Just Trays Evolved Malbec Red

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

Buying a new shower is pretty straightforward, right?


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.

Prices from just £59.99
Shop Now

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.

Because these trays are moulded anti-slip properties can be built in. Either by way of a raised tread pattern or with a special coating that gives the surface texture.

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

Prices from just £59.99
Shop Now

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.

11 thoughts on “Material Types and Sizes: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Shower Trays”

  1. does it matter what brand of, say, 1200 x 1000 shower-tray we buy ? i.e. will any tray of that size fit any brand of shower-enclosure with those dimensions ?

    1. In 99% of cases it won’t matter. Most brands are compatible with each other. However, if you’re choosing a tray with any kind of curve or quadrant to it then just double check the radius of the curve on both items. Most modern products use a 550mm radius but some high end brands have their own standards. Hope that helps.

  2. I installed a 900 quadrant shower tray but I have not been impressed by the drainage. After showering a circle of water remains around the drain trap requiring mopping with a cloth or sponge. I replaced the drain trap with a McAlpine unit but its still the same Are all trays the same in this respect?

    1. Hi Bob,
      This is likely related to the plumbing rather than shower tray waste. In order for water to drain efficiently the pipework beneath the tray needs to fall at least 50mm for every 1 metre of pipework. If that’s already the case you may have a blockage. I don’t like encouraging people to put chemicals into the watercourse but you may want to investigate unblocking with a sink unblocking kit. Just generally a 90mm waste will be more efficient at drainage over a 50mm model, but that’s not something you can change once fitted. Your McAlpine unit is perfectly good and should do a good job. The aim of a trap is to capture waste, like hair, and allow water to pass, preventing blockage at points you can’t easily access.

  3. I have a Wickes Quadrant 800 mm Shower Cubicle but the Glass has shattered on part of this Cubicle. Because Wickes have altered the Design I am told by Wickes that there is no alternative but to fit a replacement Cubicle & Tray. My question is can I use another Make of Cubicle with the existing Tray. My problem is the damage that removing the Tray will cause ie Tiles damaged & need replacing etc.

    1. Hi Michael,
      Yes you can providing that the quadrant tray has a standard 550mm radius, some older models have a 500mm radius. If you’ve purchased in the last few years then I’m 99% confident it will. One way to check is to draw a circle, or at least part of a circle, on a piece of card or paper with a 550mm radius, check whether the curved edge of the tray accurately follows what you’ve drawn.

      Check out our 800mm quadrant options.

  4. Hi,
    can you explain any drawbacks to a stone resin tray as opposed to a porcelain/ceramic tray i.e. does it stain more easily?

  5. Hi

    Is the drainage affected by the height of the tray ie 25mm or 45mm high. By that I mean is the slope of the tray likely to be steeper for the 45mm?

    1. Hi Peter,
      In my experience the fall doesn’t tend to be any steeper on higher depth trays. It does change a little between manufacturers and brands though.

  6. Hello,
    We have a shower that is marbelite. The base has cracked in 2 places around the drain. I am told the floor under the shower is good. The floor can be fixed but I am wondering if scrubbing bubbles has caused this? I need to get the floor fixed and when I do, what to use to clean in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *