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  • Writer's pictureElla S

Shower Trays: The Full Guide

Picking a shower tray has never been easier than with our shower tray guide. The choice of shower trays we have at James Hargreaves Bathrooms reflects the shower enclosures we sell, so finding a perfect match should be no hassle.


What to Consider When Selecting a Shower Tray?

The first thing to decide is the size of your shower tray. You can do this by planning out the layout of your bathroom to decipher how much room you have left for a shower. The amount of space will help you to choose what shape of tray you will most likely go for. Once you’ve got your size you will need to look at waste positioning to ensure it is compatible with your plumbing.

Next, you will need to look at your bathroom floor. A lot of modern shower trays have an ultra-low profile that allows them to be installed almost flat to the floor. To be able to do this your waste must be able to run under or within the floor. If your floor won’t allow this, you may need to raise your shower tray, for this riser kits and panels are available to suit a selection of trays to ensure a flawless finish.

Shapes and Sizes of Shower Trays

Square Shower Trays

Offering a wide selection of door and installation options, square shower trays are a versatile solution, especially where space is at a premium. They can be combined with a bi-fold door to provide a generous showering area without the need for the additional space an outward opening door requires. Perfect for a variety of bathroom sizes, square trays usually range from 760 x 760mm to 1000 x 1000mm.

Rectangular Shower Trays

Providing a more generous shower space than a square tray. Rectangular shower trays allow you to create a comfortably spacious washing area. Larger rectangular trays can be installed so that they give the feeling of a wetroom due to their seamless entry and large linear area. Possibly the tray with the most varied sizes available, the smallest rectangular tray we offer is 760 x 700mm and the largest is 2000 x 1000mm.

Quadrant Shower Trays

Quadrant shower trays have an overall rectangular or square shape but instead of four angular sides, they have two angular sides and one flowing curved edge. They are designed specifically to be installed in the corner of a bathroom and save space by replacing one of the corners with a curve to create more floor space in the bathroom without adversely affecting the showering area. The radius of a quadrant shower tray is usually 550 however, there are exceptions and it is essential to match the shower enclosure with the correct radius of the shower tray.

Equi-sided quadrants are ideal for smaller bathrooms as they take up less room than square or rectangular trays. The size for this style is limited with the most popular being 900 x 900mm. Due to this equ-sided quadrants are not the most versatile but the perfect choice if the size is right for you.

Offset quadrants on the other hand offer more adaptability to different bathroom sizes. They are still installed within the corner of the room; they have a more stretched appearance due to their extended length. This provides a spacious showering environment in a large range of available sizes. Offset quadrants are handed to suit their position within the bathroom. It is always best to confirm the handing against a technical drawing from the manufacturer, as they do not always hand them in the same way.

Pentagon Shower Trays

Pentagonal shower trays follow the same design lines as a quadrant shower tray but instead of a curved edge, they have a flat edge. This gives the trays the ability to maximise the floor space within tightly organised bathrooms. Designed to be used with matching pentagonal shower enclosures they are a stunning alternative for anyone looking for an angular design for the bathroom. They are available in both standard and extended versions and are sometimes referred to as quintet shower trays.


Choosing the Material and Finish of Shower Tray

What are shower trays made of?

One of the most popular materials for shower trays is stone resin, it is seen as a more durable option due to it being manufactured from a mixture of natural (ground stone, minerals) and resin. They are usually capped with ABS acrylic to create a warm and clean finish. These trays are very solid and heavy, creating a stable base for the shower enclosure which will not bow or flex with use. An alternative to stone resin is stone trays which are not acrylic coated. The advantage of this material is the appearance, they retain the natural finish (such as slate) and are available in various colour finishes.

Acrylic is used to manufacture shower trays due to its moldability and durability. While they are sturdy, acrylic trays are known for being lightweight and are more suited to be installed on solid floors to prevent flexing.

Steel shower trays are also widely available but less commonly used. Due to being manufactured from steel with an extremely durable enamel coating, they are less likely to show scratches and impact damages as well as being resistant to thermal stress.

Low Profile or Raised?

Shower trays are available in a range of sizes and the same can be said of the height of the tray itself. The majority of shower trays we have at James Hargreaves Bathrooms have an ultra-low profile (around 40mm in height). This low height means there is a minimum step up into the shower tray giving an almost wet-room-like feel. For those that do need their tray to be slightly higher, due to waste issues, this is made easy with the use of legs and a panel kit.

Anti-Slip Shower Tray Benefits

Anti-slip is an optional extra that can be added or is pre-integrated into specific shower trays. Giving extra peace of mind for family bathrooms or less able users, by reducing the risk of slipping while using the shower. Tested against specific industry standards, trays are rated A, B or C; with C being the high level for domestic use. Just Trays anti-slip can be applied before receiving the tray or after your tray has been fit. Performing at Class C, it is a colourless application that doesn’t alter the look of your shower tray. It is said that gloss trays are less slip-resistant than matte trays. For matte tray options with in-built slip resistance try Matki. Their semi-matte preference trays are rated at Class B due to their low slip potential.

Colour finishes

The majority of shower trays come in a classic white finish. This look is preferred by many due to its ability to blend with almost any bathroom décor. However, for those wanting to make a statement with their shower tray, brands such as Merlyn and Just Trays have a range of colour options. These are an excellent choice for wet-room installations as they allow you to match or contrast your tiles.

Slate and stone effect shower trays are an option for those wanting to add a more natural look and feel to their bathroom. Emulating the rustic look of raw materials, these trays add an extra texture to the bathroom especially underfoot. Coming in a range of sizes and natural colours, these trays are perfect for those wanting to bring the outside in.


Now you have the knowledge to select your perfect shower. Feel free to browse our site and we are always on hand to help with any extra queries.

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