For those of you who are thinking about installing a linear drain in your new shower, you may be wondering how to install one. The process is a bit more involved than installing a traditional center drain, which requires sloping the mud bed in four directions. In fact, linear drains only require one sloping direction. But, it will be worth the effort if you have the experience and know what you are doing.
Waterproofing is essential
A linear drain is a basic element of a curbless shower. These drains have a long grate on top and a trough-like channel underneath. Water flows from the shower floor into the grate, where it is then sent out through a pipe. These drains are commonly installed at the opening of the shower stall, as well as along the floor of the shower’s back wall. Linear drains are highly effective at controlling water volume, and can remove eight to ten gallons per minute. However, the EPAct of 1992 set a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per fixture.
A typical curbless shower will not meet local building codes unless the design includes a sloped floor. It should be properly waterproofed to meet local building codes and requirements. Depending on the style of the bathroom, waterproofing may be necessary for curbless showers. Because a linear drain is not a conventional shower pan, its design and installation will vary from home to home.
Kerdi membrane installation
A low-profile, linear drain is an ideal option for a curbless shower. This drain is designed with a waterproofing membrane integrated into the channel body. Kerdi-Line is available in several styles and is suitable for all applications. This waterproofing membrane is also suitable for wall-to-wall applications, including large-format tile. In addition to its versatility, the linear drain allows for flexible installation.
Schluter-Kerdi-SHOWER-LTS trays feature integrated KERDI waterproofing, as well as an ABS or PVC flange for the keridi membrane. These trays can be used with all models of the KERDI-LINE linear drain. The KERDI-SHOWER-LTS includes a height adjustment collar, lateral adjustment ring, and a Kerdi-line linear drain kit.
Choosing the proper waterproofing membrane for a tiled shower is critical. Kerdi-SHOWER-ST eliminates the need for a mortar bed and can be cut to fit with a utility knife. It can be extended using dry-pack mortar. The KERDI-LINE drain has an integrated bonding flange for a secure connection to the waterproofing membrane. This waterproofing membrane is available in stainless steel and anodized aluminum, with frameless tileable options. Kerdi-Line drains can accommodate a wide variety of tile thicknesses and can be leveled and fitted with precision.
Installing a linear drain
Whether you want a standard or curbless shower, you can get the right drainage solution by installing a linear drain. These drains sit flush with the floor and direct water to a trough below the shower flooring. However, there are some important details to consider before installing this drain to avoid problems with your bathroom and plumbing. To ensure proper drainage, follow these steps:
In order to ensure optimum drainage, you should install a linear drain along the side of the opening of your shower. If you are installing a curbless shower, it should be placed along the wall directly across from the opening of the shower. If the drain is installed parallel to the opening, you will have a lip that will pose a tripping hazard. To prevent tripping, ensure that the length of the linear drain is adequate for the shower.
Choosing a shower base
Curbless showers and linear drains go hand in hand. Curbless showers are very modern in their design, with one slope that makes it possible to use large format tiles. Center drains are still an option, though. You must make sure you have enough room for the drain slope, and you must choose one with a low profile. Otherwise, your curbless shower will look cluttered and unattractive.
A center drain is usually placed in the center of the shower and requires a four-way floor pitch to be made towards it. A linear drain, however, can be placed along the walls or entrance to the shower. For a center drain, the floor must be sloped at least one way towards the drain, while a wall-to-wall installation requires a one-way floor pitch towards the linear drain.