Unique shower trays range in a wide variety of styles and dimensions suitable for any bathroom shower design.
Avoiding leaky showers
Because tiled shower cubicles have the tendency to displace water, pay close attention to the construction of shower enclosures. Don't skimp on the linings, use a waterproof plywood or a waterproof wall board rather than regular plasterboard. Use the best adhesive you can afford to fix ceramic tiles. The biggest cause of leaky showers (aside from poor shower trays) is the joint between the walls and the floor. With most designs, you are dependent on a bead of silicone mastic to block water. The silicone sealant will stand a much better chance of success if the joint is tight. Laminated wall boards are a more recent solution and these are far simpler to install and maintain than tiles.
They vary in size, from compact square designs to spacious rectangular, five-sided and walk-in models. For a comfortable shower with plenty of room, choose the largest shower tray size that you can accommodate. Cubicles can be purchased ready-made or, depending on the shower position, you may need only a door and a side panel. A popular option is to position the shower in a corner, tiling two walls and adding glass panels to create the third and fourth walls. Remember to allow enough room to get in and out of the shower easily, especially if space is limited and the shower door and room door open towards & each other. Sliding, inward-opening or bi-fold doors are a good choice in a restricted space, or consider a large walk-in cubicle that has no door but incorporates a drying off space so less space is needed outside the cubicle.
There are four main types of material used. These are steel, acrylic, stone resin and acrylic capped resin.
Steel is less common in domestic tray use and is generally used in commercial applications such as retirement homes and hotels.
Acrylic used to be very common but received a bad reputation due to the poor build quality of trays in the past. The use of poor frameworks and minimal reinforcement meant that they moved when in use and often leaked. Modern acrylic shower trays are generally built to a very high standard and are fully reinforced. All acrylic trays are on adjustable legs and so are ideal in applications where a solid floor such a concrete is on site. The result of this higher built quality is that acrylic is not an inexpensive option.
Stone resin shower trays are by far the most common available. The low cost of producing the moulds for makes then the most versatile in size. They are available in both legged and un-legged format (the most common being without legs). The two most common problems with resin shower trays relate to the quality of installation. The first is that if the un-legged tray is not bedded in properly it can cause the base of the tray to crack when in use. The second is that the colour of the shower tray is applied as a thin spray finish. The result of this is that if you scratch it when installing it is extremely difficult to repair.
Acrylic capped resin is becoming more popular. They combine the rigidity of stone resin, but have the added advantage of being capped in acrylic. This produces a surface which is more resistant to impact and can be polished if scratched. They are however more costly to produce and as such are not available in the same number of sizes as the stone resin..
There are a myriad number of shower tray sizes. The most common are the square, rectangle, pentangle (penta- or five-sided) and the quadrant (quad of quarter round). The most common size is 760mm x 760mm. This is not the smallest square tray size but is the smallest that is still usable by most people to shower. You are able to obtain square trays of both 700mm x 700mm and 600mm x 600mm. The 600mm size is normally used on caravans and boats. The best square tray size if it can be fitted is the 900mm x 900mm.
Rectangular shower trays come in a variety of sizes from 700mm x 800mm to 1700mm x750mm. The most common size is 1200mm x 760mm, whereas the optimum size is 1200mm x 900mm. Tray sizes larger than this normally incorporate the ability to dry oneself in the cubicle. A pentangle cubicle is the same as a square one but has the comer cut off. This results in the saving of floor space in the bathroom/en-suite. A quadrant cubicle has a rounded front edge designed to save space as with the pentangle.