Posted by: Fonte Dei Marmi | October 21, 2010

Top Ten Tips for Shower Trays

The most popular shapes for shower trays are square, rectangle and quadrant. Standard sizes range from 500mm to 1700mm long but, as with everything, you can get custom trays designed to any size, any shape and any colour.

Shower trays come in a variety of materials: acrylic, coated stone, steel or bespoke travertine, marble and limestone.

First things first – If you’re buying shower fittings in piecemeal fashion the shower tray is the first thing to get. It is the first thing to be installed and you will need to know where to run the waste pipe. The waste position on a shower tray is variable, there is no standard; it can be in the corner, dead centre, centre left, centre right etc.

Anti-slip – You can get an anti-slip coating for your shower tray. The cost of the tray will increase by up to £50. The shower tray is coated with a grit-like substance and is not very effective, except for catching dirt. It can ruin the look of your tray and unless absolutely necessary, avoid it. • Waste – shower trays do not come with the waste as standard, you will need to order this separately. Get a good quality waste, preferably one which has a pop out filter. This will collect hair, the biggest culprit of pipe blockages and make it easy to empty.

Height – With a concrete subfloor you will need a high shower tray (at least 14 cms) or channel out the floor to accommodate the waste. Joisted floors can accommodate a low profile tray (3.5 – 4 cms) running the waste through the joists.

Positioning – a high tray will need feet and a plinth, similar to kitchen cupboards. Position the feet correctly, not just in the corners, to prevent sagging. Put feet in the middle and on the sides too. Do not position all the feet at the same height; the floor may not be straight. Use a spirit level to get it right.

Upstand – shower trays generally come with an upstand at the back and sides. Tile over the upstand not down to it. This will keep it in place and prevent water going behind it.

Under tray – If you have a large shower area and are planning on a flat, level with floor, tray, make sure you get an under tray. This will include a virtually invisible gulley, which runs around the outside of the tray preventing the water flooding the floor.

Shower enclosure – where possible get the shower enclosure the same size as the tray (or vice versa) and sit the enclosure on the tray. This will provide a longer lasting, more water tight solution than enlarging the size of the shower area by building a plinth around and covering it with tiles.

Cleaning – clean your shower tray regularly. Do not use any abrasive or harsh cleaners. Bleach, caustic soda or de-scaler will ruin your shower tray. For stains and limescale use lemon or vinegar. Get a hand shower for ease of cleaning, they are inexpensive and will make life easier. Avoid harsh drain cleaners unless in absolute emergency – they will ruin your tray and the waste pipes.

Marble or natural stone – will need slightly more maintenance. Depending on how often it is used, it will need sealing every eighteen months as an absolute minimum.

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