Trench drain - types and installation

Trench drain can also be called linear drain, slot drain, drainage channel and strip drain. It is an innovative alternative for traditional sewer drains. What is a trench drain? It is used for removing water from a building or a certain area and directing it into a sewage system. How to choose the right trench drain? Read the article below.

Table of contents

  1. Trench drain types
  2. The purpose of shower drain systems
  3. How to choose a trench drain for shower?
  4. Installing a linear drain - basic equipment
  5. Preparing the surface for a shower drain
  6. Trench drain installation - the most important issues

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Trench drain types

There are two types of trench drains: interior and exterior. The first group includes products made of stainless steel, equipped with traps. Such drainage solutions are intended for installation in garages, bathrooms and pools. The second group includes a trench drain made of polymer concrete and galvanised metal sheet. There is no need for a trap in such products. They can be connected directly to drainage pipes. They are typically used for patios, areas around buildings, roofs and utility rooms.

The purpose of shower drain systems

Trench drain is often called a linear drain, shower channel and drainage channel. This part of drainage system is an extension of a standard shower drain, also known as floor drain. Replacing a typical shower drain with a channel not only looks better and improves the aesthetics of the room. It is also far more functional.

A linear drain can be installed directly under the shower, in the middle of the bathroom or by a bathroom wall. Thanks to the mentioned drainage solutions a shower threshold and floor slope are not needed.

How to choose a trench drain for shower?

When purchasing a linear drain, keep in mind that it is going to be in constant contact with water. One of the most important issues is the material a drain is made of. The most effective trench drain should be made of stainless steel. A metal of this type does not corrode and is resistant to limescale and mechanical damage. A trench drain of this type does not react with chemical substances.

Another important issue is the size and throughput of the drain. Those parameters decide on the functionality of a drain. It is best to choose products with high throughput - it guarantees proper functioning of a drainage system.

Installing a linear drain - basic equipment

When installing a linear drain in a shower, remember to use the following elements: rubber gaskets, leveling feet and a trap. It is a standard equipment sold along with the main elements.

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Preparing the surface for a shower drain

Before a linear drain can be installed, the floor needs to be properly prepared.

Important If the floor lies directly on ground, a waste route needs to be installed. Then it needs to be concreted. Install the trap and put a layer of screed onto the surface. One should create a good waste route, with a 2,5% slope for pipes.

If the floor is joisted, a waste route should be created along with the floor. The pipes mustn’t intersect with joists. The route can also be installed before concreting the floor. In such case a gutter needs to be installed along with connecting elements. You can also direct the drain among breeze blocks between the joists.

Trench drain installation - the most important issues

When installing a drain, make sure that it is located higher than the plumbing vent connection. Place the drain watercourse under level of the tiles. After the screed dries, seal the trap with sealing tape. Walls and floor should be waterproofed. You might also secure the corners by sealing them.

If you prepared the surface as described above, you might lay tiles. Make sure that you lay them starting from the trench drain. For leveling you might use tile leveling system.

What is drainage?

Drainage, or drainage system is a method of removing water from a place, using pipes and drains. There are different types of advanced drainage systems, such as trench drain and linear drain.

How to fix downspout drainage?

Check the slope. If it’s incorrect, the water cannot float down and remains in the gutter. Make sure that the slope of the drainage system is steep enough.

How to fix drainage problems in bathroom?

If the drainage system does not work properly, it might be clogged. Whether it’s a traditional drain or a trench drain, you might try to use chemicals such as baking soda and vinegar to unclog them.

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