How To Install a Shower Drain Tips and Tricks



  • Determine Your Design And Desired Drain Style

Before you can decide on what type of showering drainage installation mechanism that you need to follow, you will first need to know how to install a shower drain and decide on what type of shower drainage you want to use for your design. When trying to decide on your showering drain it requires some research on your end to look at what size space you have, what type of shower you're going for, what style of drain you are looking at. All of those play a key factor when deciding on what drainage type to actually purchase. There are many different shower drain types that you can purchase for installation. There are square center, round center and linear drains. All these come in multiple finishes, sizes and styles from multiple different retailers online or in your local store. 

Linear Drain

  • Know Your Project

When doing your research the first thing you need to do is determine the size of space that you're going to be working with for the installation. Are you going to be using your existing plumbing or is this a new construction? If you're going to be using your existing plumbing, you need to do research for drains that install as a retrofit. Retrofit rings and adapters can sometimes be included in a retro-fit drain kit or they can be sold separately, but it's very important to make sure the drainage that you are trying

 Standard Drainto purchase has the capability of being retrofitted to your existing plumbing. If you are doing a new construction or you are going to be attaching the drainage directly to the waste pipe then you can use a standard kit

The second part of doing research is going to be not only determining the size of space that you have and the type of drainage that you are looking for but you're going to need to determine what type of wet room you're actually going to want. Do you want to do a standard walk-in shower with a curb or are you looking for a curbless one? Standard center drainages as well as linear ones will both work with a curbless design or a standard wet room with a curb. It all depends on your preference. 

The next thing you need to decide when doing your research is what type of finish do you want? Showering drainages come in all different types of finish from chrome, brushed nickel or rubbed bronze. You can get them in a variety of sizes. They come in 4"x4" square pieces, round pieces. You can get them larger, smaller. You can get them in linear drains that range in sizes from 18" (some even smaller than that), all the way up to customizable sizes that reach ten, eleven or twelve feet depending upon the size of the area that you're using. All of these play a key factor in determining the proper shower drainage installation mechanism for your own particular space. It's not just as simple as saying "Oh, I want that drainage and installing it." There's a lot more thought process that has to go into the design, the layout and what actually works for the space and the plumbing that you have. 

Not all drainages will fit onto your existing PVC pipe or ABS pipe that you're currently using, so you may need to buy adapter rings that go onto the outlet of a center drainage or a linear drainage to be able to attach to your existing pipe. Those also can be purchased at places such as Home Depot, Lowe's, hardware stores, online, Amazon. Lots of places sell the adapter rings that will take your existing plumbing from one size to another size to fit onto the desired drainage you wish to purchase. Again, this is a very key part of your research when determining what showering drainage best suits your installation so before you start buying drainages you want to measure the size of your waste pipe if you can. If you cannot measure it before you purchase the drainage you want then no worries that is why they make adapter rings.  

  • Choose Your Drain Grate Style

The next question is going to be the style. When doing your research you need to take a close look at all the different drainage styles. Some of them come with a more classic look that have squares across the top. Some of them comewith S-styles. Some of them come with tile in. You can get standard center drains or linear drains in the majority of these styles. They do come in a wide variety of other styles and you can get triangles, rectangles or anything that you could think of you could probably find on the web somewhere for the design that you are looking for. There are multiple grate styles available. There is something for everyone. There are classic looks, S-styles, tile in the linear drains. In the center drainagess there are classic styles, we have a craftsman style, we have a luxury rain head style and several other options that you can choose from. Our linear drains come in a stainless steel finish. Our center drainages come in oil rubbed bronze, chrome and brushed nickel finishes. So it's very important to do your research when you are looking at a shower drain installation project so that you're very well informed of all the options that you have an you can best determine what works best for your individual space, as not every design is the same and nor is every space the same. 

  • Price Difference

There is a price difference in drainages and drainage types and styles. You may pay more for linear drainages but you may be able to achieve more of the elegant, timeless look that you are looking for with the linear drainage, whereas some people prefer a standard center drainage and those may fall on a cheaper spectrum. Deciding which drainage you want you should also take into account your budget, the price different, the manufacturer, where it's coming from, what it's made of -

all of those things play a part. At TruGard ours are made of 304 grade solid stainless steel. It's not susceptible to rust over time, it's very easy to access and clean the hair traps once the drainage is installed properly.

