Drains have come a long way. It used to be that Ebbe was the only one that paid even a little attention to them.
Nowadays, there’s almost no excuse to have an ugly-looking drain cover. This post covers 4 options for the bonding flange shower drains.
These are the types of drains that you use with sealed shower systems. I know this sounds complex but they are popular and the Kerdi system is an example of this type of shower.
Note: These are not 3-piece clamping drains. 3-piece clamping drains are different but you can still get elegant options for this type of drain. The Ebbe drains, mentioned above, are one of the options.
Additionally, you can get clamping drain adapters with some of the bonding flange drains below. See details.
Best Bonding Flange Drains
Here’s the list, in the order that I like.
1. Flo FX – Best Overall
2. Noble Freestyle 4-inch drain – Best Built
3. Kerdi Drain – Best Track Record
Details on what makes them the best bonding flange drains
1. Flo FX
Flo FX is the newest kid in town and it’s taken the industry by storm!
They’ve seemingly improved upon every drain before them in terms of engineering and style. What I like about it is that it:
- Fastens to the subfloor
- The drain grate allows for micro-adjustments in all directions
- A weep system
- It has a 3-piece clamping drain adapter FREE in every box!
- The number of drain styles and finishes is best in the industry
All of this and it was designed by a tile setter. Plus, it comes in a round version if you want to use it in place of a Kerdi drain. (The flange comes round, not the drain grate…yet).
2. Noble Freestyle 4-inch drain
I love how the Noble Freestyle linear drain is built and they’ve managed to incorporate many of the same concepts into this smaller shower drain.
The engineering includes:
- A clamping ring on a bonding flange drain (the only company that does this)
- Weep system with good flow built into threads
- A hefty flange that attaches to the subfloor
- Popular drain finishes
In terms of quality of construction, this is the best drain on the list. In fact, I would describe its construction as ‘robust’.
However, they just don’t have the number of drain styles and finishes that their competitors have.
This drain can be used with Noble’s ProBase honeycomb shower pan system or on its own with a mortar bed.
3. Kerdi Drain
The Kerdi drain is the most popular and best-selling drain on this list. People buy these Kerdi drains even if they aren’t using the Kerdi Shower System. And what’s not to like?
Schluter has long had the gold standard in bonding flange drains. In fact, they invented the term ‘bonding flange drain’.
- Has the longest track record of sales and successful installations
- Is the only drain that Schluter will warranty with their Kerdi Shower System
- Comes in a wide variety of styles and finishes.
- These styles and finishes also carry over to their shower shelves for a cohesive look throughout
The drawbacks are that the drain doesn’t fasten to the floor, there’s no left-to-right adjustment with the drain grate, and a bonding flange adapter (if necessary) is an additional cost.
The Kerdi drain is designed to be used with the popular Kerdi Shower System and can be used with either their foam shower pans or in a mortar bed with the Kerdi membrane.
As mentioned above, Ebbe took their beautiful drain grates and made them usable with a bonding flange system.
These were the original drain grates that made showers look great!
- They still come in a wide variety of finishes and styles
- Still have the removable and replaceable hair trap
- No Screws to fiddle with
Although I’ve used the drain riser with clamping drains in the past, I have no experience with the bonding flange version so I can’t give plusses and minuses.
Do you guys have any feedback on the bonding flange version of this drain? Let me know in the comments.
Those four drains are the most popular and well-known bonding flange drains on the market. Which is your favorite? Which one are you going with?