If you’re currently in the process of building or remodelling a bathroom, then you’ve probably already thought about your shower installation. It’s rare nowadays for a bathroom not to have a separate shower, given then convenience and lack of mess that comes from having an enclosed shower rather than a bath shower.
After you’ve decided on the style of shower you wish to have, the next step is choosing a shower tray. The shower tray is what forms the base of the shower, catches the water and funnels it down into the drain. There are various styles of shower tray available, so you need to make an informed decision as to what will fit your bathroom.
Shower Tray Shape…
There are a variety of shapes available to choose from. The standard shower tray is square, which is convenient as it fits into most spaces, and is ideal for corner placement or for being fitted in the middle of a wall.
The other best-selling style of tray is the quadrant, which has a corner and then a curved outside edge, like a quarter of a circle. These fit into corner installations, but are unsuited for placement elsewhere.
Finally, rectangular trays are also popular, but more so for walk in showers than traditional shower installations. The disadvantage of a rectangular tray is that unless you have a very powerful shower head, the water will not cover the entire area of the rectangle, meaning that you’re wasting space.
Traditional or Slim Line?
Next you need to make a decision about the height of the tray that you wish to purchase. A traditional shower tray has an edge that is around ten to twenty centimetres high, which is ideal for preventing water getting onto bathroom floors. However, there is another option which is called a slim line tray. These are designed as an alternative to having a tiled floor in a walk in shower. They have a minimal raised edge, usually only a couple of centimetres. Instead, they depend on the shower enclosure itself being built without a gap so water can’t escape. They also tend to have more area and a slightly steeper slope towards the drain, which also help to prevent water leaking onto the floor.
Shower Tray Material…
Traditionally shower trays have been built out of stone resin. This is a mixture of pieces of stone and resin glue that is poured into a mould and left to set. Once it’s dry, it’s covered with a gel coating. The disadvantage of this is that stone resin is slippery when it’s wet, meaning that these trays usually have a built in anti-slip surface that can be unsightly, and is difficult to clean properly. Alternatively, acrylic shower trays are also popular.
Acrylic has rather a bad reputation for cracking, but more modern methods mean that newer acrylic trays are hard wearing. They are also easier to clean and maintain than stone resin trays. Finally, there are acrylic capped trays. These are made from stone resin, which is then capped with a thin layer of acrylic, giving you the strength of stone resin with the look and easy maintenance of acrylic. However, this material is far more common in slim line trays than in traditional one.
Phil Turner has now refitted two bathrooms, both with slim-line quadrant shower trays and using AQVA furniture for storage.