Understanding Bathroom Jargon | Schlüter-Systems

Understanding Bathroom Jargon

When planning a bathroom renovation, there’s a lot to consider and take on board, from getting quotes to deciding on the final finishes. Along the way, there are a few things your tiler, tradesperson or designer may mention that might leave you feeling bewildered or scratching your head.

Like with any line of work or industry, there are often lots of buzzwords or terms that are thrown around. To anyone familiar in the field they make perfect sense, but to an outsider, they are a complete mystery. We’ll cover key questions like what is tanking, what is meant by a fall and what is a point drain.

Whether you’re a total novice or have a basic understanding of what these terms are, we have put together a summary to help demystify some of the common bathroom phrases and empower you in your bathroom renovation journey.


We’ll start with this term as it’s very common to hear this and it often gets used interchangeably with ‘bathroom’. It is essentially another style of bathroom where the shower is the same level as the rest of the room and has no shower tray. Quite often, a shower screen is installed to prevent the rest of the room getting wet, but generally the room remains open plan. They are totally waterproofed underneath, and it is this waterproofing which allows the whole room to have no barriers and be exposed to moisture.


Tanking, or waterproofing, is the process of using a waterproof membrane or waterproof backerboard to create a waterproof layer between the substrate (plaster or plasterboard) and the tile. There are several ways for this to be achieved, either using liquid-applied membranes or sheet material.

Shower Waterproofing
Shower Fall


Another common term you might hear in discussions is ‘fall’ or ‘slope’. For water to efficiently drain away when taking a shower, a slight slope is created toward the drain. Generally, it’s not noticeable, so you would be forgiven for not being familiar with this term or even knowing it exists. The subtle slope simply ensures the room doesn’t flood.

Types of drain

There are a couple of types of drain that you might encounter when selecting the design of your shower area. Point drain or linear drain are both popular options that make for a very stylish finish.

A point drain is usually in the centre of a shower, creating a single point for the water to drain away from.

A linear drain is longer in shape and can be positioned in the centre, or along the perimeter of the shower.

Point Drain
Linear Drain


A niche is a tiled storage compartment within the wall of the shower. They are visually appealing and serve a practical purpose, especially when you consider they are a replacement for the typical plastic or metal storage solution. They can also be installed with LED lights to create a focal point and create ambiance.

Shower Niche
LED Shower Niche

When planning a bathroom renovation, it is important that you’re on the same page as your installer or designer. Being familiar with some of the common words or phrases that crop up will take some of the mystery out of the process and give you the knowledge to proceed with confidence.

Schlüter-Systems Ltd have a range of products to help make the installation process quicker, more efficient and ensure a long-lasting result. Get in touch with our team today if you have any questions about how our products can be integrated into your bathroom installation by contacting sales@schluter.co.uk or by calling 01530 813396.

You can always visit our website to learn more about our wetroom and bathroom solutions.

Contact Schlüter-Systems Ltd

Units 3-5 Bardon 22,
Beveridge Lane, Coalville,
Leicestershire, LE67 1TE
Phone: +44 (0) 1530 813396

Quick contact list

Reach the department of your choice directly via email:

Write To Us!

Do you have a question or suggestion?