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Choosing the right drainage for your Bathroom: Why it matters

Drain Advice

When diving into a bathroom renovation, it's easy to get swept up in the visual allure of stylish designs, color schemes, and luxurious tubs. Yet, amidst these considerations, the importance of bathroom drainage often takes a back seat. Little do we realise that a well-thought-out and properly installed drainage system is the cornerstone of a fully functional bathroom. Neglecting this crucial aspect can lead to a host of issues, from pesky blocked drains inviting mold and bacteria to the nightmare of water leaks causing plumbing damage and wreaking havoc on your property – not to mention the financial toll of costly repairs. Prioritising the right drainage system is not just about aesthetics; it's a vital investment in your health, convenience, and the overall safety of your home. Don't underestimate the power of a well-designed drainage solution – it's the unsung hero that ensures your bathroom remains a functional and pleasant haven.

Different Drainage Options

Typical bathroom setups are designed with a single, fixed-positioned primary drainage trap, which houses the main floor waste outlet for the entire bathroom. From this centralised drainage point, all other waste outlets from the bathroom’s fixtures (including shower, basin, bathtub, etc.) are connected, forming an interconnected pipe system under the bathroom floor.

Deciding which bathroom drain to choose will depend on the bathroom layout and grate design preferences. That said, you may opt for a combination of drain types. First, it’s recommended to check your state’s regulations or seek advice from a licenced plumber.

Traditional/Point Drain


Available in either square or circular designs, traditional/point drains have been in use for a very long time. They collect water at a singular point and are positioned in the middle of the floor as this is the shortest distance for any water to travel. Additionally, they require a subtle slope in the floor, typically from 4 different directions toward the drain, as this allows the gentle funnelling of water. This may present some difficulties for those who are less steady on their feet. While traditional/point drains are cheaper and easier to clean, they may require more tile cut-outs to get the right slope. They’re also smaller in diameter, which may be problematic for those who shed a fair amount of hair in the shower, as it can slow the flow of water and potentially lead to clogging.

Linear Drain


Linear drains have gained popularity in recent times. They offer superior drainage, creates a modern look and are mainly used with large format tiles. Unlike traditional/point drains, they’re narrow and elongated and collect water along the length of a channel. The position is more versatile, as it can be installed anywhere in the bathroom/shower area, including against the back wall, under a vanity or on one side of a shower. While linear drains come at an initially higher cost, it only requires minimal tile cuts and a single slope of the floor where the water flows in only one direction toward the channel. This means they deliver more of a level plane - a big win for mobility and accessibility concerns. Linear drains provide many functional benefits, including installation and design flexibility, and they work well in contemporary, open-plan style wet rooms.

Tile Insert Drain


Tile insert drains are the ‘new kid on the block’, offering a sleek and seamless look whilst offering excellent hidden drainage. They’re available in traditional/point and linear options, allowing the continuation of your floor tile over the top of the drain that’s concealed underneath. Care should be taken when cleaning tile insert drains, particularly with larger-sized linear styles, as they can be a little heavy and, if dropped, may crack.
The downside is it doesn’t provide any storage due to the absence of a vanity, although a mirrored cabinet can be easily be installed above.
You can make this sink a feature by matching your bottle trap to your tapware.

Drain Installation

As mentioned above, traditional/point drains will need to be installed in the centre of the floor, while there is greater flexibility for linear drains. A few essential factors need to be considered and observed during the installation process, such as calculating the height of the drain, the sloping of the floor and ensuring the drain is aligned, connection to drainage pipes, and waterproofing and sealing. If you’re doing a like-for-like swap, you’ll need to know the exact measurements to ensure the new drain fits into the existing layout. It also must be Australian Standard-approved.

Drainage in the bathroom floor should be noted and decided on at the start of your renovation, in the planning and design stage. It’s not something you install last; otherwise, you will risk running into problems later. Keep in mind that every bathroom plumbing setup is unique, so it’s best to speak with a reputable tradesperson to ensure it’s fit for purpose.

Shop online at The Blue Space and explore our range of floor and shower drains in various styles, sizes and colours, suitable for every home and bathroom style!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get rid of the drainage smell in the bathroom?

A build-up of grime, soap and hair can be hazardous to your health. Clean regularly with specially-formulated cleaning products that can be poured down the drain, eliminating bacteria and nasty odours. Alternatively, rinse the drain with 50/50 vinegar and water or baking soda solution. Remember to clean the grate itself, too!

How can I improve the drainage in my shower?

Firstly, ensure the drain is clean. Secondly, assess the type of shower grate you have installed. Some grates have flow restrictors underneath, or perhaps your grate is not large enough. Another reason a shower may not drain well is that the drain has not been installed at the lowest point of your shower floor. This is a bigger job requiring retiling your floor to match the drainage pipe position, but well worth the effort.

How do I find the right plumber, and how much does it cost?

You can do several things to find the best plumber, including checking their licences, reading their online reviews and asking whether they guarantee their workmanship. In regards to cost, this is difficult to answer as it’s dependent on the size of the job. We advise contacting your local plumber for a quote.

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