Handmade in the Kingdom of Belgium
Interview from ‘Floortech Magazine 2019’:
CARRODRAIN CONQUERS HEARTS WITH BELGIAN TOP DESIGN
Carrodrain is the Belgian market leader in shower drains for walk-in showers. Their showpieces, Twiggi and Cayman, have already won many fans with their super-sleek design and a grate that is only 30 mm wide. The Carrodrain Twiggi can easily be extended and connected, allowing the drain to run from wall to wall in one sleek line. But aesthetics was not the only consideration in the design. These shower drains also offer many technical benefits.
DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS
We had a chat with Peter Steylaerts, the creative brain behind Carrodrain: ‘With over 12,000 drains sold each year, we are currently the market leader in Belgium. The unique design of our products, with which we consciously distinguish ourselves from our competitors, is perhaps the main reason for our success.’ Both Cayman and Twiggi have a super-narrow design, making them only 30 mm wide. This is how Carrodrain responded to the desire for calm and elegance in the bathroom. Carrodrain’s drains create a zen-like effect in the shower area: ‘The trend towards a sober design has unmistakably and irreversibly taken hold. Today’s customer no longer wants wide metal drains with unsightly grate holes.’
EXTENDABLE SHOWER DRAIN
‘The extensibility and linkability of the Twiggi provides enormous freedom to a bathroom designer. You can let any shower drain run from wall to wall and even corner couplings are easy to realize. Thanks to the linkability, you can also connect two or more drains to each other in large shower areas, which provides a wonderful effect and a double discharge flow! The extensibility also makes it possible to create a good flow to the drain without the floor fitter having to cut the tiles diagonally. He thus creates one tight floor surface that is completely free of unnecessary joints. This ensures an elegant and stylish result.’
Carrodrain developed its own extendable grating and there were good reasons for this: ‘There were already drains on the market that could be shortened, but there were still risks associated with that, because the waterproofing also had to be repaired after being cut. Our system of extensibility is done on top of the waterproofing and therefore does not involve any risk in terms of waterproofing.’
PERFECT FOR RENOVATION
Thanks to the low installation height of only 52 mm - plus tile thickness - Carrodrain Twiggi and Cayman are particularly suitable for renovation projects. ‘The renovation market is still on the rise and this is where we score particularly high. I think that the low installation height and the high flow rate of 31 litres per minute are our greatest assets here. Thanks to the low installation height, the shower floor can always be installed flush with the rest of the bathroom floor, even in older homes. No steps are needed, which is also convenient for people who are less agile.’
Carrodrain’s shower drains were developed with easy maintenance in mind. ‘In the design phase, it was essential for the siphon to remain accessible, despite the very narrow grating,’ Peter Steylaerts says. ‘That is why we came up with our patented siphon, which is long and narrow. As a result, the interior remains accessible and cleanable at all times. I sometimes read about underground “self-cleaning siphons”, but isn’t that just a marketing myth? I can’t really imagine anyone being fooled by that. By building a siphon underground, you can gain a lot of space, but the risks are high. Just imagine a child’s toy getting stuck in there. The siphon would be inaccessible and you’d have to break up the whole floor. No one wants to go through that. The grate of contemporary shower drain must also be infinitely adjustable in height, depending on the chosen tile thickness. In the past, we would often see shower drains with a fixed metal tile profile, but that greatly limits the choice of floors. Moreover, the water under the tiles can then no longer flow into the drain and this then causes efflorescence in the tile grout later. Our Twiggi and Cayman’s grates are infinitely adjustable from 2 mm to 50 mm, which gives almost unlimited possibilities for the floor finish. A shower drain today must also be suitable for combining with any type of floor finish. Mosaics, ceramic tiles and natural stone are all familiar to us, but epoxy cast floors or Mortex are also indispensable in shower projects these days. And you already know what I’m going to say next: all these floor finishes can be perfectly combined with Carrodrain!’
TWIGGI AND CAYMAN’S GRATES CAN BE COMBINED WITH ANY FLOOR FINISH. THE TWIGGI IS EASILY EXTENDIBLE AND CONNECTABLE.
‘What does the end customer want most? Ease of use, and aesthetics. A nice sleek shower drain that is almost invisible; that’s what people want. And actually, Carrodrain literally has a patent on that. Our Twiggi has been granted no less than three European patents, so it can’t simply be copied by our competitors. That is certainly a great recognition.’ Peter Steylaerts has recently noticed another striking trend: ‘We are currently enjoying particular success with our Twiggi and Cayman Black Edition, a stainless steel shower grate with a black epoxy coating. It looks very attractive combined with black sanitary ware, but also very beautiful with tapware in bronze or brass. A project done with a Carrodrain Black Edition looks spectacular every time. It is amazing to see what some people create with our products.’
Peter Steylaerts concludes on a philosophical note: ‘What’s really great is that we, as a small Belgian company, still manage to compete against a number of big world players. And as small Belgians we are always a bit of an underdog. Historically, that’s also the role play best. The slogan “Handmade in the Kingdom of Belgium” has recently been placed on every Carrodrain box. After all, our drains are produced in our own country from A to Z. We decided to play that trump card. Small is beautiful!’