The Ultimate Guide to Bathtub Drain Stoppers: Keeping Your Bathroom Remodel Functional and Stylish

While it may seem like a small detail, the right drain stopper can make a big difference in the functionality and style of your bathroom remodel. This guide will explore the different types of bathtub drain stoppers available, their pros and cons, and how to choose the perfect one for your bathroom remodel.

Why Choose the Right Bathtub Drain Stopper?

When it comes to your bathroom remodel, every detail matters. The drain stopper may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it plays a crucial role in maintaining the functionality and aesthetics of your bathtub. Here are a few reasons why choosing the right drain stopper is important:

  1. Preventing water leaks: A properly functioning drain stopper ensures that water stays in the bathtub when you want it to, preventing leaks and potential water damage to your bathroom.
  2. Easy maintenance: Different types of drain stoppers have varying degrees of maintenance requirements. Choosing the right one can make it easier to clean and maintain your bathtub.
  3. Enhancing the overall look: The right drain stopper can add a touch of elegance and style to your bathroom remodel. It can be a small but impactful detail that ties the whole bathroom design together.

Now that we understand the importance of choosing the right bathtub drain stopper, let’s explore the different types available and their unique features.

Lift-and-Turn Drain Stoppers


Best for: Most bathtubs

A lift-and-turn drain stopper is a popular choice for many homeowners. It features a small knob on the cap that allows you to twist the stopper open and closed. To close the drain, you simply turn the knob until it goes down, and to open it, you lift and turn the knob in the opposite direction.

One of the advantages of a lift-and-turn drain stopper is its durability and affordability. It’s a simple mechanical design that rarely requires attention, other than occasional cleaning to remove hair and debris.

Push-and-Pull Drain Stoppers


Best for: Most bathtubs

Similar in design and function to the lift-and-turn stopper, a push-and-pull drain stopper is pushed down to close and pulled up to open. It also features a setscrew under the cap for installation, making it an affordable and durable option for your bathroom remodel.

Like the lift-and-turn stopper, the push-and-pull type is easy to maintain and rarely requires extensive repairs. However, over time, it may wear out due to regular use.

Toe-Touch Drain Stoppers

Best for: Most bathtubs

If you’re looking for a drain stopper that doesn’t require bending over, a toe-touch stopper might be the perfect choice for your bathroom remodel. This type of stopper uses a spring-loaded design and is operated by pushing it down with your toe.

A toe-touch drain stopper is relatively inexpensive and trouble-free, but keep in mind that the spring mechanism may wear out over time with regular use.

Flip-It Drain Stoppers

Best for: Bathtubs without drain strainers

A flip-it drain stopper is a simple and affordable option for your bathroom remodel. It features a toggle lever on top that can be moved side to side to open and close the drain. The lever operates O-rings underneath to create or release a watertight seal.

Installing a flip-it drain stopper is a breeze, as it requires no tools. You simply push it into the drain, provided there’s no built-in strainer in the way.

Trip-Lever Drain Stoppers

Best for: Most bathtubs

A trip-lever drain stopper is a unique option that features a lever on the overflow plate at the front of the tub. Unlike other types, there is no visible pop-up stopper in the drain opening—just a strainer.

Operated by a plunger in the tub overflow pipe, the trip-lever stopper moves up and down to close and open the drain pipe. It is relatively inexpensive, but installation and maintenance can be a bit complicated.

Pop-Up Drain Stoppers

Best for: Most bathtubs

The pop-up drain stopper is similar to a bathroom sink pop-up in design and function. It is operated by a lever on the overflow plate, which moves a connecting rod linkage in the overflow drainpipe to pivot a rocker arm that connects to the stopper.

Like the trip-lever stopper, the pop-up type is relatively inexpensive but may require more complicated installation and maintenance. Cleaning the stopper and rocker arm requires extraction through the drain opening, and the connecting rod linkage must be extracted through the overflow pipe and plate. Additionally, the complexity of the mechanism makes this stopper type prone to collecting hair and debris.

Choosing the Perfect Bathtub Drain Stopper for Your Remodel

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of bathtub drain stoppers available, it’s time to choose the perfect one for your bathroom remodel. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Cost: Determine your budget and choose a drain stopper that fits within it. Remember to consider long-term maintenance costs as well.
  2. Ease of installation: Some drain stoppers are easier to install than others. If you prefer a DIY approach, opt for a stopper that can be easily installed without professional help.
  3. Ease of maintenance: Consider how often the drain stopper will need to be cleaned and maintained. Choose a type that suits your lifestyle and maintenance preferences.
  4. Style and aesthetics: Select a drain stopper that complements the overall design and style of your bathroom remodel. It can be a small detail that adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space.

Remember, it’s possible to substitute one drain stopper type for another if you’re replacing an existing stopper. However, keep in mind that certain types may require more substantial plumbing work for installation.

Book a Free Design Consultation for Your Bathroom Remodel

At West Shore Home®, we understand the importance of every detail in your remodel. From drain stoppers to fixtures, we strive to create a bathroom that perfectly suits your style and preferences. If you’re ready to transform your bathroom, book a free design consultation with our experts today. Let us help you create the bathroom of your dreams.