Linear drains are becoming increasingly popular in showers and bathroom renovations

different shower drain types

Also known as shower grates, trench or channel drains, linear drains differ from other drainage alternatives by lying flush with its adjoining surfaces. In residential projects, this eliminates the need for shower curbs and means the drain may be installed away from the middle or standing area of a shower, offering a range of practical and aesthetic benefits.

For example, linear drains only require a single fall (or slope) in the floor, making them easier to install than a traditional ‘dished’ shower floor.

Linear drains are also favoured because they allow for large format stone or tiles (600 x 600, 600 x 300, 900 x 900) to be used without requiring cuts to create the correct falls. Compare this to traditional centre wastes, which are suited to smaller tiles since the ‘dish’ formed to guide water flow would require large tiles to be cut diagonally to avoid steps or lipping of the tiles.

An ‘add-on’ advantage of having a single fall that drains well in simple directions, is the floor cleaning process.

“I definitely prefer linear drains and have used them on two recently completed projects,” architect Sophie Solomon said in an email interview. “We used large format floor tiles so the linear drain was the only option. For both projects, the linear drain was infilled with a matching cut tile so the floor looks quite seamless. They provide a superior finish and practical design solution in a wet area.”

“I would recommend point over linear drains when you have a low budget and cannot afford linear,” said Vasiljevich, “but I believe in the next 10 years linear drains will become standard.”

Why choose modern design linear shower rate?

Traditional floor wastes

  • Floor wastes offer a point outlet, typically located at the centre of the shower area and/or bathroom floor, doesn’t look good
  • Higher tiling cost, typically requiring careful 4-way grading of the floor
  • Usually not appropriate for level threshold applications
  • Requires traditional tiled threshold step / hob to contain water
  • Increased tile wastage due to diagonal cutting
  • Higher flooring cost due to extra time required to produce a 3D floor plan

Linear drains

  • A linear grate and channel can be located anywhere within the shower area and requires simple one way grading of the floor towards the channel.
  • Reduced tiling cost due to decreased installation time
  • Level threshold can be created for easy wheelchair/disabled access
  • Can be used to separate wet from dry areas
  • Can be used with any type of tiled shower configuration
  • Tiling is simplified with minimal cuts required and less wastage
  • Easy to use with any tile size and material

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