Recently updated on April 14th, 2022
I believe you are here to read about the linear shower drain pros and cons because you want to make an informed purchase decision.
Linear shower drains offer a lot of benefits but they also present a few problems.
However, their benefits outweigh the cons as we shall see in this article.
Linear shower drain pros and cons
To clearly understand the pros and cons of linear shower drains, we will compare them with the conventional center drains.
So let’s start with the pros.
Pros or advantages of linear shower drain vs center drain
1. Perfect for curbless showers
One of the major benefits of linear drains is that they allow you to have a curbless shower.
Curbless showers are seamless since they don’t have a threshold, which makes the bathroom appear larger.
Linear drains are long and allow a lot of water to drain quickly, which prevents flooding and leaking out of the shower.
While you can still have a curbless shower with a center drain, water leaking out of the shower tends to be a common problem.
This is attributed to the fact that center drains do not accommodate a lot of water at a go. So as you take a shower, water flows slowly into the drain, which might cause flooding and leaking.
The solution, in this case, is to put a threshold or water dam. You don’t need to do this when you have a linear drain.
See also: How to prevent water leaking out of the shower
2. Enhance safety (easy access to shower)
Linear drains enhance safety in that they allow easy movement in and out of the shower.
They also have a gentle slope so they are ideal for people with balance issues like the elderly.
In addition, you don’t need to install a threshold to contain water inside the shower as in the case with the center drains. This makes it convenient for people with mobility challenges to easily get in and out even when in a wheelchair.
However, it is important to make sure that the gradient is designed in a way that meets the ADA standards.
3. Easy to clean and maintain
Linear drains are very easy to clean and maintain in that they come with a strainer that traps hair and other debris.
This helps to prevent clogging and makes cleaning quite easy. All you need for cleaning is water, soap or detergent and a soft brush or sponge.
Before you start cleaning, remove the hair strainer to empty the debris and clean it.
See the video below for a detailed step-by-step linear shower drain cleaning guide.
4. Aesthetically pleasing
There is no doubt that linear drains are not just about functionality but also aesthetics.
When installed correctly, they make a bathroom look elegant, classy, and luxurious.
They allow the use of any size of tiles on the floor, which slope evenly towards the same direction. You can use either smaller or larger tiles depending on the design you want to have.
For the center drains, you have to get the correct size and shape to conform to the shape of the drain pan. Smaller tiles look better and are easier to install on center drains than larger ones.
5. Flexible and Versatile
Linear drains are very flexible when it comes to location.
They can be installed at any location in the shower like at the corners, center, entrance, or against the back wall.
The location you choose will depend on the look you want to achieve. Most people however prefer against the back wall so that the water flows to the back as they shower.
In regards to versatility, linear drains are multipurpose. They can be installed not only in the bathroom but also in the garage, kitchen, and basement.
With a linear drain, you are able to use modern waterproofing techniques around the drain.
For instance, you can tile directly on the waterproofing membrane rather than putting a secondary mortar layer as in the case with traditional waterproofing.
Modern waterproofing methods are of course more effective than the traditional ones and will spare you from problems associated with drain leakage.
Linear shower drains also drain water quite rapidly which means less moisture to mess with the bathroom walls. This also helps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the shower.
See also: Best modern shower drains
Cons of linear shower drains
The beauty of the linear shower drains comes at a cost. Their price is a bit on the higher side compared to the center drains.
You can actually get a decent center-round drain at a fraction of the cost of the linear drain.
We are not disregarding the fact that you can get cheaper linear drains but the quality might not be what you want.
So if you are cost-conscious, you might have to pick the center drain over the linear one. However, this will mean forgetting about having a bathroom that looks more modern and aesthetically pleasing.
Center drains are easy to install. Since they have been in existence for a long time, plumbers have adequate installation experience.
Linear drains on the other hand may need to be installed by a professional. If you are a DIY person, you can try the installation process but the chances of running into problems are high.
The installation of these types of drains needs a certain degree of precision. Thus, they have to be installed right so as to maximize water drainage and enhance the appearance of the bathroom.
In this article, we have talked about the linear shower drain pros and cons.
Linear shower drains are not a new invention. They have always been used in commercial bathrooms and road pavements.
In the recent past, linear drains have gained popularity in home use due to the unique style and customization they bring to a bathroom.
But despite the numerous benefits, they also present a few drawbacks like they are a bit expensive and installation requires a plumber with experience installing such drains.