A drain cover is a great investment in the health of your home’s plumbing. It might not be the most exciting purchase you’ll make this month, but it’s a worthwhile pick up… so long as you get the right one!
Why To Use A Drain Cover
It might not be obvious that you should use a drain cover, as they are sometimes ugly, they get dirty, and they are just an extra thing in your life. So why should you consider one?
Why You Need A Good Drain Cover
Bad drain protectors are simply not worth the savings that makes them attractive. A premium drain protector might cost about $10 while a budget one will be $5 (or, more likely, two for $10) but the cheaper ones will be prone to rusting and will generally not stay in place. Also, worse designs will reduce water flow causing water collect at your ankles in the shower, which we all know is unpleasant.
Be aware of more ornate designs and ones that use wire, as they will be more difficult to clean. You want something simple that can be wiped clean and that hair will be easily removed from.
OXO Shower Drain Protector
If you want a nice, high-end, handsome drain protector then you’ll like the OXO Good Grips Shower Protector. It’s a 4.75 inch diameter circle that is made of stainless steel. It has a silicone ring around that outside that is soft and rubbery enough to keep the drain protector in place even with a lot of water flow. It’s also very flat so if you step on it, you’ll barely notice and it won’t become dislodged.
Another nice feature of the OXO drain cover is that it’s highly perforated so water flows through very well and it doesn’t collect at the bottom of the shower. Despite all the perforation there is still enough metal left that it’s a strong design that that will last for a long time, unlike wire designs which tend to rust and fray quickly.
The whole point of this drain protector is that is collectors hair and any larger debris that might go down the drain and clog it in the future.
At 4.75 by 4.75 inches this protector is wide enough for even very large, very premium showers and drains. On the downside, it uses a flat design that won’t work with a drain stopper that extends up — there are different designs that can accomodate that.
I’ve had the OXO Good Grips drain cover in a shower for about three years (many more?) and it’s held up great. It’s a simple solution that prevents my drain from slowing and I almost never need to think about it. It just needs to be wiped clean now and then and to have any collected hair removed when the tub is cleaned.
What is a hair catcher? Is it the same as a drain cover ?
A hair catcher is another name for a drain cover or drain protector. They are the same thing, though some companies call them by different names. The purpose of a drain cover is to prevent anything besides water and soap from going down your drain. The primary thing a drain cover will stop is hair. This is important because hair will flow down drains easily, it is gross to clean up, and hair will create serious clogs in your pipes over time. Before causing a clog hair will slow down the flow of water, causing your shower to fill at the bottom as you run the water.
Are shower and bathtub drain covers the same?
No. Shower drain covers are normally quite wide (over 4 inches) while bathtub covers are less wide, at about 2.75″ x 2.75″. Some bathtub drain covers (also known as hair catchers) will need to accomodate for a drain stopper (like a built-in plug) that extends out above the surface of the floor, but this isn't a feature on shower drain covers.