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Shower Drain Cover Types

Most of us don’t really think about our shower drains and shower drain covers, but sometimes they demand our attention. And if they need to be cleaned out or replaced, it is good to know which one you have and what tools you need to take care of it.

There are several different types of drain covers, from easy-to-replace removable covers to snap-in covers, to the more complicated 3 piece covers. Each of these different types requires different equipment to remove and replace.

For more about the different types of drain covers and their maintenance, keep reading.

What Are The Shower Drain Cover Types?

Aside from size, there are several different types of drain covers. They’re usually made of metal such as stainless steel, but not always.

The most common 6 types of drain covers, in order of complexity, are the following:

  • Removable Cover
  • Snap-In Replacement Strainers
  • Snap-In Covers
  • Screw-In Covers
  • Cast Covers – Heavy-Duty Screw-In
  • 3-Piece Covers

There are positive and negative aspects to any of these drain covers, so if you’re looking for a replacement, those aspects are something to consider.

Removable Drain Cover

Removable covers are by far the simplest to handle and find. They are simple slotted or holed discs that are placed over the shower drain. When it comes to cleaning, these covers are the easiest to manage. They’re not secured to the ground in any way, so you can simply pick them up, clean them out, and replace them.

The downside of removable shower drain covers is that they’re loose and easy to move. They’re also easy to dislodge with your foot when you step on them.

Snap-In Replacement Strainers

Snap-In replacement strainers are very similar to snap-in drain covers. The difference is that they’re more versatile in size, and can be used for any size pipe that they fit. Most of them are 3.25, 4, or 5.125 inches in diameter, but they also come in other sizes.

As snap-in drain covers, they are fairly easy to remove and fairly easy to replace. However, their usefulness lasts only as long as they can snap in properly. Most snap covers have prongs, which, if broken, result in a loss of connection.

However, the loss of the prongs or snap mechanism doesn’t mean the strainer is useless. It simply becomes more like a removable cover.

Snap-In Drain Covers

Snap-in shower drain covers are some of the most common on the market. Most commonly, they come with two or three prongs that ‘snap’ into place. The best feature is that they’re easy to install and remove, just by popping the prongs free.

They’re easy to remove for maintenance, but you may need to use a flat-head screwdriver to pop it free, depending on how tightly connected the drain cover is.

Snap-in covers usually have small holes that let water through, but not any sort of debris. Snap-in covers come in a variety of colors and materials, so it’s easy to find one you like.

Screw-In Drain Covers

Screw-in covers are the second most common shower drain covers used. They’re regularly installed, and fairly easy to handle in terms of maintenance.

Most screw-in shower drain covers are held to the floor with two simple screws on either side of the pipe. You can remove most of them with a Phillips head screwdriver. Most screw-in shower drain covers are made of stainless steel, but not all of them.

The biggest downside to these is the chance for the screws to come loose. The screws can also scrape a person’s feet if the edges are sharp.

Cast Drain Covers – Heavy-Duty Screw-In

These drain covers are heavy-duty, made to take more abuse as they’re built to last longer. These drain covers are subjected to a casting process and are often formed with a slotted pattern.

Like regular Screw-In covers, they’re attached to the floor via one or two screws. They come in various finishes and aren’t as common as other types of drain covers.

3-Piece Drain Covers

3-piece covers are the most complicated and least common form of shower drain covers. These are heavy-duty covers, whose purpose is to create an extension of the pipe for extra protection.

Most of these are used to protect sub-flooring or tiles.

  • The bottom section goes into the base of the drain.
  • The middle layer has slotted holes like a regular drain cover.
  • And lastly, the final layer screws into the other two.

The depth of the drain cover can be adjusted based on how you have it installed.

The biggest drawback to these drain covers is that they cannot be installed, removed, or maintained by the average homeowner. It’s recommended that you have a professional do the work if these drains need to be repaired.

What Materials Are Used For Shower Drain Covers?

Some covers are made of plastics, but the most common material is stainless steel. The second most common is generally brass.

There is no specific material that can be used, as long as it is sturdy enough to withstand the impact of human weight and regular exposure to water.

The material must also be resistant to corrosion, which is why iron is a poor choice.

What Is The Most Common Size For Shower Drain Covers?

The most common size is 4 inches in diameter. The other two common sizes are three-and-a-quarter inches and five-and-an-eighth inches. Despite the fact that these are the most common sizes, they aren’t the only sizes.

It’s best to measure the size of your drain if you need to purchase a replacement cover, to be sure you’re getting the proper type and width.

What Is The Name For A Shower Drain?

There are a lot of different types of shower drains available, but what are their names? One-piece, multi-piece, three-piece, linear, point, and linear drains are a few of the most popular types.

  • Linear drains – A linear drain is a type of drain that allows water to flow in a linear direction. The most common type of linear drain is the trench drain, which is typically used in showers.
  • Point drains – A point drain is a type of drain that allows water to flow in a single direction. Point drains are often used in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Three-piece drains – A three-piece drain is a type of drain that consists of three parts: a body, a grate, and a flange. Three-piece drains are common in tubs and showers.
  • One-piece drains – A one-piece drain is a type of drain that consists of one piece. One-piece drains are common in residential applications.


Shower drain covers are an essential part of plumbing, especially for keeping larger particles and things like hair out of the pipes. The most common options out there are the removable, snap-in, and screw-in covers.

These are also the best choices for the average homeowner when it comes to do-it-yourself drain maintenance. These simple covers are easy to remove, clean, and replace, as well as inexpensive to purchase, in a variety of styles and finishes.