What is the Shower Tray?

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A shower tray is a waterproof surface on the bathroom floor, providing a base for the shower enclosure or door. The shower tray collects water from the showerhead and channels it towards the drain, preventing water from leaking onto the bathroom floor.

Shower trays are essential to any shower system, providing a robust and waterproof base for the shower enclosure or door and ensuring that water is properly directed toward the drain. They are available in different styles and designs and can be selected to match the bathroom decor.

Shower Tray

How Does the Shower Tray Work?

The primary function of a shower tray is to provide a level surface for the user to stand on while showering and to collect and drain water away from the shower area. The shower tray works by channeling water towards the drain through a slight slope or gradient built into the tray’s surface.

When water flows from the showerhead onto the shower tray, it collects on the surface. It is channeled towards the drain through a pattern of grooves or through a pre-molded slope. The drain, located in the center of the tray, then carries the water away and into the central plumbing system.

Some shower trays also include features such as non-slip surfaces or textured patterns to provide additional safety and comfort for the user. Some shower trays are also designed to be more durable or resist staining and damage from harsh cleaning products.

Cost of Shower Trays

The cost of shower trays can vary depending on several factors, such as size, material, and design. Generally, shower trays made of higher-quality materials, such as stone resin or porcelain, are more expensive than acrylic or fiberglass ones.

Here are some estimated price ranges for different types of shower trays:

Shower trayEstimated cost
Porcelain shower trays$500 to $1,500
Stone resin shower trays$300 to $1,000
Acrylic shower trays$100 to $500
Fiberglass shower trays$150 to $600

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and prices can vary widely depending on the manufacturer, retailer, and other factors. In addition to the shower tray’s cost, additional costs, such as labor and materials, may be associated with installation.

What to Consider When Choosing a Shower Tray

When choosing a shower tray, several factors must be considered to ensure you select the right one for your bathroom. Here are some vital  things to keep in mind:

  1. Size and shape:

Shower trays come in various sizes and shapes, so you need to choose one that fits your bathroom layout and the space available. Consider the placement of your showerhead and any other fixtures when selecting a tray.

  • Material:

Shower trays are made from different materials, including acrylic, fiberglass, porcelain, and stone resin. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that meets your needs and preferences.

  • Durability:

You want a shower tray that is durable and long-lasting. Look for a tray that is made from high-quality materials and has a sturdy construction.

  • Style:

Shower trays come in different styles and designs, including square, rectangular, and round shapes. Choose a style that complements your bathroom decor and enhances its overall look.

  • Color

The majority of the shower trays are white. This makes for a simple and pared-back aesthetic. However, slate color show trays are becoming more popular nowadays. It gives a natural look and touch.

  • Pipework

If your pipework is set into the floor, you select between the raised and flat shower trays. Yet, if the pipework is raised, you require a raised one to build space for the plumbing.

  • Easy to clean:

The shower tray should be easy to clean and maintain. Look for one that has a non-porous surface, as this makes cleaning easier and prevents bacteria buildup.

  • Slip resistance:

The shower tray should be slip-resistant to prevent accidents and injuries. Look for one that has a textured surface or a non-slip coating.

Shower Tray Shapes and Sizes.

Shower trays come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different bathroom layouts and personal preferences. Here are some standard sizes and shapes of shower trays:

  1. Square:
Square tray

These shower trays have a standard size of 900mm but are also available in sizes ranging from 700 to 1000mm. They are a popular choice for smaller bathrooms.

  • Rectangle:
Rectangle tray

These shower trays are available in various sizes, including 1200 x 800mm, 1200 x 900mm, and 1400 x 900mm. They offer more space for showering than square trays and are a good choice for larger bathrooms.

  • Quadrant:
Quadrant tray

These shower trays have a curved front edge and are available in sizes such as 900 x 900mm, 800 x 800mm, and 1000 x 1000mm. They are a good choice for bathrooms with limited space as they can fit into corners.

  • Offset quadrant:
Offset quadrant tray

These shower trays resemble quadrant trays but have a larger rectangular area at one end. They are available in sizes such as 1200 x 800mm and 1200 x 900mm.

  • Pentagonal:
Pentagonal tray

These shower trays have a five-sided shape and are a good choice for larger bathrooms. They are available in sizes such as 900 x 900mm and 1000 x 1000mm.

  • Walk-in:
Walk-in tray

These shower trays are designed to be used with a separate shower enclosure or screen. They are available in many sizes and shapes and offer easy access for people with mobility issues.

It’s essential to measure your bathroom space and consider the placement of other fixtures, such as the showerhead and the drain when selecting a shape and size for the shower tray. Some shower tray manufacturers also offer custom shapes and sizes, which may be necessary for unique or non-standard bathroom layouts.

How to Maintain the Shower Trays?

