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Types of Shower Trays (Bathroom Design Ideas)

Here we share our guide to types of shower trays, including what they are made of, the different types, basic options, the...

Here we share our guide to types of shower trays, including what they are made of, the different types, basic options, the ideal material to use, and suggestions for bathroom tile walls.

Nobody wants to shower on the floor of a bathtub underwater. That is why you have to make the right decision when choosing the right shower tray to modernize or remodel the bathroom.

Unfortunately, the market can be a queasy place to search for the right shower upgrades. It should be easy if one has a solid understanding of the different types of shower trays and bases.

What are shower trays made of?

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Some people use the terms shower trays and shower trays interchangeably. Unfortunately this is not the case. The shower tray is the structure we stand on while showering. The shower tray is the structure under the shower tray.

Modern shower trays are typically acrylic, although some products have a fiberglass or composite construction. The high-end models come with custom tiles to complement the bathroom décor.

Shower trays, on the other hand, are made mostly of cement or mortar. However, some manufacturers already rely on some precast manufacturers to include a top layer that acts as a shower patch. Read more about our guide to the different ones. types of bathroom showers here.

Shower tray conten

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You need to understand the four types of shower tray materials in use today to choose the best shower tray for your home.


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Manufacturers create acrylic shower trays by heating large sheets of thermoplastic and stretching them over molds. The materials contain other substances that reinforce the plastic, giving it reasonable durability and ease of maintenance.

Acrylic shower trays are generally more affordable than other types of shower trays. Unfortunately, they tend to create weak spots that can lead to costly repairs.


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Fiberglass requires a blend of woven fiberglass and polyester resin to create an ultralight yet strong structure. Manufacturers pour the mixture into a shower tray mold.

Glass shower trays are often cheaper than acrylic shower trays due to the easier manufacturing process. It is also worry-free to repair. Unfortunately this highlights the relative brittleness of fiberglass compared to acrylic.


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Composite shower trays offer strength and durability, depending on the materials used in the manufacturing process. Composting is an engineering process to mix at least two different substances to create a completely new material.

For example, one can take a shower with a permanent gel coat finish. The only downside to composite shower trays is their price.

Custom tiles

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Tiles in showers are very popular for those who want to give their bathroom a more balanced look.

Unfortunately, they are expensive and require regular maintenance to keep the grout clean. Additionally, the tiles must be laid on a substructure which can further increase the cost.

Shower base options

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The shower tray is the base of the shower tray, although many people use the terms interchangeably.

When choosing a shower tray, it is ready to be made of concrete or cast stone, and the latter will be more expensive. A concrete substructure can provide a stable platform for the shower patch. It is easy to work with and provides exceptional strength.

It is important that the concrete does not require adequate surface waterproofing to help the water flow from the shower tray to the drain.

If exceptional waterproofing is needed without the need for additional coats, cast stone is a good choice.

An advantage of a cast stone shower tray is that its top surface can act as a shower head. Read more about our guide on waterproof wood flooring for bathrooms here.

Prefabricated shower base

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A pre-fab or pre-fab shower is a great option for homeowners. All you need to do is allocate space in the bathroom for the base, order the product, and apply it when it arrives.

The beauty of pre-made shower trays is that they reduce labor, energy and effort costs. It involves putting the fixture in its proper place, and a shower head is already fully functional. The other advantage is that a shower tray is already integrated into many prefabricated shower trays.

Of course, there will always be downsides to any product. The problem with pre-made shower trays is that you don’t have the freedom to customize.

Homeowners should adjust their bathroom needs according to the design specifications of the prefabricated shower tray. Read more about our guide on shower sizes here.

Custom shower tray

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Homeowners who want to design and build a shower tray specifically for their bathrooms should consider purchasing a custom shower panel. Such an accessory maintains the unity of the design with the rest of the bathroom.

The materials to be used can be decided, including the gradient of the tray to optimize water drainage during shower times. They can choose the most durable and beautiful ingredients that last for many years while enhancing the natural beauty of the bathroom.

Unfortunately, shower trays often cost more than pre-made shower trays and bases.

The best material for shower trays

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Composites are the best material for shower trays. Although expensive, composites are difficult to maintain, worry-free repair, and effortless to install. Additionally, composites can last for several years before requiring a complete makeover.

What is the best material for a shower tray?

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Budget-conscious homeowners can opt for a high-end fiberglass shower tray. However, they need to understand the unique properties of this material if they want it to last for many years.

For those who don’t pay attention to the price tag, a compound skillet is a great option. This material is resistant, easy to install and does not require maintenance. If you need repair, which is often the result of damage caused by extreme circumstances, the repairs are also a repair.

Families looking for a good balance between price and durability can consider a high-end acrylic skillet. It is not as expensive as composites, but it is stronger and more durable than fiberglass.

The best shower base for tile walls

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Homeowners with tile-walled bathrooms should consider installing a substructure underneath the tiles. The substructure will help to irrigate the water that flows through the grout into the shower drain.

While a custom-tiled shower tray may seem like a good choice, using a one-piece composite or acrylic tray is a better option. These trays no longer require a substructure underneath.

If you need a shower base that will last for many years, compounds are the way to go. These shower trays and bases will never leak, saving homeowners thousands of dollars in water damage.

It is a great improvement or modernization of the bathroom if you know the types of shower trays that are available in the market.

While acrylic makes a great material for shower trays, it will be a better option than a composite tray. It is more durable and easier to work with if one does not remember its higher price.

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