Slot Drain Systems



A Complete 2020 Guide on Slot Drains – What, Why, How


You may have heard about slot drains and wondered what they are actually and are they any different than regular trench drains.

In this article, we will answer any questions you might have about slot drains, including their advantages and what makes them different than other drainage systems out there.


Slot drains are basically trench drains – with a twist

Trench drains are a specific type of floor drains (channel drainage) which contain a channel- or through-shaped body used for quick evacuation of surface water, and containment of chemical spills or utility lines. They´re of long length and narrow width, usually made out of concrete.

30 years ago, they were the only option for a floor drain. An expensive option, requiring a lot of maintenance and not that effective in what they´re intended for – water drainage.


They had to be replaced by a more innovative solution

A slot drain consists of a drainage pipe with a thin neck (slot) and is another type of trench drains. It´s a water management system that includes a surface element and an underlying channel component but with two main differences:

  1. They are linear
  2. They are defined by a discrete slot without any kind of grating.

Therefore, they´ve become increasingly used in areas which require intense cleaning or which experience high and heavy traffic, both indoor and outdoor – car washes, garages, processing facilities, fire halls, shower rooms, landscaping...


So useful it had to be protected

Being the first to provide a pre-sloped, prefabricated drain system, slot drain was actually patented in 1988 under the name – can you guess? Slot Drain!

It´s advertised as an affordable and superior one-piece, built-in, sloped, open floor drain/surface drain system.



Slot Drain
Trench Drain

What makes slot drains a more suitable option?

There are several advantages to implementing a slot drainage system.


Water evacuation capacity

This is probably the most important and distinct feature of slot drains – the ability to provide quick high-volume water flow and quick evacuation without a large space or grate opening.



The sole fact that there aren´t any grates used means there will be no rust or deterioration to deal with, nor there will be the need for replacement. Especially in industries dealing with extreme temperatures or strong chemicals.

Not having any replacements at all with slot grates, you can count on saving a lot of time and money.



Traditional metal grates and covers can be weak and difficult to clean thus prone to trapping bacteria, germs, fungus... Linear slots have introduced a more sanitary drainage system, much easier to remove and clean.

They do not absorb water or any contaminants due to their sloped design, disposing of them in an environmentally friendly way, and eliminating odor.

This is extremely important in food processing industries, where compromised products can cause huge losses, costs, and long-term consequences.

Since it takes much less time, it takes a lot less labor so you can count on massive maintenance cost savings.


Pool stainless steel slot drains with a minimal reveal

High-quality materials

From stainless and galvanized steel to fiber-reinforced fiberglass, slot drains also come in different shapes – with T-sections, 90° and 45° elbows, etc.


When grates deteriorate, they easily break and can cause serious accidents and injuries.

So, previously four-sloped or contoured floors are now replaced by two-sloped floors that are, next to being low maintenance, much more durable.

Narrow slots made of stainless steel can stand the extreme weight and provide a much more stable environment for the equipment.

There exist grates that are very strong and can sustain heavy weights, but they are too expensive. This is why the slot concept was introduced – to minimize the cost while providing durability.


Even though set into the ground, trench drains are wide and covered with heavy grates – not that aesthetically appealing.

The discreet and not as wide slot without any grates made slot-drain system blend seamlessly into the ground. This made them very popular among designers, who use them for their sleek look without needing to compromise on the drainage capacity and functionality.

This is especially true for landscaping architects, who look to avoid having grates showing on the ground in gardens, fountains, playgrounds…



Which industries benefit the most from slot drains?

Flexible and effective, slot drains can be adjusted for any requirements therefore suitable for use in various market sectors:

  • Food and beverage processing, including breweries, wineries, etc.
  • Outdoors (landscape architecture, patios, pools, plazas, gardens, playgrounds, parks…)
  • The industrial and manufacturing industry
  • Automotive industry (car wash, commercial garages, dealerships, parkades…)
  • Agricultural and animal sector (greenhouses, hydro-culture and animal facilities, barns)
  • Public (pedestrian, paved, and sporting areas; highways, roads…)
  • Residential (garages, bathrooms, showers, swimming pools, hot tubs)


So are slot drains the right choice for you?

No matter if you are an up-and-coming craft brewery, a farmer expanding its production, or just looking for the most aesthetic solution for your new bathroom, slot drains can answer all your needs, big or small.

Changing surface drainage forever, slot drains introduced functionality paired with aesthetic appeal.

Eliminating the use of grates, slot drains put an end to its mandatory frequent replacements due to corrosion and inconvenient cleaning procedures. They can now be sanitized the same as floor surfaces, without additional steps.

The risk of bacterial and fungal contamination has exponentially decreased, contaminants and fine debris are much more easily removed in an environmentally friendly way, all the while eliminating any odor.

We would say that when choosing the most effective water management or drainage system, it should be a no brainer. With minor flaws and numerous advantages, slot drains are the most superior ones currently on the market.


Shower Stainless steel slotdrains


Any drawbacks?


Accidental drops

One of the few disadvantages to slot drains could be that it may be a bit more difficult to retrieve any object dropped accidentally into it. It´s not that easy to squeeze fingers through the slot.

But that can be easily solved by using a stick or a paddle to push the object up until they catch basin, where the object can be picked up.



Some have expressed concerns with drain body inspection, which might be inconvenient. For a more detailed inspection, technicians use a borescope.







Questions? Comments? Get in touch. Call us at 646-227-0910 or email us at [email protected]