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Material Types and Sizes: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Shower Trays

Buying a new shower is pretty straightforward, right?

Wrong.

There are a lot of different components you have to consider when you’re buying a shower, and if you overlook one or two, you might end up with a shower tray that doesn’t actually fit right in your bathroom.

So before you start buying, make sure you take a look at this guide to find the best shower trays for your bathroom.

Shower Tray Size

Before we even get to show tray materials, we have to talk about size.

Size is one of the most important parts of choosing your shower tray. If your tray isn’t exactly the right size, it won’t hold all the water inside where it’s supposed to be. In other words, water will be able to escape from your shower, leading to things like mold growth or other water damage.

This can bring about some costly repairs, especially if you don’t notice it right away. And mold growing anywhere inside your house can create serious health problems.

So getting the right sized shower tray should be your first priority. Things like shapes and colors can come after that.

Don’t forget to account for the shower door.

If you choose a shower tray that comes with an outward opening door, you’ll need enough space in your bathroom to open the door fully. Make sure you measure your bathroom space before you go shopping.

Shower Tray Shapes

Your shower tray must also fit snug to your shower enclosure to keep all the water inside. This tight fit comes down to the shape of your shower tray.

There are several different shower tray shapes, some of which are better suited for different bathroom sizes.

So let’s take a closer look at some of these shapes.

Square Tray

There are a lot of things you can do with square trays. Because of this, one square shower tray could look completely different than another.

One of the most flexible choices when it comes to square trays is the type of doors you choose with it. You can fit a square tray with many different door styles.

For example, if you have a large bathroom, you could get two outward opening doors. If you have a small bathroom, you can fit a square tray with bifold doors (which will save a lot of space).

Want something versatile you can make your own? A square tray is the way to go. Square trays are usually available from 700-1000mm with the 900mm version being the most popular.

Rectangle Tray

Rectangle shower trays are usually bigger and therefore more spacious than square trays.

You can get a little creative with the doors here too, but many rectangle trays have sliding doors. Because these doors eliminate opening space, it can still be used in small bathrooms even though it’s bigger than a square tray.

If you’re looking for a shower with more room to move around, you’ll probably want a rectangle tray.

Quadrant Tray

These trays fit best into corners, but they have a curved front that creates a luxury shower space. This type of tray has either sliding doors or hinged doors, which also save bathroom space.

But if the overall size of the shower is important to you, quadrant trays can also be offset. This means you can get a rectangle tray with a curved, quadrant shape as well.

Other Shower Tray Shapes

Sometimes a bathroom needs an unusual shower tray shape to fit in the space, and if you have one of these bathrooms, don’t worry. There are other non-traditional shapes to choose from.

For example, some shower trays are shaped more like the letter P or the letter D. Some shower trays can even look like a pentagon.

If you need something different to fit in your bathroom, you don’t have to stick with the normal trays.

Shower Tray Material

This is the part where you get to choose what your shower tray actually looks like. The colour and material of your tray can turn a normal bathroom into a luxurious bathroom.

But there’s more involved with picking the best shower tray material than just getting your favourite colour. Every material comes with their own pros and cons.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the things you should be aware of.

Ceramic Tray

This used to be very common shower tray material and it’s also very affordable. It’s a good material for the price because it’s durable and won’t stain, just like a bathroom basin.

However, ceramic trays are cold to the touch. They’re also extremely heavy and if you drop anything sharp or heavy on them they can shatter or crack.

Lastly manufacturers have largely moved away from this material because of the time it takes to make them. Stone resin offers a quicker manufacturing process.

Acrylic/ABS Tray

An acrylic or ABS shower tray can come in lots of shapes and sizes.  Like ceramic trays, they are affordable, but acrylic is also quick and easy to install because of how light the material is. They’re also warm to the touch of your feet.

Acrylic or ABS trays have lots of advantages but many don’t like them because they’re a relatively flimsy option. They don’t have the robust feel to them when showering that the other options here do.

Marble Tray

These shower trays are beautiful and one of the most exclusive types of trays out there. Classic marble can go with just about any other bathroom design.

But again, this is a cold stone, and it’s much more expensive than other options. It’s also very heavy and expensive to ship. Marble trays are usually only available from boutique style retailers and you’ll need deep pockets.

Stone Resin Tray

Quadrant Shower Tray
A slimline stone resin quadrant shower tray.

stone resin tray is perhaps the most popular option on the market. They can come in many different colours, sizes and styles, which means there will be an option for your bathroom.

Most have an acrylic cap with a central construction of stone resin. This means they are warm to the touch but also strong and robust. The strength that stone resin offers means that trays can be made as thin as 25mm.

There are few downsides to stone resin although some models can be a little on the heavy side.

Getting the Best Shower Trays

Finding the best shower trays takes a little longer than a trip to the store, but taking the time to find the right fit, shape, and material will help you create the bathroom of your dreams.

So before you start choosing different shower trays, take a moment to measure your bathroom, find out what type of doors will fit, and choose the type of material you like best.

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