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What Are the Different Types of Shower Drain Covers?

Shower drains typically have a strainer component.
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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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Shower drain covers are generally one of the most important shower accessories, because they help to prevent materials such as hair from clogging up the pipe. There are many different types, but one must often consider the type of drain and the style of shower when purchasing a new cover. The type of material often distinguishes different types of shower drain covers from one another, while installation methods can vary. Drain covers must usually be the right size to securely fit over the pipe.

Plastic is a common material for shower drain covers. It is typically inexpensive, although it may not last as long as more durable materials such as steel, brass, or aluminum. Some covers are plated in gold, copper, or silver, and are usually more expensive and capable of lasting a longer period of time. While plastic is often susceptible to damage, metal can rust or stain, so stainless steel is sometimes a material that certain types of shower drain covers are made of.

Special sizes can be available for non-standard drain holes. Most shower drain covers, however, are around 4¼ inches (about 11.4 centimeters) in diameter on the outside and have a 3 to 3.5 inch (about 7.6 to 8.9 centimeter) diameter inner surface. Measurements can be taken and considered when shopping for drain covers in a store that sells kitchen, bath, or plumbing supplies.

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Usually, shower drain covers have a vent, band, cover, and strainer. Some types can be installed by using a screwdriver to secure them in place, while certain models install with a wrench. Others are fixed to the drain with a type of sealant. There are also shower drain covers with waterproofing, which can be in the form of a tap mechanism or a chemical substance inside them. The type of drain pipe, age of the shower, and the arrangement of the holes can also help decide what kind of shower drain is needed or desired.

Most tub drain cover types can be removed without the help of professional plumbers. Household tools can be used to remove the covers and install new ones in a few steps and in a relatively short amount of time. Chemical drain cleaners can be used to unclog a drain and its cover, as well as to disintegrate organic compounds that can build up. Steel covers are usually cleaned with water, baking soda, and detergents as part of regular maintenance.

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