Upgrading your bathroom can seem like a never-ending task due to the constant developments and the increasing demands of the average household. From having separate baths for him and her with a wide range of choices in function and style, upgrading the bathroom requires a decent amount of knowledge in terms of what to look for and consider when choosing between the countless fixtures that improve your bathroom’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.
Shower floor grates are one of the most frequent upgrades that can improve the appeal and functional value of your home’s bathroom. If you’re considering between the different styles of floor grates, you should at least have an idea of what the differences between them are, and what you should pay attention to when making a decision.
Types of Shower Grates
Linear grates are one of my personal favourite types. They come in a narrow profile and the fact that they can be used as the main shower drain makes it one of the best options available. However, you have to plan your shower’s build-out and make sure you place the drain tightly to the wall. If you haven’t picked tiles for your shower, wait until you’ve decided on that first. Tile-top linear drains are one of the most popular bathroom looks. The grate should have an opening of at least 16 square centimetres. While a smaller opening may look nicer or work just as well, it can impact the flow rate of the drain. One thing about linear grates is that you’ll have to clean them regularly to ensure optimum flow rates. Hair buildup can be a problem. Furthermore, make sure you take into account how you want to prepare the rest of the floor when choosing your shower grate.
Point grates are known as traditional or regular grates. Many building and plumbing codes demand specific drain line sizes, and sometimes even the number of shower grates are regulated. If you aren’t sure which way to go, a larger grate is preferable to ensure it keeps up with the shower’s water flow. When using this type of shower grates, it’s important to have a pitch of about 50mm per 30cm to the drain below the waterproofing materials. This will allow the water getting under the tiles to drain towards the shower’s drain holes. Failing to do so will result in a shower that can hold nasty water under the tiles, causing mould.
Some point grades don’t have the fine adjustment other types provide. So make sure your plumber places them level. A good tip would be to set the drain with a small level in place and spin the strainer so the grill stays level in any position. Any additional draining holes can help your shower dry out quickly between uses.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Shower Grates
When buying a shower grate, you need to consider the material it’s made of. Stainless steel is often the material of choice, simply because it’s durable, rust-resistant and it can withstand quite a lot of weight. Make sure the steel is polished so that it’s easy to clean, and the top grill should be easily removed to provide you access for cleaning. Furthermore, make sure the grate is watermark approved. Like all drainage products, the grate should be approved to Australian standards, so look for a Watermark symbol on the specification sheet. Then, you have to consider whether you want a custom-made grate. No two bathrooms are the same, and you may need a grate with a very specific length to suit your shower. Also, consider the depth of the tray, and make sure you pick an outlet size that would fit loosely inside the plumbed drainage for the aforementioned reasons. And last but not least, choose a floor grate style that suits your needs and will last.
Common Mistakes When Installing Shower Channels
One of the most common mistakes many installers do is tightly fit or seal the tray outlet inside the plumbed drain, so the sub-surface water has a difficult time leaving as the drain is sealed and the membrane is completely watertight. As a result, in a few years, your bathroom may start smelling damp and your tiles may eventually pop. Another common mistake is installers trying to place the tray under the membrane and make the stainless steel tray the only exit point for water in the bathroom. This is a problem because steel expands and contracts at different rates than the materials surrounding the membrane, resulting in eventual splitting where the materials meet the steel. Further, the sub-surface water still can’t leave. For that reason, it’s recommended that only shower grates designed to sit above the waterproofing. These shower grates act as a surface channel that guides the water to the outlet, and they don’t interrupt the passage of any sub-tile water to the drainage system.