Types of channel drains

22 April 2021

There are four common types of channel drains which are based on forming or installation method

Cast in place

This is the original standard for Channel drain systems. Here, a concrete trench is formed in the ground using wood forms, reinforcing bar and manual labour. This installation method is by far the most labour-intensive. Waterproofing is possibly the most critical aspect of the bathroom when integrating a channel drain. Stainless steel trench drains can also be installed in a home’s shower and in commercial locations like hospital rooms, changing rooms and operating rooms.

Former Systems 

This installation method is the logical successor to the cast-in-place method. The former system gives a cast-in-place product without the hassle of making the form. Rather than wood, the forms are made of lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) or cardboard. The forms attach to a prefabricated frame and grate system that can then be easily set in the trough and aligned for the pouring of concrete. And, like the cast-in-place method, the form is removed after the concrete has dried.

Pre-cast concrete

These channel drains are made in a factory that specializes in making concrete shapes. The channel pieces range in width and length, larger channels requiring heavy equipment to move them, however most channels can be picked up and moved easily by hand. Pre-cast trench drains made of a polymer concrete are also more sturdy and reliable than cast-in-place trenches. A home owner could consider a pre-cast trench for a landscaping project as there are many pre-cast trench drain systems being manufactured specifically for the residential market.

Linear Systems

The popular trend in channel drains at the moment are linear systems. Made from materials such as polymer concrete, fiberglass, structural plastic and steel, liner systems are the channel and grate components that are assembled in the trench and around which concrete is poured to form a drain system.

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