Sleek and streamlined, linear drains, also known as trench drains appeal to designers’ and building occupants’ desire for minimalism. But for project owners, the benefits lie in versatility: easy installation and increased accessibility to provide all current and future residents with safer, more comfortable showers.
As more Americans clamor for modern, contemporary designs, it’s not just faucets and tiles that are answering the call in the bathroom. Linear trench drains provide a sleek look—but also greater design flexibility and increased accessibility.
Trench drains combine both form and function. Aesthetically, they are minimalist in appearance, with a modern cleaner appearance than typical, center drains. Design flexibility abounds, with an array of metal finish colors, and sizes to choose from.
Bestbath’s redesigned trench drains feature magnetic grates, rather than screws, allowing residents or owners easy access for cleaning and drain maintenance. Installation is simplified because the shower floor is pre-leveled at the factory, thus ensuring proper slope and drainage.
Perhaps most importantly, trench drains promote accessible design, which provides a lot of versatility for homes, student housing, multifamily, hospitals, and senior housing projects. The streamlined surface and the capability to collect water quickly makes linear drains ideal for creating curbless showers that are easier to enter and exit versus curbed showers or tub showers. Specifiers and owners can make every unit more accessible, not just those required to be fully ADA compliant.
That combination of features was essential for the Cobalt Apartments, a luxury project in Santa Clara, Calif., featuring resort-style living via roof decks, fire pits, and other amenities. Project designers knew they needed to offer a high-end look throughout each unit via clean lines and modern fixtures, including in the bathrooms. But aesthetics were only part of the design process—safety and functionality were equally as important.
In order to meld beauty, durability, and universal design, Architects Orange chose Bestbath shower pans. With a CBC-compliant design, front trench drain, and gelcoat finish, the shower pans checked all the boxes for both universal and contemporary design.
“We wanted a shower unit that was fully accessible and could adapt, should tenants need to install safety accessories in the future,” says the project’s architect, Keith Minnie. “At the same time, we needed units to be innovative and modern, which the barrier-free design and front trench drain also accomplished.”
Indeed, trench drains are one more in a line of options that prove that “accessible” no longer must equal “institutional.” Building residents can get the best of both worlds, living more comfortably without sacrificing great looks.