Using stainless steel for the channel of a lineal grated drain is generally money down the drain. Whilst there are some specific benefits to a stainless steel channel, such as in a commercial kitchen, or in a completely customised system, there is no need to bury this wonderfully expensive material under the slim line grate.
Aside from these benefits there are some major downsides to stainless steel trays that the PVC channel and fittings inherently overcome.
Firstly, the stainless channel must be custom made. This makes it more expensive, and longer to deliver.
Secondly, if the site dimensions alter after the walls are tiled etc, the stainless tray is expensive and time consuming to alter.
Thirdly, when the stainless sheet is folded into the tray shape, the safety edge at the top of the tray is never perfectly straight. This is called ‘oil-canning’. When using large format tiles this slight wave becomes noticeable and can spoil a beautiful job of tiling.
The PVC channel and fittings, available from Stormtech , overcome these issues as the final size and assembly is done on site. This means the fit is always perfect. In a kit form, it is readily available from plumbing suppliers. If the size on site varies, the kit is simply cut to the required size. As the PVC channel is extruded, it is always perfectly straight and will match up with any style of tile, large or small, natural or vitrified.
The final touch for a perfect finish is done when grouting the floor tiles. The PVC components are assembled and fixed using clear plumbers glue (clear PVC solvent cement). This will naturally be on site when needed. The solvent cement can be mixed with the desired floor grout. When the solvent cement is mixed with the grout, it will weld itself to the visible edge of the channel and become a permanent, flexible grout line. So, all that is visible is tile, grout, and grate.
Simply, the main benefits of PVC are, price, lead-time, and finish. There will always be specific needs for stainless steel trays, but generally, the more expensive, longer lead time and inferior grout finish of stainless steel channels are significant detractors.