I’ve been seeing an increased interest in stainless steel trench drains for shower applications. This trend is said to be associated with the aging of the baby boomers. As the boomers get older, there is a growing need for rim-less showers (or boundry-less showers) for better wheel chair access.
Standard showers have an edge of ceramic or plastic flooring at the base of the shower door to help hold the water in while bathing. However, this edge is a problem to a person in a walker or wheel chair that wants to take a shower. It would be easier just to roll in and not have to worry about the ledge. Some clever architects are designing showers to have trench drains in front of the doors or covering the entire floor of the shower. In this way, water can be confined to the places you need without that pesky little ledge that can lead to a life-threatening trip and fall.
Two photos of the stainless steel drains options available for showers are shown below.
For most shower applications, the drain is made to a 3′ 1″ length. (Standard showers are 3 feet wide). However, these products can be made to any length or width.
Shower drainage is becoming a consumer-controlled market. The stainless options are increasing as more homeowners turn to custom designs. Manufacturers want to be have a standard product to offer for any shower project. New grate patterns are out on the market now, designed with aesthetics in mind. Longer drain bodies are available, too.
Stainless ADA Bar Grating – I’d say, this is my favorite grating. Again, it can be made to most any width. This particular photo is of an 8″ wide product. It will fit into a stainless steel channel of your design (as long as our manufacturer can make it).
I spoke to one architect that wanted to have an entire bathroom floor to be a drain so it would be easier to bath a wheel chair user. For this application, a portable hand held shower would be used for the washing. When water would fall to the floor, it would be easily be drained away. The ADA steel bar grate would be perfect for this application. The size of the grate would have to be 4′ x 6′, or so. This is very common in the entry way of some commercial buildings now. Why not in the home?
The architect’s request reminded me of the bathrooms I had seen in South America. In my wife’s apartment (in Brazil), you can actually use the toilet and take a shower at the same time. The all ceramic bathroom and concrete construction of the building lends itself to this design concept. With the use of large area drains, this same design can be safely utilized in wood framed structures.
Trench Drain Systems supplies stainless steel products in the most common sizes, but don’t be afraid to request a custom drain product. Visit their webpage on home shower applications or call their office at 610-638-1221 if you are thinking about a stainless steel trench drain for a shower (or any other) application. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
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