Designer Snapshot: In the Trenches

May 25, 2011

By Paula M. Bodah

Vessel sinks, free-standing soaking tubs and rain shower heads are a few of the things that have changed bathroom design in a big way over the past few years. So what’s next? William Caligari, who showed off his favorite new bath fixtures in the May/June issue, tells me trench drains for the shower are becoming popular. “I love trench drains. They allow you to run the floor straight into the shower without a curb,†he explains. “The shower floor only pitches in one direction so it can be a large format tile or a single slab. They also allow us to run the floor heating straight through. We have a project on the boards now with five showers, all with trench drains.â€

Here’s a close-up look at what a trench drain looks like in the shower. Much nicer than a big square or circle in the middle of the floor, isn’t it?

Photo courtesy of

These pictures show the larger context. The trench drain (also called a linear drain), eliminates the need for a shower threshold. The unbroken plane of the floor gives a sleek, modern look to the bath. It’s also a plus if you’re looking for universal design; no threshold means easier access for people with physical challenges.


Photos courtesy of

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