Pop-Up Drain Vs Push-Down Drain- Everything You Need To Know

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Nobody wants clogs or leaks in their drainage system. So, whether it is for your tub or your sink, you need to invest some time to figure out which draining system works best for you. However, the whole pop-up drain vs push-down drain argument can be a bit confusing. It might leave you wondering, what exactly are the differences?

They differ mostly based on their operation. There is a lift rod in the pop-up drain system, and it is connected to the drain beneath the tub or sink. You can lift the lift rod and close the drain cover. But the push-down drain operates a little differently. Unlike the pop-up drain, a push-down drain has springs and requires pushing.

You can find numerous other differences between a pop-up and a push-down drain. All these differences will be discussed in this article. So, I suggest you read the article to find out about these two types of drainage systems. You can then decide for yourself which one works best for you.

Main Differences Between Pop-Up Drain Vs Push-Down Drain

Choosing the right drain plug is one of the most important decisions you will need to make to ensure the perfect drainage system for your home. It is better to know all the necessary information available on the topic. So, let’s get started with the pop-up drain vs push-down drain discussion, shall we?

  • Material
    Solid metals are used to make both pop-up drains and push-down drains. However, if you like having a variety of options, you might be interested in pop-up drains. Pop-up drains are usually made of different materials like brushed nickel, polished brass, antique brass, chrome, Venetian bronze, etc.
    With push-down drains, on the other hand, you only get three options. They are brushed nickel, chrome, and bronze. 
  • Sink Styles
    One of the best things about both these drain plugs is that they can go with all types of sink styles. So, no matter what type of sink you might have, such as a drop-in, pedestal, under-mount vessel or some other sink style. Both pop-up and push-down drains will go along perfectly with them.
    However, it is worth mentioning that even though they can be used in all these types of sinks, a pop-up drain most generally comes with a pedestal sink.
  • Mechanism Of The Drain
    We have already discussed a little bit about how the drains function. However, what didn’t come up in that discussion is that the mechanism of a pop-up drain is slightly more complex than that of a push-down drain.
    A pop-up drain works with three components: a pivot rod, a lift rod and a lever. For a pop-up drain to function properly, all three of them need to work smoothly together. A push-down, on the other hand, has quite an easy mechanism. It operates with the help of springs.
  • Design
    We have already covered how you can have numerous options in materials with pop-up drains and only three options with push-down drains. The roles are reversed when it comes to their design options. There are not many design options available when it comes to pop-up drains. 
    On the other hand, with push-down drains, you get the opportunity to choose from various designs and color options. So, if you are looking forward to making your tub and sink more aesthetically pleasing, you now know which draining option to get.
  • Ease Of Installation
    In general, you probably will not face any major complications when installing a pop-up drain. Its process of installation is quite simple and basic. However, there are often variations in fittings or fixtures. And as a pop-up drain have different parts, such as a pivot rod, a lift rod and a lever, it needs several steps to finish the installation.
    These things sometimes complicate the installation process of a pop-up drain a little bit. However, you are unlikely to face any such difficulties when installing a push-down drain.
  • Unclogging
    Clogs in a sink or tub is never a fun thing to deal with. Unclogging a clogged drain can be quite an annoying struggle, and you definitely want an easy solution for this. Well, then, a pop-up drain just might be what you need. 
    The mechanism of a pop-up drain involves rods. So, it is quite easy to clean any hair or other things that might result in clogging. A push-down drain, on the other hand, involves springs. You can imagine how easy it would be for hairs to get tangled up in the springs and clog the drain. 
  • Price Range
    When deciding on which drain to get, their cost range naturally plays a big role in the decision. In general, the price of a pop-up drain is much lower than that of a push-down drain. This is mostly because a pop-up drain is much more available in the market than a push-down drain.
    However, one thing you need to remember is that prices mostly depend on what types of material the drain the made of. For example, a chrome pop-up drain is cheaper than most other options. In the case of push-down drains, even though the price is a bit higher, this is certainly the more modern option.

A Quick Sum-Up Of Pop-Up Vs Push-Down Discussion

To sum up, there is a quick comparison table mentioning all the differences between a pop-up drain and a push-down drain:

SpecificationsPop-Up DrainPush-Down Drain
Material Brushed nickel, polished brass, antique brass, chrome, Venetian bronze etcBrushed nickel, chrome and bronze
Sink StyleDrop-in, pedestal, under-mount vessel etcDrop-in, pedestal, under-mount vessel etc
MechanismOperates with lift and pivot rodOperates with springs
DesignFewer options availableMore options availabl
Ease of installationInvolves a few tricky stepsEasy
UncloggingEasyA bit complicated
Price RangeCheaperPricier

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Final Words

The debate over a pop-up drain vs a push-down drain can go on forever. Both of them can be very useful for your sink or tub, as they both offer various exciting attributes. However, at the end of the day, the choice is yours.

In the article, I have discussed many of their attributes, shortcomings and complications in detail. I hope they will help you to decide which one is the most well-suited drain for your sink or tub.

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