To keep your shower tray clean and well-maintained, follow these tips:

  1. Clean the shower tray regularly using a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, which can scratch or damage the tray’s surface.
  2. After each use, wipe down the shower tray with a squeegee or towel to eliminate excess water and prevent water spots from forming.
  3. Avoid using harsh or acidic cleaning products, as they can damage the surface of the shower tray.
  4. If the shower tray is made of stone or other porous materials, apply a sealer to the surface to protect it from water damage and staining.
  5. Check the drain and waste outlets regularly to ensure they are clear and functioning correctly.
  6. Repair any cracks or damage to the shower tray as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping underneath and causing further damage.
  7. If the shower tray is discolored or stained, try using a specialized cleaning product designed for the kind of material it is built from.

Shower Trays Material

Shower trays can be made from various materials, each with unique properties and benefits. Here are some of the most common materials used to make shower trays:

  1. Acrylic:

Acrylic shower trays are lightweight, affordable, and easy to clean. They are made from a durable, non-porous material that resists scratches and stains. Acrylic shower trays are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be customized to fit specific bathroom layouts.

  • Fiberglass:

Fiberglass shower trays are also lightweight and easy to clean. They are made from a composite material reinforced with glass fibers, making them solid and durable. Fiberglass shower trays are typically less expensive than other materials. They can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Porcelain:

Porcelain shower trays are made from a ceramic material fired at high temperatures, creating a solid and durable surface. Porcelain shower trays are resistant to scratches, stains, and heat and are available in various colors and styles.

  • Stone resin:

Stone resin shower trays are made from resin and natural minerals, creating a robust and durable surface resembling natural stone. Stone resin shower trays are available in a variety of colors and textures. They can be customized to fit specific bathroom layouts.

  • Solid surface:

Solid surface shower trays are made from a composite material resistant to scratches, stains, and bacteria. They are available in various colors and styles and can be customized to fit specific bathroom layouts.

When choosing a shower tray, it’s essential to consider the properties of each material and how they fit your specific needs and preferences. Factors such as durability, ease of maintenance, and style should be considered when selecting.

Modern bathroom with shower and washbasin
Modern bathroom with shower and washbasin

Where the Shower Trays Install

Shower trays are typically installed on the bathroom floor, creating a smooth, level surface for the shower base. They are placed directly onto the floor and can be secured using adhesive or screws to ensure they remain in place. The shower tray is then connected to the plumbing system. The drain is located in the main of the tray to allow water to flow towards it and be carried away.

How Long Do Shower Trays Last?

The lifespan of a shower tray depends on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the frequency of use, and the level of maintenance provided. A shower tray can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

Acrylic shower trays, for example, are designed to be durable and long-lasting and, with proper care, can last for up to 10-15 years. Stone resin and porcelain shower trays can last even longer, up to 20-25 years, due to their higher level of durability and resistance to wear and tear.

However, factors such as the weight of the user, frequency of use, and exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals can all impact the lifespan of a shower tray.

Suppose a shower tray becomes cracked, chipped, or damaged in any way. In that case, repairing or replacing it as soon as possible is essential to prevent water damage to the surrounding areas. With proper care and maintenance, a shower tray can provide many years of safe and comfortable use.

FAQs about Shower Trays

Here are some frequently asked questions about shower trays:

  1. Are shower trays better than tiles?

Shower trays offer several advantages over tiled shower floors, including excellent water resistance, ease of cleaning, and reduced risk of leaks or water damage.

  • Do shower trays need to be installed by a professional?

While it is possible to install a shower tray yourself, it is generally recommended to have it installed by a professional to ensure proper fit, seal, and drainage.

  • How do I clean a shower tray?

Shower trays should be cleaned regularly using a mild cleaner and soft-bristled brush or sponge. Avoid harsh cleaners or scrubbing pads that could damage the tray’s surface. Rinse completely with warm water and dry with a towel or squeegee.

  • Can shower trays be repaired if they become damaged?

Minor damage, such as scratches or small cracks, can often be repaired using a specialized repair kit. However, more extensive damage may require the replacement of the entire shower tray.

Alternative to Shower Trays

There are a few alternatives to using shower trays, including:

  1. Tiled floors:
Tiled floors

Tiled floors are a common alternative to shower trays, especially in larger bathrooms. A properly tiled floor can provide a level surface for the user to stand on and can be designed to slope toward the drain to prevent water from pooling.

Wet rooms:

Wet rooms are a popular alternative to traditional shower enclosures and trays. A wet room is a fully waterproof bathroom with an open shower area allowing water to flow freely across the floor toward a central drain.

  • Shower bases:

Shower bases are similar to shower trays but are typically made from more durable materials such as acrylic or fiberglass. They are also often designed to be more customizable, with various sizes and shapes available to fit different bathroom layouts.

  • Custom-built shower enclosures:
Wet rooms

Custom-built shower enclosures can be designed to fit any bathroom layout. They can be made from various materials, including glass, acrylic, and tile. These enclosures typically include a sloped floor or drain system to prevent water from pooling.

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