Redesigning your bathroom and trying to decide on the perfect bathtub? Don't overlook the style of your stopper. Choosing the right bathtub drain stopper can make your bath times more enjoyable and cut down on repair work in the long run. Bathtub stoppers are usually split into two different categories: lever-free or levered. Lever-free is the preference of many homeowners due to the ease of use regardless of hand strength.
There are a few different types of lever-free drain stoppers, and each has its own pros and cons. Here are a few facts to keep in mind for your next plumbing remodeling consultation.
A foot lock drain, also called a toe touch drain, is able to pop up and down simply with the pressure of your foot. These drains are incredibly easy to install since the stopper twists into a grooved hole in the cross bar that runs through the center of the main drain piece. The stoppers are very easy to repair or replace.
Downsides can include the drain opening a bit too easily so that you accidentally empty your water whenever you shift positions in the tub—or you can accidentally close the drain while taking a shower. You also might not want the drain to be so easily operated by a small child during bath time. If you don't make sure the stopper is firmly twisted into the cross bar, small amounts of water can leak around the stopper even when it is closed.
Lift and Turn
A lift and turn drain is essentially an advanced version of the foot lock. The lift and turn stopper has a handle on top that is turned and lifted to unplug the drain or turned and pushed to plug the drain. The extra action means it is less easy to accidentally trigger the stopper with your foot, but it also means this drain is less easy for someone with limited hand mobility or strength.
Lift and turn stoppers are similarly easy to install with a few twists into the cross bar. Due to the extra mechanisms, the lift and turn stopper can prove a bit more difficult to remove or repair, as the stopper can become quite rigid in the cross bar over time. You should still be able to remove it yourself, but you might need some extra elbow grease.
Push and Pull
A push and pull drain essentially combines the foot lock and lift and turn stoppers. The stopper has a handle but you press it straight down to close and pull it straight up to open. For those who can't decide between the other models, the push and pull can provide a happy middle ground.
This model might still prove too difficult for those with limited hand strength to open and close. Be sure to speak with your contractor during the plumbing remodeling to find the best option for you.