All The Information You Need About Shower Trays
All The Information You Need About Shower Trays
Table of Contents
- Shower Trays: Everything You Need to Know
- Let’s Begin!
- What Is a Shower Tray?
- What Size Shower Tray Should I Buy?
- Should I Buy a Wet Room Shower?
- What Are the Different Shower Tray Shapes?
- Should I Buy a Raised Shower Tray?
- Should I Buy a Low Profile Shower Tray?
- Should I Buy a Flush Shower Tray?
- Should I Buy a Non-Slip Shower Tray?
- How Do I Make My Shower Tray Non-Slip?
- What Else Can I Do to Prevent Slipping?
- How Do I Install My Shower Tray?
- How Do I Clean and Maintain My Shower Tray?
- To Conclude…
The humble shower tray, humanity’s last line of defense against soggy bathroom floors. They truly are a blessing. However, it can be confusing trying to figure out which shower tray is best for you. Do you need a square shower tray or a quadrant shower tray? What even is a quadrant tray? What is non-slip and do I need it? is it true wet rooms don’t need shower trays?
Fret not. All of these questions and more will be thoroughly answered in this article. If you’ve ever wondered something about shower trays, look no further.
What Is a Shower Tray?
First of all, before we go into the specifics of the different types of shower trays, lets establish what one is. A shower tray is a surface that collects the shower water and discarded filth and drains it into the correct pipes. It does this by channeling the water down its surface and into a drain. For this to work, you must position it on your floor, and yourself on top of the tray as you shower.
They are mostly made from acrylic or acrylic coated stone resin. This is because acrylic is a hardy substance that is water tight and innately not very slipper when wet. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, to fit any bathroom and can come in a variety of levels off of the floor.
Now that’s established, let’s look at all the different kinds of shower trays.
What Size Shower Tray Should I Buy?
Shower trays have to fit their enclosures, so they come in all the sizes that enclosures do. You can get compact shower trays to fit into smaller spaces and you can get larger shower trays to accommodate walk in showers.
The average shower tray size matches the average shower enclosure size of thirty six by thirty six inches. This gives you ample room to clean yourself in your shower. However, you can get smaller ones, with shower trays as small as thirty by thirty inches for the smaller bathroom or tighter space.
Conversely, for a walk in shower, you can get a tray as big as fifty five by seventy eight inches. This is extremely large and means you can maneuver to your hearts content. It also makes it more accessible when compared to smaller shower trays, as there is more room for maneuverability but also room for any required paraphernalia.
It is important to match the size of your tray to the space you have. There is no point buying a tray that won’t fit in your room and there is no worse feeling than realizing you’ve built a small shower where you would have preferred a larger one. Measure your space and draw a floor plan to figure out which size tray you want, it’s always beneficial to plan ahead.
Should I Buy a Wet Room Shower?
In your standard wet room, your entire floor becomes your shower tray. A wet room is when the entire bathroom is water proofed and the shower drain is put in the middle of the floor. This is ideal for making the most of a small space, or making a fashionable statement with a bigger space. However, it is important to keep in mind that with a wet room, you may find your floor to be slippery more often than not. Think carefully about what you value before taking the plunge.
What Are the Different Shower Tray Shapes?
Typically speaking, there are four shower tray shapes. Each shape has its own advantages, so ultimately you need to go for the shape that best suits your home!
The square shower tray is the classic and will fit in with almost any bathroom design. This is perfect for the person looking for something simple.
The Rectangular Shower Tray is bigger than the Square by design and affords you more room. This is ideal for the person looking for extra space in the shower.
The Pentagonal Shower Tray saves space compared to the Square Tray. By ridding itself of the protruding corner. This is perfect for the person looking to fit a shower into a small space.
Finally, there is the Quadrant Shower Tray that features a curve. Much like the Pentagonal Shower Tray, it saves space. However, this flowing design lends itself better to a softer aesthetic, when compared to the Pentagonal Tray’s harsh lines.
Do not forget, your shower tray shape must match your shower enclosure shape. If you need advice about which shower enclosure is best, don’t worry we have an article for that too.
Should I Buy a Raised Shower Tray?
The raised shower tray protrudes off of the floor, allowing you to stand above it. This design is easy to maintain, as the plumbing has ample, easily accessible room underneath the raised shower tray. However, because it is raised, the tray functions as a step. Because of this, it may not be particularly accessible to those with specific needs. If accessibility is a key factor for you, we advise going for a low profile or flush shower tray.
Should I Buy a Low Profile Shower Tray?
The low profile shower tray lives up to its connotations. It’s sleek and low to the ground, only subtly and slightly raising itself off of the floor. This can look very stylish, as it doesn’t look clunky. As well as this, it is more accessible than the raised shower tray, due to its lower positioning. However, the plumbing and maintenance may be more difficult as it leaves less space to fit the necessary piping.
Should I Buy a Flush Shower Tray?
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a shower tray with a flushing mechanism. Although, maybe we should get working on that. No, a flush shower tray is simply a shower tray that is at exactly floor level. As opposed to a low profile shower tray or raised shower tray, which are slightly above floor level and quite a bit above floor level respectively.
