exist solely for the sake of aesthetics. A decorative drain cover distinguishes them from the usual 1-3 piece shower drains. If there is already a drain in the shower, homeowners won’t spend a lot on decorative drain covers.

The price of embossed decorative shower drains can get more expensive, but you can personalize them to fit your bathroom. Decorative shower drains don’t take away from the practicality of the design; rather, they enhance it with their eye-catching appeal.

The point drain category includes decorative shower drains, which are simple to install. Cleaning a beautiful shower drain is a cinch because it can be simply removed.

7. Hidden Shower Drains

SaniteModar 36-inch Linear Shower Drain Comes with Tiled Stealth and 304 Stainless Steel Brushed Polished 2 and 1 Panels.Tile Insert Shower Drain is Equipped Adjustable Feet,Hair Filters

There are several types of hidden shower drains, which are linear drains that merge into the floor. Choosing a hidden shower drain is usually necessary when building or remodeling a bathroom. There is a wide range of options for concealed shower drains, and they can be used with both tiny and big tiles.

Hidden shower drains aren’t just seen in curbless showers; they can be found in any bathroom. To match your tiling, there are disguised shower drains in the point-drain design.

8. Drain Grate That’s Tileable

USHOWER 24-Inch Tile Insert Grate Linear Shower Drain, 2-in-1 Brushed Nickel Shower Floor Drain, 304 Stainless Steel

It’s not exactly a shower drain, but tileable drain grates are compatible with most point drains. If you have a shower liner, you can use a tileable drain grate. As far as styles go, you can choose one that suits you.

As a result, the speed at which water flows down your drain can be affected by tileable drain grates. You only need to worry about this when the drain in your shower or the drainpipe is clogged. Drain grates that can be tiled are a terrific method to keep small objects out of your shower drain.

Tileable drain grating compatibility with the one-piece or multiple-piece shower drain should be checked before installation.

The Drain’s Design and Finish

Invisible Drain or Decor Drain

Whatever type of drain we choose, the ultimate step is to decide on a grate style and finish. As the drain is visible, you want it to match your bathroom’s decor. To keep everything in the bathroom looking cohesive, I suggest going with a finish that complements the rest of the room’s fixtures. 

To complete the aesthetic, your grate should be chrome to match your faucets and showerhead. Style is a matter of personal preference. While there are numerous choices, Schluter’s newest additions stand out for their ability to offer some personality to the shower floor while also standing out from more typical grates.

A tileable grate is a great option for a modern look. A tile that matches the shower floor’s surface is bonded to the top of a solid surface, and water drains simply along its edges. The grate region is virtually undetectable because it merges in with the rest of the shower floor.

Linear Drain Pros and Cons

A linear design with tile mosaic.

With regards to both utility and aesthetics, a linear shower drain has a lot to offer.

Traditional circular and square shower drains are replaced by linear drains with rectangular shapes. You have the option of placing it flat against the wall or along the shower’s edge. If you want to ensure proper water flows out of the shower, you’ll need a sloped floor.

Drain placement is dependent on the location of the waste line, which may or may not is predetermined in your project. In some cases, it may be possible to move the waste line based on the site conditions of your project.

A linear drain has an advantage over a central drain in that it is installed differently. The standard center drain arrangement requires the floor to slope in four directions to drain water. This means that you have more freedom in designing your shower because the floor must only be pitched in one way.

A Linear Shower Drain Has Many Advantages

A Linear Shower Drain in a shower cubicle.

As a result of their positioning and the 4-sided pitch, the type of tile we can utilize in the shower pan faces limitations when we have circular shower drains. As a result, you’re limited to using tiles that are no larger than 2″ by 2″ in the pan.

If you have a linear shower drain, there is no limit to the size of your tiles. This gives you a wide range of possibilities when it comes to designing your project. Large-format tiles that we can use in showers with linear drains since they tend to slope toward the wall.

For this reason, a linear shower drain is more than just a practical component in your design; it also provides visual appeal. Linear drains are commonly hidden behind a wall, making them virtually invisible. In showers without a threshold or a curb, linear shower drains are ideal.

There is no ledge in a curbless shower to keep water from dripping out. The maximum surface area is covered by a linear shower drain, resulting in better water drainage.

Large or Small Tiles for your Linear or Point Drain

The ability to utilize larger shower floor tiles is the most notable benefit of installing a linear drain. Tiles of any size can be laid on this floor because it slopes uniformly in one direction. It’s acceptable to use small tiles if you choose, but larger tiles are also an option. 

Since we can use the same tiles in the remainder of the bathroom, many homeowners choose this option. The style is more unified and can help make smaller areas appear larger from a design perspective.

Shower floors must utilize smaller tiles due to the funnel needed for a point drain. We typically discourage using anything larger than 4″ by 4″ tiles when it’s a point drain. It’s impossible to install huge flat tiles across a floor with more than one slope because the tiles must sit flat on the floor. 

A point drain is an excellent option for people who want to make the shower floor stand out from the rest of the bathroom by using smaller tiles.

Styles and Finishes of Shower Drains

A man installing a hidden drain with tile design.

The grate’s style and finish are the final considerations when deciding whether to use a point drain or a linear drain. When it comes to the drain, the grate at the bottom of the shower is a key design element to consider. To keep the space cohesive, it’s best to match the vanity’s finish to the rest of the bathroom.

To put it another way, if you have a chrome showerhead and faucet, you should go with a chrome-grate drain to complete the design. On another note, style is a matter of personal preference. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something with a little more personality, there are plenty of alternatives.

Tileable grate shower drains are a stylish and innovative choice for shower drains. The drain grate is covered with the same tile as the shower floor, thanks to these grates. In your shower, water drains out of the bottom around the tiled grate’s borders, where it is practically undetectable.