What are Linear Drains... and Why You Will Want One!
Linear drains have been at the forefront of our minds a lot recently.
Although linear drains have often been used in commercial settings, their application was previously more limited in typical home remodels.
Recently we have noticed a surprising increase in the need for them for many residential projects.
Specifically, we have seen them as popular for more modern, space saving designs and for older adults looking to transform their homes into spaces that will be functional as they age in place.
Affiliate Disclosure: You should assume the owner of this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection, to any suppliers of goods and services that may be discussed here and may be compensated for showing advertisements or recommending products or services, or linking to the supplier's website.
I had the pleasure of using a linear drain when completing our most recent Hilldale remodel.
We were dealing with a small space, and wanted to make it look and feel larger.
After considering all of our options, the linear drain was the ONLY one that would make it work.
I could instantly see the benefits of how linear drains opened up my design possibilities!
What is a linear drain?
A linear drain is a long, generally rectangular shaped drain that is installed in tiled showers.
They are meant to be flush with the top of the tile so they create one flat surface.
Linear drains have a basket that allows more water to drain quickly from a shower even though the actual drain pipe remains the same size.
Linear drains can be purchased individually, or can be purchased as part of a pre-made shower pan.
For my purposes today, I am mostly speaking to individual linear drains installed into a custom mud pan shower floor.
What are the benefits of a linear drain?
1. Flush installation means a reduction in tripping hazards and unified sloping in one direction.
Unlike typical shower drains that require the floor to slope in 4 directs toward them, a linear drain only needs the floor to slope in one direction.
This reduces unevenness of the floor and potential reduces tripping hazards.
This means a more comfortable experience for you when standing on the floor, in addition to the more appealing look!
2. Can be easier to clean.
Many linear drains have basket strainers that catch debris.
They have a larger area for water to flow into and many have stainers that can catch debris before it gets to the drain.
If they don't have them, you can add one like the stainer pictured below!
This feature helps prevent clogs and makes cleaning out the debris easier!
In addition to the drain itself, since no curb is needed that means there are less edges, corners, and grout lines to clean.
3. Allows for curbless showers and ADA compatible showers.
If you want a curbless shower then you need a linear drain!
We love this feature for smaller bathrooms where a curb would reduce the functionality of the space and actually make it feel smaller.
With linear drains, any water in the entire bathroom will flow toward the drain and away from the rest of the bathroom.
No curb also makes ADA compatible showers possible!
This is a huge selling point for those who cannot step over a curb into the shower stall or those planning ahead to live independently in their home as they age.
4. Large format tiles can be used for the shower floor.
You will not need to choose a different tile for your shower floor!
In traditional tiled showers, it is recommended the tiles not be larger than 2-3", generally mosaic tiles, to allow for the necessary sloping around the drain.
With linear drains, the floor will need to slope in only one direction so tiles 12"x24" or larger can be used for a modern design.
Larger tiles also means less grout lines to clean!
Of course, you don't HAVE to use larger tiles. You can use absolutely any size tile you want and a linear drain will work the same!
5. Linear Drains come in a variety of styles, materials, sizes, and finishes.
When considering a bathroom remodel, isn't style really the first thing that is on your mind?
I know it is for me.
Function is absolutely important, but when your are making an investment that size in your home you really want to love the end result!
The many different styles mean the drain can stand out as a feature or virtually become invisible, and anything in between!
The different sizes are useful for the different sizes of shower.
The lengths can be placed along either the longer or shorter wall of the shower.
The style of grate and the finishes can be adjusted to match your other plumbing fixtures.
It is also possible to install the tile directly into the metal cover for a seamless design that blends with the rest of the floor.
In short, if you're planning a bathroom remodel and
looking for an updated, modern style,
that is easy to clean and maintain,
and useable by people with all different needs,
a linear drain may be exactly what you need!
Are you planning a bathroom remodel and considering a linear drain
or do you have a shower with a linear drain?
We would love to hear what you think!