Why Is The Tub Drain On The Wrong Side?

Have you ever gotten into your bathtub only to realize that the drain is on the wrong side?

It can be frustrating to have to contort your body just to sit comfortably or prop your feet against the faucet. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in wondering why so many tubs seem to have drains in inconvenient locations.

As someone who’s asked this question countless times myself, I’ve learned that a tub’s drain placement can be influenced by several factors. It could be due to the bathtub’s style, the layout of your bathroom, or even the location of its plumbing fixtures.

In this article, we’ll explore the top reasons why your tub drain may be on the wrong side. We’ll also take a closer look at how your bathtub’s placement affects sewage and drainage, and offer tips on how to make the most of your bathroom’s existing layout.

So, let’s dive in now.

Common Reasons Why the Tub Drain May Be on the Wrong Side

One of the most significant factors that determine where the drain is located is your home’s plumbing layout.

If the pipes are located on one side of your bathroom, it may be more convenient to install the drain on that side of the tub to avoid having to reroute the plumbing. Think of it as a puzzle; sometimes, certain pieces must fit together in a specific way to function correctly.

Another reason why your tub might have a drain on an inconvenient side is due to your bathroom’s layout. If your bathroom is small or has an odd shape, it may be challenging to install the tub in its ideal location.

As a result, you may have to install the tub in a way that requires the drain to be on an unconventional side. Personal preferences also play a role in determining where your tub’s drain ends up.

Suppose you have specific style or layout preferences for your bathroom that require you to install the tub in an unconventional way. In that case, this could result in the drain being discharged on a different route than what is expected.

It’s important to note that building codes and regulations can also dictate where a tub drain should be located.

If your contractor fails to follow these codes during installation, it can result in a tub with a drain on the wrong side.

Plumbing Set Up

One of the primary culprits behind a misplaced tub drain is poor planning during design or renovation.

If your bathroom layout isn’t properly considered, it can result in your plumbing pipes being located in inconvenient locations that don’t match your desired style. This can lead to your tub being installed on the wrong side of the room, causing headaches with drainage and water flow.

Another reason for a misplaced tub drain is manufacturing mistakes. Even the most experienced plumbers can make errors when locating fixtures which can result in costly repairs down the line.

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If your bathtub drain was installed on the wrong side, it’s vital to address the issue as soon as possible to avoid any further complications. Thankfully, homeowners have the option to relocate their bathtub drain completely to create a more functional bathroom layout.

However, this process can be tricky and requires assistance from a licensed plumber. Investing in this upgrade will result in a more organized and efficient bathroom space.

Personal Preference

It’s entirely up to personal preference.

Just like choosing your favorite ice cream flavor, everyone has their own unique taste when it comes to tub drain placement. Personal preferences can be influenced by how people use their tubs.

For instance, left-handed individuals may prefer having the drain on the left side of the tub to comfortably rest their arm while taking a soak. If you’re someone who likes to read or watch TV while bathing, you might prefer having the drain on the opposite side of where you sit to prevent water from splashing and ruining your entertainment.

The layout of your bathroom can also play a role in determining the ideal drain placement. Sometimes, plumbing pipes and fixtures dictate where the tub drain can be located.

In such cases, homeowners may choose a specific drain location based on their bathroom’s design and available space. It’s important to remember that personal preference is subjective, and there is no right or wrong answer regarding where the tub drain should be placed.

As long as it functions correctly and meets plumbing code requirements, homeowners can choose to have it installed wherever they feel most comfortable.

So, selecting where to position your tub drain is an important decision that should be made based on your specific needs and preferences.

Design Constraints

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Firstly, the location of the plumbing lines is a significant constraint that dictates where the drain should go.

These lines are like underground highways for your home’s sewage system, and it’s often more cost-effective to work with existing lines than to relocate them. Think of it as taking the fastest route to your destination without getting stuck in traffic.

The slope of the floor is another critical factor that must be taken into consideration. Just like a rollercoaster needs the right amount of ups and downs to keep the ride running smoothly, your tub’s drainage system must have an adequate slope to ensure proper water drainage.

If the floor isn’t level, installing the drain on a specific side may be necessary. The size and shape of your tub also play a significant role in deciding where the drain should be placed.

A larger tub may require a center drain, while a smaller one could have a drain on either side. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – you need to find the right fit.

Additionally, asymmetrical tubs may only allow for a drain on a specific side. Building codes and regulations are another important constraint that determines where your tub drain must be located.

These codes aim to ensure safety and proper installation techniques, which means that even if you prefer a different placement, it may not be allowed. Think of these codes as guardrails on the highway – they keep everyone safe and moving in the right direction.

In conclusion, understanding these design constraints will help you make informed decisions about your bathroom renovation project. Although it can be frustrating to have the drain on the wrong side, there are usually valid reasons for its placement.

Plumbing lines, floor slope, tub size and shape, as well as building codes, all play a role in determining where the drain should be placed.

Solutions for Installing the Tub Drain on the Right Side

There are solutions available to make this a reality.

One popular option is to use a drain kit that is specifically designed for this purpose. These kits come complete with everything you need, including a drain assembly, overflow cover, and gasket.

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This is an excellent choice for those who want a quick and straightforward fix without the need for extensive plumbing work. Another solution is to use a drain extension kit.

This type of kit allows you to lengthen the drain pipe so that it can be installed correctly on the right side of the tub. However, it’s crucial to note that this option may require additional plumbing work, so it’s best to seek advice from a professional plumber before attempting it.

If you’re planning a significant bathroom renovation or remodel, relocating the existing drain may be an option worth considering. Although this choice requires more extensive plumbing work, it can be an attractive solution if you want to change your bathroom’s layout entirely.

Ultimately, the best solution for installing a tub drain on the right side will depend on your particular situation.

That’s why it’s essential to consult with a professional plumber who can guide you on which option is best suited for your needs and budget.

Working with a Professional Plumber or Contractor

Relocating a drain can be a complex process that requires specialized knowledge and tools. Hiring a licensed and insured professional ensures that the work is done safely and up to code.

They will have the necessary permits and experience to make sure that your plumbing system is correctly installed and functioning efficiently. But how do you find a reliable professional?

It’s crucial to do your research beforehand. You can check with your state’s licensing board or ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had similar work done.

Remember, the right professional can make all the difference. Once you’ve found a reputable consultant, clear communication is key.

Be sure to specify your requirements and ask any questions you may have regarding the process. A trustworthy plumber or contractor will provide you with an estimate for the cost of the work and a timeline for completion.


In conclusion, the placement of your bathtub drain is a crucial aspect that can make or break your bathing experience.

It’s understandable to feel frustrated when the drain is on the wrong side, but there are several reasons why this occurs. Plumbing lines, floor slope, tub size and shape, building codes and regulations, as well as personal preferences all contribute to determining where the drain should be placed.

Thankfully, there are solutions available to ensure that your tub drain is installed correctly and continues to function efficiently for years. You can use a drain kit designed specifically for this purpose or a drain extension kit that allows you to lengthen the pipe.

If you’re planning a significant bathroom renovation or remodeling project, relocating the existing drain may also be worth considering. However, it’s essential to work with a licensed plumber or contractor when locating your tub drain since it requires specialized knowledge and equipment.

Ultimately, choosing where to position your tub drain is a critical decision that should be based on your unique needs and preferences.