This flush effect is achieved by recessing the tray within the floor. It means there is no step whatsoever and is consequently the most accessible shower tray option. However, because it is recessed into the floor, the plumbing is slightly different to accommodate for the low amount of space. This can make the trays difficult to fix if something were to go wrong, as the plumbing is less accessible than usual. Keep the pros and cons in mind when you’re thinking about how high you want your shower tray off the floor, if you want it off the floor at all!
Should I Buy a Non-Slip Shower Tray?
The shower is supposed to be a place of relaxation. Just you, the water and the suds. Nothing cuts through the calm like pain. Falling over or generally losing your balance can be a disaster in the shower. You could hurt yourself, or damage the shower or another component of your bathroom. Truly a disastrous thing.
Luckily, there is such a thing as Non-Slip Shower Trays, otherwise known as Anti-Slip Shower Trays. Non-Slip Shower Trays are textured to ensure increased grip between the user and the product. This decreases the likelihood of slipping over, even when the shower is on. Despite acrylic being naturally not very slippery, non-slip is a great improvement as it decreases your chances of falling even further.
It is always worth investing in safety, so it is recommended if you are going to buy a shower tray, to buy an anti-slip shower tray.
How Do I Make My Shower Tray Non-Slip?
If you already have a shower tray and want to make it non-slip, that is an option!
Shower trays are made non-slip via the application of non-slip coating. This is made from acrylic and resin and creates a heavy texture across the surface of where it is applied. By doing so, it increases the friction that will be created when stepped on, reducing the slippery nature of the tray and reducing the chance of you falling.
However, it is recommended you either buy a purpose built non-slip shower tray or hire a professional to make your tray non-slip as the professional’s touch is everything when it comes to matters of health and safety.
What Else Can I Do to Prevent Slipping?
If you don’t want to apply the coating yourself, you can instead equip your existing tray with a shower mat. These are rubber mats with suction cups to keep it in place on the shower tray. Standing on one will reduce your chance of slipping as the rubber mat has increased friction in comparison to a regular tray.
You can also install a grab bar. This is a metallic bar that attaches to your wall within the shower enclosure and can be held while you clean yourself. Having something to lean on and steady yourself against decreases your chances of slipping heavily.
It is important not to install a grab bar on a glass enclosure, as it could cause undue stress and damage. It is always best to install it directly onto a wall, for maximum security.
Finally, it is important to remember you can simply purchase a premade non-slip shower tray. Durovin sells a great variety of non-slip trays of numerous shapes and sizes.
How Do I Install My Shower Tray?
When installing your shower tray, you need to make sure the floor upon which you are installing it is clean and level. If the floor is not level, this could cause issues for the shower tray’s day to day functions, as it relies on a water channels system. As well as this, the shower tray fitting process could actually damage the tray or the floor if the floor is not properly level.
Once you have ensured the floor is level you need to lay down a layer of weak cement mix (cement and sand) or tile adhesive. It is important to note that the amount you will need will be different depending on the specifications of your shower tray. For example, for this example rectangular shower tray, we need a layer that is 15mm deep. Be sure to not cover your waste pipe in cement.
Then simply affix the tray to the cement and fit the shower tray waste. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to bed the tray into position and check it is level using a spirit level. Then allow it to set and check again. You can now connect the shower tray waste to the waste pipe and cover with the waste cover.
Now, use anti-fungal silicon sealant to seal the edges of the tray and voila, you have fitted your shower tray!
For more information on specifically stone resin shower tray fitting, read our article about stone resin shower trays.
How Do I Clean and Maintain My Shower Tray?
Luckily, cleaning your shower tray is very simple. You just need some hot soapy water, a cloth and some elbow grease. It would be great if you did this after every shower, but at least once per week will keep the tray looking as fresh as a daisy. It is important to note you should avoid abrasive materials and stick to soft cloth as you do not want to damage the acrylic of non-slip coating.
To ensure the shower drain doesn’t clog up, clean it weekly by first pouring some boiling water down and then pouring down a mix of white vinegar and baking soda, to destroy any germs or build up. Also, if you’re feeling brave, put on a cleaning glove and remove any blockages from the drain before pouring down the liquids to ensure you never get much build up that could lead to a clog.
When it comes to ensure your tray doesn’t get damaged, one of the most important things you must remember is, don’t wear shoes. This may seem obvious, as there would scarcely be a reason to wear shoes in the shower, but make sure even when you’re cleaning the shower you don’t accidentally step in while wearing shoes. This is because the shoes could damage the acrylic or non-slip coating. If you must wear something in the shower, look into soft flip flops or aqua socks to keep your feet and your tray safe while you shower.
Overall, there are many factors to consider when choosing your ideal shower tray. Be safe and choose based on your needs and the space you have available. If you are looking for further bathroom advice, we have a full series of articles covering rimless toilets, wall hung basins, how to make your bathroom look good and much more, so check them out.