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Thread: Trench drain for roll in shower

  1. #1

    Trench drain for roll in shower

    We are remodeling our master bathroom and have designed a curbless shower and we want to put a trench drain across the opening where the curb would normally be. I am having a hard time finding something afordable. Quick Drain is awesome, but $571 for a 40" drain seems crazy.

    Has anyone installed or researched these?

    I saw in another post that titanium4motion put one in. Titanium - it looks like you use the industrial one that it a strong plastic grate. Is that right? It looks much better than I thought plastic would (if that it what it is.) And our bathroom is about the same size as yours, just a tiny bit bigger - it is 73 x 96. Loved your pictures, too, lots of good ideas.

    Any info anyone has would be great! Thanks. I'll post pictures when we get something that looks like anything - it's a big gutted hole right now.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    When I was researching accessible housing standards and happened upon SaferHome Standard Society, I saw a trench drain in their office. Contact them via their website:

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Fithian, IL
    My parents just put a garage edition on their house and got a trench drain at Menards, its got galvanized grates. Not sure how much it cost them, but you might want to check there. I will try to remember to ask them. Our roll in shower does not have a trench drain as it is poured concrete and has enough slope one was not required.

  4. #4
    I just saw a type of compression type barrier that Mike Holmes used on "Homes by Holmes" that looked cool (and cheap!) It is about an 1 1/2 high and you roll right over it to get in an out. I'll start digging and see if I can find it.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    I was concerned about the high cost of trench drain too when remodeling the shower to roll-in shower. The contractor assured me that there would be plenty of slope, and the trench drain wasn't needed so I went ahead without it. It has worked out very well for us. Water drains very quickly in the shower and there has never been any water spilling out to the bathroom floor. So, with proper slope and drain size, a trench drain may not be necessary.

  6. #6
    My roll in doesn't have a trench drain and it works fine. As long as I'm not sloppy the water all stays inside the shower and the sides have a bit of a slope so that all the water runs toward the central drain in the shower floor.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  7. #7
    Herco - we watch Holmes on Holmes all the time, love that show. Thanks for the link!

    Van Quad - thanks for the link, I will check that out.

    We kind of have our hearts set on the trench drain for aesthetics as much as function. Our house is modern and we are going for a sleek look. Also, we are using large format tiles so not having to slope into a center drain will avoid the difficulty of attractively cutting and laying the tile to slope from four directions. I believe there are some shower pans designed to hold large tiles, but the expense of a special shower pan will probably be in line with the expensive trench drain...

  8. #8

    Trench drains

    The trench drain I used are NDS Mini Drains and are 3" wide. They cost about $25 each piece 3 feet long. The company that makes them is NDS. Website

    You can buy them at:

    There are other places on the net to buy them from.

    Read over my post of Extreme Makeover: Shower Room Edition at

    More pictures and pdf at

    Attached is side view of my trench drain setup I have in my shower room. The top view is how I have it. A better design in the bottom view where no grate is needed.

    Feel free to email me at if you have any further questions.


  9. #9
    Thanks for the links Titanium! We ended up going with this drain:

    We got the one that holds tile so there is no exposed grate a all:

    This was much more expensive than the NDS ($350 - but much cheaper than the competitor, Quick Drain, which is $571 for the same size) - but we decided to spend the extra money for two reasons. It looks darn good and we don't have to get someone to fabricate a nicer looking grate. Secondly, it is very shallow, .9 inches, so it is much much easier to fit into our subfloor and concrete board layout. We are doing the work ourselves, and reworking the floor to allow for a 3 inch tall drain would have been very time consuming, and cost at least some amount of money.

    I was a bit worried since they have such a weird name, and I could not find any reviews of their product. But, it came in the mail very quickly and it looks great. I'll post again after we've finished the bathroom with an update on ease of installation and how well it works.

    Oh, and the pdf you posted is great! Even though that is not precisely how we'll install ours, it gives me some good info on installation. Thanks! (It also demonstrates the 3 inch depth problem I was worried about with the NDS drain. Our subfloor will not need to be "notched out" as shown in the pdf.)
    Last edited by gigi; 04-23-2010 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Add info.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Wow! Great solution where a show home result is required. There's nothing I hate worse than an exaggerated slope in a wheel-in shower. This thread is a great topic.

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