As mentioned before, drainages come in different types and different styles which also affects the price. Some carriers may charge based on a style, while some other carriers may charge based on size alone. It all just depends on what you are looking for and who you're purchasing from. Drains are installed a couple of different ways depending upon the company that you are using. The installation method that we want to talk about today in this article is the installation that can be used with the TruGard drainage systems and some of our competitors' drainage systems such as Schluter, Wedi, things of that nature. 

  • Items You Need For Installation


When installing the TruGard drains, you're going to need a couple of different items. You're going to need some thinset mortar (modified). You're going to need a tube of our TruSeal sealant, as well as a couple of tools - a level, a drill, and some cement pipe glue. So when you're installing the center drainage you will use the drill, a level, the cement mortar, cement pipe glue and the sealant. Whereas when installing the linear drainage you only need something to cut the subfloor, modified thin-set mortar, cement pipe glue and sealant. 

  • Drain Placement

When you're installing a center drain, you need to determine whether your drainage is actually center of your wet area or whether your drainage is off center. They can be installed in both 

locations, whether center or off center. With a linear drainage placing it becomes much more of a broader spectrum. You can place the linear drainage through the center of your wet area horizontally or vertically. You can place it on any interior wall. You can place the linear drainage in a door opening. Linear drainages can virtually be placed anywhere in your wet area as long as the floor is sloped properly to where the drainage placement is going to be. So choosing your drainage placement is also part of the installation method that needs to be taken into account for at the beginning. You need to decide where you're going to put your drainage and make your cuts properly in your subfloor to expose your pipe so that it's easily accessible.

If you're using a linear drainage and you're going for a curbless installation, you would want to cut the area in your subfloor to match the rough opening of the body, so that the drainage flanges rests on the subfloor. Right above, right on top of the existing subfloor and the drain body is recessed into the floor attaching the drainage outlet to your existing waste pipe. When installing a center drainage, you want to do the same thing. You want to cut the area in your floor to recess the drainage body into the floor, resting the flange directly on top of the subfloor and attaching the drainage outlet to your existing waste pipe. Find out more about how to install a shower drain here. 

Again, if you are using your own existing plumbing you may require a retrofit adapter or you may require a pipe adapter coupling that would change the size of your existing plumbing to match the existing outlet on the drainage you have chosen. Once you have cut open your spaces and you've done a dry fit of the drainage you have already attached the drainage to your existing waste pipe. For complete step by step instructions on linear installation or standard shower installation please review one of our other articles linked above. 

If you have questions in regards to showering drainageage installation no matter what type of drainage you are going to be using, again it is always very important to do your research. Look at all the different possibilities, placements, finishes and options that are out there and available. Determine whether you're going to use your existing plumbing and you need retrofit adapters or if you're going to be using just the straight pipe and attaching it directly to the drainage outlet. If this case, you will again need to make sure that you do your research and get your proper measurements to make sure that the outlet of your drainage matches up with the outlet from the drainage waste pipe in your bathroom. If the drainage waste pipe in your bathroom is larger or smaller than the outlet of the drainage, you may need to buy a coupling ring to take your drainage outlet from one size to match the pipe size in your bathroom.


When choosing to install a showering drainage, it's also important to think about what you're going to be wanting to do in the area that you're installing a drainage in. Is this a large wet room? Are you installing it in a guest bathroom, in a master bathroom? Determining the overall look that you're trying to achieve for the bathroom will also depend upon the installation method that you go with for installing your drainage. Drains that are installed directly into the subfloor for a complete curbless appeal are much often installed for bathrooms that need to be handicap accessible or for individuals who want a complete barrier-free/bathroom/wet area - whatever the case may be. The same results can be achieved with your center drainage with just a little bit of additional modification for your floor as well as the drainage installation itself. For more information on other options or installation guidelines for your bathroom please see our additional articles. Thanks for reading this article, we hope your install turns out great. If you are going to be using a bench I would look deeper into the placement and how the drainage plays a part - click here.

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