Where Should a Shower Drain be Placed?

Remodeling a house can bring up surprising questions. One of these questions is where should a shower drain be placed. This can be an important question to ask yourself because installing a shower properly will be more beneficial in the long run.

A shower drain should be placed at the lowest point of a shower or tub. Placing the shower drain in this sloped location helps ensure that the water can drain in a downward flow.

Reading this article can help you determine the positioning of the drain and also where the shower heads need to be in relation to the draining system.

Shower Drain Placement

Considering that the shower drain needs to be at the lowest point of the shower, it can be hard to determine where that is. The lowest point for a shower drain can be found at the bottom of a slope.

This slope may not necessarily be easy to find. However, using leveling tool can help you figure out where this lowest point can be.

Water needs to run down to drain efficiently. Not only does placing the drain at the lowest point help with this but also helps with preventing the water from sitting or puddling up in the shower.

This is important to keep your shower running smoothly and prevent damage to your shower or help slow down mold growth that sometimes occurs with water that is just sitting.

When working with linear shower drains, the placement of the drain can be located at the entrance or at a location that is closer to the back wall.

Does It Matter Where A Shower Drain Is Located?

Other than being at the lowest point in a shower, the location doesn’t particularly matter. There are some key factors to think about when installing a shower drain. Ensuring that the water can run down and into the drain is how to know that the drain is where it needs to be.

If there is little to no slope where your drain is located, water is unable to flow into the draining system. This can cause water to puddle.

When installing a drain, keep in mind that the closer to the faucet your drain is the better. When water flows from the faucet or shower head, it is more beneficial for the water to be able to go straight into the drain.

If you are not able to place your drain underneath a showerhead or faucet, you can place them behind where the water flows out of the faucet to ensure that no mold growth can take place.

Can a Shower Drain be Opposite the Shower Head?

Sometimes a shower isn’t designed for the drain and showerhead to be placed in the same location as the other. While it doesn’t depend on any certain placement, the shower drain can be placed on opposite sides of the shower head.

As long as the shower drain is placed on the slope of the lowest part of the shower and the water can run towards the drain, there is no harm in installing your shower head on the other side of the shower from the drain.

How Far Is The Shower Drain From a Wall?

Usually, a shower drain is placed at least two inches from the wall. This allows for there to be room to protect the wall and ensure that the drain system can drain properly. This helps reduce the chances of mold growth and bacteria forming on the walls.

How Far Should A Linear Shower Drain Be From The Wall?

A linear shower drain needs to be around three and a half inches from the wall. This is a basic measurement and may need to be adjusted based on the size of the shower and wall.

Are There Regulation Codes For A Shower Drain?

With everything, there are usually regulation codes that are needed in order to follow the correct guidelines. However, the regulation codes for a shower drain will vary depending on the state. So, what are the regulation codes for a shower drain?

Although these codes will differ based on the state, there are some basic code requirements for a shower drain.

  • Under the plumbing codes, a high point of a shower should be no less than two inches from the draining system.
  • There is a maximum height of a half and is often supposed to be within a 4-foot distance from the shower entrance.
  • Although it may be optional in some cases, a waterproof barrier is likely to be used for showers.

Codes are in place to help ensure the proper installation of drains and plumbing systems in showers. Without these codes, there is a more likely chance that something can go wrong or develop mold and bacteria in your shower resulting in a replacement drain or even a whole shower replacement.


Showers vary in size and in depth. Placing a shower drain in your bathroom shouldn’t be confusing. Codes and regulations will help guide you or a contractor into the correct measurements for a drain placement.

These shower drains can be placed almost anywhere in your shower. However, ensuring that your drain is at the lowest point is the most important guideline to follow. Once the lowest spot is located, there should be a small slope that you can find that helps the water flow down. This is where you need to place your drain.

There is no need to wonder if your showerhead and drain need to be in the same locations due to the fact that water will likely still travel down into the draining system. Usually, the water will flow in the direction of the slope. However, sometimes the best spot to install a shower drain is right underneath the faucet so that the water will free flow from the faucet and into the drain.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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