Central and Linear Shower Drainage Grates: Which Should You Choose?

When you're renovating your bathroom, planning the shower shape, size, and layout will affect both its aesthetics and practical use. You might excitedly dream of a sleek glass shower to create a luxurious spa feel. Before you get to that though, one crucial decision you'll need to make that may not immediately grab your attention concerns the shower drainage grate. What shape should you install and where should you locate it? Should you go with a central grate that sits plumb in the middle of the enclosure? Or would a linear grate that hugs the wall line serve you better? Consider the following information to help you reach a decision.

Linear Drains

A grate firstly needs to drain water, so any design should do that efficiently. Plus, you probably want it to flatter the overall bathroom aesthetics. Linear drainage grates fulfil both these criteria. They form a long, slim rectangle along the wall at the side of the shower, offering a large drainage area. Because they don't interrupt the floor tiles, they help to create a sleek, spacious feel. Remember, though, that a conversion from a standard central drain will require more plumbing to redirect the pipes to the new area. 

Linear designs help to provide better drainage for showers covered in large floor tiles. To prevent pooling water, the floor needs to angle towards the drain. If the grates sit in the middle, the floor on all sides angles downwards towards the centre. However, creating enough slant with large floor tiles, particularly in a small shower, can prove tricky.

Central Drains

Because central drains grace many showers, they can reduce construction work during a renovation. Plumbers won't need to redirect drainage to a new spot if the pipes can stay in the same location. Aesthetically, though, central drains break up the floor tile pattern, creating a less sleek impression than a linear drain that fits to the side.  After all, the floor of a shower enclosure isn't huge, and breaking it up makes it feel even less so.

When you're inserting a middle-floor drain, try to select an oblong shape, even with a round middle part, rather than a circular drain. Contractors can more cleanly cut tiles to hug straight drain edges rather than to smoothly curve around a circular trough.

Central drains provide excellent drainage power, and you'll not have to deal with puddles of water in the shower that can cause mildew buildup and cleaning hassles. No matter what shape and placement you choose, stainless steel drainage grates won't rust and will cope well with the shower environment.