25th October 2017

The Nightmare Of Wet Room Drain Failures

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Post by Wetroom Materials

Adding a luxury wet room is a considerable investment. A well-planned design, quality drain and professional installation will ensure a beautiful result that delights your clients. But it’s also important to understand the risks involved with compromising on quality to reduce cost.

When wet rooms go wrong, gaining access to the source of the problem means the tiles and shower area must come up. Fixing the problem is expensive, inconvenient and highly disappointing for your customers. Fortunately, almost all wet room nightmares can be avoided by understanding the causes of common wet room problems.

Wet Room Drainage Problems

The majority of wet room problems arise as a result of ill-considered drainage and poor preparation. Almost all drainage problems lead to leaks – causing damage to decoration, loose tiles, damp problems and unpleasant odours. If undetected, or ignored for long periods, leaks can also cause extensive structural damage.

Inadequate Drainage

Wet room design trends favour the sleek hotel chic look provided by invisible drains. This style relies on sourcing the right type of drain to cope with the volume of water produced. Too low a drainage capacity and the shower area will flood. If water reaches beyond the tanked area the wet room will leak. Always check that the drain can cope with the volume of water produced by the shower head and that it has internal drainage slopes built in to ensure every last drop of water drains away.

Solution for poor drainage:

Choose a wet room drain with a large enough drainage capacity for the volume of water produced by your shower system. If you have a power shower or a large shower output in particular, you will need a drain big enough to manage a high volume of water, as well as a suitable internal slope and waste pipes to direct the flow of water.

Our wetroom drain kits have high volume water intake for power showers, with no chance of stagnant water in the drain due to a unique internal slope.

If you do have the above, but your shower still isn’t draining properly, then your shower may be blocked. See how to care for your wet room shower drain.

Poorly Positioned Drains

Drains positioned below the feet of the user are uncomfortable and impede the flow of water to the drainage channels, causing water to back up. The shower drain needs to be at the lowest point of the shower floor, and needs to slope down from all directions.

Solution for poorly positioned drains:

Opting for a wall mounted or corner drain removes the problem of a poorly positioned drain. A high capacity linear design with smooth edges can be used when the drain can only be positioned in a central location. It’s imperative to use a drain that is strong enough and that will not buckle under weight.

We have a range of wall mounted drains, linear drains, square drains and corner drains available for use in your wet room shower. Our patented wall mounted drains allow you to create a wetroom with one slope, so you don’t need to cut tiles towards the drain. It is ideal for the use of large tiles with less grout lines, and you don’t stand on the drain whilst showering.

Miscalculated or Shallow Floor Depths

Failure to calculate enough floor depth for both the drain and the waste fall drainage pipes can prevent the water from draining effectively. If the waste fall is too shallow, water cannot flow to the soil stack, leading to flooding.

Solution for miscalculated or shallow floor depths:

Where space is limited, a low profile drain can be used to provide additional depth. We have a full range of low profile wet room drain solutions, starting from only 59mm deep.

A low profile gully only requires a building depth of 64mm, and can offer greater flexibility with the option to be wall mounted, or positioned anywhere on the wet room shower floor. Our quality selection of premium slimline wet room drains are available in a variety of drain colours, and includes both mechanical traps and traditional 50mm water traps.

Read our article on ‘The Architect’s Solution for Wet Rooms with Minimum Floor Voids’

Incorrect Floor Slopes

A preformed floor or slope is one of the most important features in a wetroom. A poorly constructed floor slope can cause water to run in the wrong direction, instead of gently sloping towards the drain. Too great a slope increases the risk of slipping and too low a slope creates insufficient drainage. The built-in slope should be shallow enough to be barely noticed, but still steep enough to direct water towards the drain. A wet room that doesn’t drain properly is cold, damp, impractical for use, and frustrating to clean.

Solution for incorrect floor slopes:

Floor slopes within the wet room shower system should contain an even gradient of 1.5% to 2% towards the drain area. This can be achieved through specialist installation using a professional wet room kit.

Our range of wet room drain systems and kits are designed to provide an effective slope for any wetroom and drain placement, so you are sure to find the right solution. If you’re unsure about what slope or drain you need, get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.

Low-Quality Drain Design & Manufacture

Choosing a cheap drain system can be a costly mistake. Cheaper drain grates may look good initially, but low-quality materials can discolour and deteriorate, spoiling your high-end look. Choose designs with a high spec finish supported by a quality guarantee to avoid disappointment. A quality drain will be designed with an anti-odour barrier to prevent drain smells rising, as well as to withstand weight, frequent usage and minimise blockages.

Solution for broken or poor drain design & manufacture:

Choose a quality wet room drain from a reputable manufacturer, one that includes a removable trap, providing easy access for cleaning and removal of hair blockages. These simple features can make all the difference when keeping your wet room fresh and functioning properly.

Our wet room products are all determined high-quality solutions, which have been manufactured to ensure seals and drainage components meet rigorous standards.

Practical Solutions From Wet Room Materials

There is a simple solution to every wet room drainage problem. Choosing a quality product, installed to professional standards removes the risk of wet room nightmares and turns exciting wet room concepts into beautiful and practical realities. To further help the drainage issues you have you could consider secondary drains to reduce the stress on your drain.

Unsure what drain you are looking for? See our wet room drains types page. If you would like further advice, speak to our team of friendly advisors who can guide you on the solution. We provide a customer care line, where you can call or email one of our CCL wetroom specialists. The CCL Wet Room Materials team will be happy to assist you with any advice, problems or queries you may have.

The Architect’s Wet Room Design Guide provides in-depth information regarding the extensive choice of drain designs available and guidance on how to choose the right drainage solution for every client’s requirements. Download your free copy today by filling in the form on our homepage for advice covering all the practical considerations involved in designing and installing a wet room.

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