What Are Plastic Bathroom Sink Drains? 2 What Are Metal Bathroom Sink Drains? Plastic VS Metal Sink Drains: Which Is Best? Final Thoughts On Bathroom Sink Drains There are many reasons why homeowners might be considering the construction of their sink drains. Maybe your most recent home improvement job is remodeling the bathroom.

Perhaps you’re only replacing the sink or faucet in your bathroom.

Whatever the reason, this guide will provide you with all the information you require regarding metal and plastic sink drains. We’ll go through the plumbing pipes below in addition to pop-up drains and stopper assembly.

That includes the drainpipe, the p-trap (the curved pipe), and the tailpiece (the straight piece that runs down from the drain) (the part after the p-trap that either extends back into the wall, parallel to the countertop, or goes directly into the floor).

Let’s now discuss the primary distinctions between plastic and metal sink drains .

These days, plastic drain assemblies are the norm.
They can be produced using PVC or ABS plastic. For bathroom sinks, PVC is usually the best choice.

Because of the material’s increased heat tolerance, ABS plastic pipes are the best choice for sinks that will need to handle hotter water, such as kitchen sink drains.

The main benefits of plastic over metal are that it is less expensive, easier to work with, and corrosion-resistant.

When we mention cheaper, though, we don’t just refer to the price of the drain and pipes itself. The equipment you need to cut plastic pipes to fit under your sink are far less expensive because plastic pipes are softer than metal ones (and therefore easier to deal with, as we already mentioned).

In fact, a handsaw, which the majority of householders undoubtedly already have on hand, can usually be used to cut plastic pipes. Therefore, there is no need to purchase a new tool, much less an expensive speciality tool.

Plastic pipes are more manageable to work with than metal ones for a variety of other reasons as well. Additionally, using the plumbing fixtures is simpler.

In contrast to nuts for metal pipes, nuts for plastic pipes frequently include wings, making them simpler to hand tighten. In most cases, hand tightening works for even plastic washers and flanges.

It’s important to keep in mind that drain cleaning might harm PVC pipes. This is due to the fact that it can work on clogs at temperatures of up to 200 degrees, which is higher than PVC’s maximum temperature tolerance.

However, since ABS plastic pipes have a greater maximum temperature threshold, that is not a problem.

However, there are several methods available to you for clearing clogs and buildup even with PVC drain lines. To clear blockage and buildup, try using vinegar and baking soda, a plunger, or a drain snake in place of drain cleaner.

If none of those tactics work, you should contact a plumber.

Let’s now discuss metal drains.

Although they are still occasionally found in some newer homes, metal sink drains are more typical in older houses. While new metal pipes are often composed of copper or stainless steel, older ones are typically constructed of cast iron or galvanized steel.

The primary benefit of metal drains is that they are more heat resistant than plastic, including ABS plastic. Because of this, metal drains and strainers are utilized more frequently in kitchens.

With bathroom drains that don’t deal with as hot water and certainly not in the same amounts, this isn’t as much of a problem. The advantage of the increased temperature tolerance is that most metal drains may be used with virtually any drain cleaning without experiencing any issues.

Metal doesn’t have the same level of corrosion resistance as plastic, but stainless steel drains and pipes do. Pipes made of stainless steel shouldn’t rust.
Although copper oxidizes frequently, it doesn’t rust. The end result mainly only differs in look and not in functionality.

You usually require pliers or a wrench to tighten the slip joints and other drain fittings on metal drains, especially older ones. Even though it’s not as practical as using plastic, you shouldn’t need to purchase specialized installation equipment from the hardware shop to install your drain fittings.

If you choose to install your own drains, you might require a specialised instrument to cut the pipes to the right length. To cut a metal pipe with the greatest results, you’ll need an angle grinder or a specialized pipe cutting tool.

With a hacksaw, a vise to hold the pipe while you cut, and a lot of patience, you can usually complete the task, but it will take significantly longer and be much more difficult.


It depends, is the succinct response. Generally, your options will be restricted to what is most affordable and accessible nearby.
The exception is larger buildings, when metal pipes may be preferred over plastic per construction codes.

Building rules will very probably require you to utilize metal if you live in a large commercial residential building, such as an apartment complex or condo building. This pertains to all DWV pipelines, also known as drain, waste, and vent pipes, and is primarily a safety issue.

If you have PVC or ABS pipes, you’ll also need to exercise caution when using drain cleaners with lye bases because the heat generated could cause the pipes to deform and leak. However, modern plastic pipes will typically work just fine in something like a kitchen sink. The same is true for situations involving boiling water.

The cost and do-it-yourself-ability will be the key factors in this. Plastic is generally going to be less expensive for you to install overall, so if you’re doing things yourself and have the choice, that’s almost certainly the best option.

The cost of metal pipes is generally not going to significantly increase the final amount on your invoice if you’re hired a plumber to complete the work for you, but you will spend a little bit extra.

However, corrosion is more likely to occur in metal pipes than in plastic, even though it is still very unlikely to be a problem, so that is something to bear in mind as well.


It’s crucial to pick the proper material whether you DIY your bathroom sink drain installation or hire a professional to do it for you.

Because it is included with your faucet, there are typically few options for the drain assembly itself. Additionally, the material of the drain assembly is typically not a deciding factor when selecting a faucet. Instead of considering the drain, choose a faucet that will meet your demands.

On the other side, you have the choice regarding your pipes, which is also where it matters more. Hopefully, this guide has given you the knowledge you require.





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