When designing a new shower, most people spend a lot of time considering tile colors and shapes, fixture finishes, and shower door styles. They commonly forget to consider different styles of drains. Not all shower drains are created equal. There are three basic shapes to consider, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Circular shower drains are the most common option, and some homeowners assume they are the only choice. Circular drains come in many different sizes and finishes, and they are typically placed to one side of the shower stall rather than directly in the middle. This drain shape coordinates well with traditional-style bathrooms, since the circular shape gives off a relaxing and subdued appeal, thanks to its lack of corners.
A big advantage of circular drains is that they're easy to find in most any hardware store. The disadvantage is that they are more prone to clogs than square or linear drains. The water tends to rush in a circle around the drain, causing any hair or small particles to collect in the middle of the drain. If these particles wash down the drain in a big clump, they're likely to clog your pipes.
Square drains also come in many sizes and finishes. They're a good choice for a modern bathroom, since their corners give them a geometric appeal. Many homeowners choose to integrate more than one square drain into their shower design. As long as the shower floor is pitched properly and the plumbing system is properly designed to handle the arrangement, you could put one square drain in each corner, two in the center, or even a row of them along each side.
You'll have a harder time finding square drains than circular ones, and you may have fewer options. However, this shape of drain is less prone to clogs since the water won't circle it in the same way. Having multiple square drains also reduces the occurrence of clogs since less water flows down each one.
A linear drain is a long, narrow drain that runs down one side of the shower. This is a good choice if you have a minimalist, clean-cut bathroom design since the drain tends to blend in with the shower floor and is less obvious than a square or circular drain.
Linear drains are becoming more common, so you can likely find several styles in your local hardware or home design store. Make sure you choose one with small holes, so that hair and other particles don't make their way into your pipes.
For best results, make sure you choose your preferred drain type early in the shower design process. This way, your plumber, such as Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air, and other contractors can correctly design the shower to be compatible with your preferred drain shape.