Linear Shower Drains

Linear Shower Drains Pros and Cons

Recently, linear shower drains have become quite popular.  These drains also referred to as trench drains or trough drains, feature long and straight drains that have been utilized in a number of ways.

Instead of being round or square in shape, with drains that are placed where all areas of the shower floor can be placed in the direction of the drain in a centralized location, linear drains are shaped like a line.

They resemble a trough that removes water using a slope in one direction.  They were developed to maximize water flow towards an exit port to have the most efficient water removal in a shower basin.

Many individuals are requesting that linear shower drains be installed in their homes.  While these drains have been around for a long time, they are becoming more popular as they have an architectural design to them.

Linear shower drains start out at 24 inches long and can be as long as the homeowner desires.

Pros of linear shower drains

There are many pros to linear shower drains. If you are on the fence about placing one of these drains in your shower, keep reading to see if the pros will sway you.

Installed anywhere easily

One of the biggest pros of installing a linear shower drain is that it can be installed pretty much anywhere.  And the installation is super easy!  To be installed, the shower floor needs to be sloped in one direction towards the drain.  This is a huge change from center drains that require the floor to be sloped in four directions.


Do you have a shower that requires you to step over a curb in order to get into the shower?  No matter how tall that curb is, you always manage to stub your toe on it or hit your ankle!  But with a linear shower drain, you will never have to worry about that again.

Perhaps you are thinking the curb is not that big of a deal.  But you will appreciate this feature once you grow older and have a harder time lifting your feet up.  Or if you have surgery, and are unsteady on your feet, you can just walk right into the shower.  And if you use a walker for any reason, you can simply walk into the shower, keeping yourself steady with the walker!


You may not think about it, but with the long lines of a linear shower drain, there are countless ways one of these drains can be placed.  With center drains, they have to be placed in one spot.  But linear drains allow the individual to pick where they should be placed.


Linear shower drains appeal to so many people.  Designers are able to incorporate the same floor tile that is used in the rest of the bathroom area.  This is done through the tile-in option.  The surface will not be interrupted by visual disturbances.  This means that any size of tile can be used, as can any slab material.


Many individuals will pick a linear shower drain for safety reasons.  Linear shower drains are compliant with the American Disability Act, therefore, those who use a wheelchair will be able to easily get into and out of the shower. These types of drains can greatly improve the quality of life while giving disabled individuals and seniors a means of showering without being in fear of falling and injuring themselves. If they are installed properly, the channel cover can support weight and there will not be any raised edges to trip on.


Linear shower drains are generally super easy to clean, dependent upon what material they are made from.  The method recommended to clean them is just soap and water.  It is also recommended to look for linear drains that have a removable debris basket.  This will assist in not clogging your pipes which is one of the most expensive issues when it comes to pipes.


With a linear shower drain, they are much less likely to have leaks when compared to a center drain.

Cover types

You can also pick between two cover types for your linear shower drain.  Larger debris will be caught so it does not go drown the drain,  but the water will still be able to flow easily through.  The best way to keep water flowing through is to keep the cover and drain clean.

Grated – A grated channel cover is often a traditional grid or another pattern grid that is safe for walking on and fixed equally with the surrounding tile. Some companies provide unique and artistic covers with smooth panels and machine-tooled patterns engraved for the water to move through.

Tiled-in – Tile insert channel covers have an inset shelf to place tile designs on. The drain can virtually disappear into the surrounding tile while still allowing water to move into the channel. As the tile cover does decrease the flow rate, these aren’t recommended for high-volume shower areas.


With a linear shower drain, you can have a spa-like bathroom.  The look is luxurious, but taking a shower with this type of drain and openness can also make you feel like you are at the spa.  So go ahead and get out your best towels, face masks, lotions, and more to have the relaxing experience you deserve.

Cons of linear shower drains

No matter how great a product is, there are always cons to it.  And with linear shower drains, it is no different.


As the drains of a linear shower are very long, be prepared to clean your drain a lot.  This is because the longer a drain is, the slower the velocity of the water will be to drain out.  Hair, grime, and dirt will need to be cleaned out regularly.

Water is not contained

With a linear shower drain, the water is not contained like it would be in a shower with the curb.  If not installed properly, the water may get all over.

If you are worried about this, you can ask the installer what are some easy remedies to this.  They may recommend you use a rain head fixture.  Or suggest that you use a curved shower wall to assist in directing the water to the drain.

Lack of privacy

With a linear shower drain, showers are generally more open.  If you have an open-door policy at your home, you will not have as much privacy as you do with other types of showers.


Linear shower drains were designed to be flush with the tile so they make one smooth surface.  They are highly recommended by the ADA for those that need a safe shower.

With these showers, you do not need to stick with only smaller tiles.  Go big and bold if you desire to create the bathroom of your dreams.  And, as an added benefit of larger tiles, you will not have as many grout lines to clean!  This, in itself, is a huge benefit.

And three you have it… the pros and cons of linear shower drains.  These drains can really assist in making your life easier, which is appreciated by all!