Shower Trays and Enclosures

For many people, installing a shower starts with a Saturday trip to the local DIY store and proceeds very quickly to the pen-behind-ear head-scratching stage, which will inevitably consume the rest of the weekend and conclude with a call to the local plumber. Nevertheless, one important aspect of buying and fitting a shower, which must never be taken lightly, is that of choosing an appropriate shower tray and enclosure.

There are many different types of shower trays to choose from but selecting the right one can be quite a challenge. Somewhat obviously it is first necessary to decide where the shower will be positioned in the bathroom – typically this will mean either in a corner or alongside a wall.

The second step will be to consider how far above the floor the shower tray will rest as access to waste pipes underneath the shower will require that some distance is provided. In this respect, depending on the tray, it may be necessary to remove part of the floor to allow the shower to sit lower down. It is always sensible to consult the help and advice of a professional plumber or builder when installing a shower tray.

Square shower trays are perhaps the most common kind and typically vary in size from 75cm to 120cm2, making them ideal for alcove or corner installations. For more shower space rectangular trays can be considerably more roomy than their square tray cousins. At the other end of the scale when space is at a premium and typically for installations next to bathroom basins or toilets, the pentangle tray is effectively a square tray with a corner missing – a little less room available, therefore, but often makes the difference between having a shower unit or not.

Quadrant shower trays, which are essentially square trays with one rounded (1/4 circle) corner, are elegant, stylish and fit particularly well with sliding door enclosures. Offset quadrant shower trays also have a curved corner but, like offset pentagle shower trays, they feature a rectangular design instead. Shower trays are often either acrylic (plastic) which provides a warm feel, or stone resin which offers a solid feel and high durability.

Once a shower and shower tray have been installed, it may be the case that the plumber is himself in need of a shower! Before he steps under the shower head, however, he would be well-advised to install a shower enclosure to finish the job!

Like shower trays, shower enclosures come in various shapes and sizes. Understandably the enclosure ought to match the dimensions of the tray. In this respect, shower enclosures can be square, rectangular, quadrant, offset quadrant and so on. Sliding door enclosures are a popular choice amongst consumers but their metal frame will require regular cleaning and maintenance. Hinged door enclosures will usually be easier to clean but are not as practical as sliding doors which make better use of space.

Frameless shower enclosures are usually made of glass and provide an effective compromise between maintainability and usability. Nevertheless buyers should also consider a walk-in shower for the space they provide. Finally, for ultimate luxury, a steam cabin will not only clean the body but provide hydrotherapy, massage, weight loss and skin detoxification too – the ultimate shower experience. Well, almost…