Bathroom design is an interesting challenge but it goes beyond selecting the perfect tiles, fittings and fixtures. For your beautifully styled bathroom to actually function, an effective and well-planned drainage system is essential.

A good bathroom drainage system must meet certain functional objectives: it should fit in with the floor layout to function properly; the grate design must be aligned with the bathroom’s aesthetic; and the design should allow the user to go about their daily routines without interruption.

A typical bathroom drainage system is designed to remove wastewater from each bathroom fixture through secondary sewer connections, which are connected to the primary drainage trap located in the central floor waste. The pipes from each fixture to the primary drainage trap form part of the drain’s interconnected pipe system underneath the bathroom floor. One can choose from two types of bathroom drainage, traditional floor wastes and linear drains, each having certain advantages and disadvantages. The final choice will depend on the bathroom layout and grate design preferences.

Traditional floor wastes

Traditional shower floor wastes such as the QuARTz by ACO’s ShowerPoint require a threshold step and are, therefore, not appropriate for flat level threshold applications – for instance, when the shower needs to be accessed by a wheelchair, commode or other bathing aid. While traditional shower floor wastes come at a cheaper initial price than the linear drain, the cost of a flooring plan can increase due to the need for 3D grading; so will the cost of tiling due to higher tile wastage to fit diagonal shapes behind the threshold.

Linear drains 

Linear drains have the advantage of fitting anywhere within the shower area. For easy fitting in any bathroom area, ShowerChannel can be ordered from QuARTz by ACO along with custom shower channels with both available in eight grate designs. While linear drains come at a higher initial cost, they only require minimal tile cuts and simple 2D grading of the floor towards the channel, saving money in the setting out and tiling stages of bathroom design. A level threshold also allows safe and easy access by wheelchairs, commodes and other bathing aids. For safety in the bathroom, linear drains can be used to separate wet areas from dry areas.

Choosing primary and secondary drain grate designs

When planning the layout of the bathroom drainage, you will need to decide on both primary and secondary drain grate designs. Ideally, choose a combination of linear drains in the shower and a central floor waste, particularly if the grate designs are compatible. When finalising a linear drain grate, please consider the positioning of the drain and the way it will intercept the flow of water in the shower and contribute to the overall design of the bathroom.

Linear drains can be positioned against the wall, with the shower floor (or the whole bathroom floor) sloping towards the wall. Alternatively, linear drains can be installed at the shower entrance, with the shower floor sloping towards the bathroom and the bathroom floor sloping towards the shower to contain overflow. A less common way to position the linear drains is to place one channel on either side of the shower floor, sloping in two directions so that there is a slight rise in the centre of the shower.

If you are looking to reduce costs at the planning, installation and tiling stages, plan your ideal bathroom layout prior to engaging a builder.

QuARTz by ACO Polycrete offers eight unique grate design collections to seamlessly integrate with the design of your bathroom.