Let's Talk Shower Drains

Let’s be honest, it’s not the most glamorous topic. But it’s often one of the most overlooked details in a bathroom design. Show of hands - who still has the 1980’s center circular drain??? Us too! It’s time to reclaim your drain, people! Let’s get to it!

One of the sleekest ways to upgrade your shower is to install either a linear or hidden drain. What does this mean? Well, essentially you’re allowing the focus of the design to be on the tile and shower itself, and not draw your eye directly to an ugly drain in the center of the space. Not to mention what is does for the space aesthetically. Check out this sad shower space below, UGLY! I can say that because it’s mine, shhh, and in desperate need of a gut job.


Removing the “curb” and step up greatly eases the navigation of tight spaces and visually expands the space. Check out our shower renovation below (photo on left), the shower space is quite small but feels oh so much more expansive, without the awkward “step up.”

A hidden drain is quite simply spectacular (design nerds talking here!). Waterworks has a beautiful “tile-in” shower drain that allows the contractor to install tile within so that it seems to “disappear” within the shower.

Universal Tile-in Shower Drain 6" x 6" by  Waterworks

Universal Tile-in Shower Drain 6" x 6" by Waterworks

Another option is a linear drain. Linear drains are either tucked toward the front of the shower or at the back. In either situation, they are sleek and minimal, creating the illusion of a solid shower floor.

The Bees always prefer a hidden drain in some fashion. In the three projects below, you can see how we used linear drains. Notice how the floor appears to be seamless! No curb to negotiate upon entering and exiting, small details make such a huge difference!

Before remodeling, it’s important to talk to both your designer and contractor about where and how to use linear/hidden drains. With a central hidden drain, your contractor will need to slope the floor in four directions to allow for proper drainage. If that’s not feasible, a linear drain may be recommended, which only requires the floor to be sloped in one direction (toward the front or rear of the shower). Many of those decisions must be made with your team of contractors and designers, as sometimes it will depend on the structure of the floor below. But trust us, there’s ALWAYS a solution, especially when you’re working with designers and contractors that sweat the small details - they know the ins and outs and can guide you in the right direction!

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