Designing with Drainage in Mind

A designer’s decision on what drainage to specify will ultimately fall to one of two options: point (also commonly referred to as ‘gully’) or linear. Both, so long as they are designed and manufactured well, should be equally as capable of doing their job.

Where there are some distinctions, however, is how they impact on the visual coherence of a space, particularly when considered against a backdrop of current design trends.

Large-format tiles (i.e. those with an edge greater than 600mm in length) have become incredibly popular over the past few years. It’s easy to see why: large format minimises grout joints, making for fewer visual distractions and easier cleaning. They can also provide the illusion of increased space in a small room and allow for quicker completion of an installation.

A linear drain is the easiest way to show large-format tiles off to best effect. The ability to place these drains at the very edge of the shower space allows designers to create sweeping, uninterrupted expanses of tile from a floor-level shower into the rest of the bathroom. Usually featuring only one fall, linear drains support a ‘tile-first’ philosophy, in that they allow the covering material to take centre-stage. As the sourcing of the right tile can be a painstaking mission, this flexibility is a considerable weight off the mind.

A point drain requires deeper consideration. Instead of one fall, a point drain features four, that drain towards a central point. The multiple falls mean that smaller tiles offer the simplest solution, hence why mosaics are a popular partner to this drain design.

So is there a way to make large-format work for this type of drain? Yes, but with careful consideration. Large-format tile can’t accommodate a four, or even two, way fall in its regular form, therefore the handling of the tile within the shower space has to be different from the rest of the room. To make the tile work with the falls, the installer will need to consider creating envelope cuts. The way in which these envelope cuts in the tile interact with the grout lines in the rest of the installation is the breaking point between a smart and an incongruous effect. To achieve the most harmonious results, the setting out of the tile should begin with the chief focal points of the room. A point drain, with its central positioning, qualifies as one of these.

Whether you’re looking for point or linear drainage, Schlüter-Systems has the solutions you need. Our Schlüter®-KERDI-LINE and Schlüter®-KERDI-DRAIN ranges contain everything from tileable grates for the utmost subtlety, through to statement designer options.

All our drains have accessible traps and excellent flow rates, as well as integrated waterproof collars for quick and secure connection to a bonded waterproof assembly. They also form part of the Schlüter®-WETROOM range of products, which provides unrivalled CE Marked waterproofing and drainage solutions for tile and stone.

Schlüter places the world of drainage at your feet; for more information, call 01530 813396, email pr(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)schluter.co.uk or visit www.perfectwetroom.co.uk