Replacing your bath with a shower tray is a relatively simple way of updating your bathroom, but you need to plan the space and types of materials you'll use carefully. Next we'll look at how to approach your redesign of the space in a practical and sustainable way.
With the pandemic, new ways of life and social needs have emerged, and the way we use the space in our homes has changed - we're taking some things away from the original structure as well as renovating. This is backed up by the latest report from the website Habitissimo, stating that 48% of requests in August were for home improvements. Andimac (a ceramic tile and construction materials distributor) has also noted the trend: their latest analysis showed that the percentage of people interested in improving their homes in Spain has reached 61%, 10 percentage points ahead of the European average.
Terraces, (one of the most popular and in-demand spaces for homes), kitchens and bathrooms are just some of the rooms people are updating in their homes because of their constant use and/or location. In terms of bathroom revamps, one of the most common changes is to replace the bath with a shower,to get more space and improved comfort and energy efficiency.
Some of the advantages of having a shower instead of a bath are:
- Improved convenience and safety.
- Easier for day-to-day cleanliness.
- Water saving. On average, using the bath will consume 250 litres per year. On the other hand, a shower will use up to 30 litres less per 5 minutes of use.
Improved accessibility, especially important for older people, children and people with reduced mobility.
Save space and add more of a sense of lightness to the bathroom.
Cleaner and tidier.
Things to think about when you're swapping your bath for a shower tray
How to choose a shower tray. There are countless shower tray models, from more traditional ones to sloping or extra flat.
If you're thinking about redesigning your bathroom space and fitting a latest generation shower, we recommend taking a look at the Noken digital catalogue, where you'll find some of the latest sustainable shower tray designs. Examples include the Mineral Stone series (which can be made to measure and personalised with our Finish Studio) or Light Stone (ultra light, with hidden drainage).
Krion Slope black concrete
Krion Line colours formats
Krion Slope Concrete colours
Krion is another PORCELANOSA Group firm offering sterile and limitless shower trays. Models such as the Slope shower tray can be cut to just the right size and are available in five shades. The Line series also includes panels made in Krion Shell™ which can be used to replace tiles, giving you a seamless effect in the shower area. Containing 5% recycled plastic, the panels are SCS certified, and they also accommodate any minor imperfections there might be on the wall's surface.
If you'd prefer to have your shower tray at floor level, Butech recommends their Shower Deck system. The technical shower solution hides the drainage, and stone or wood effect ceramic tiles such as PAR-KER and STON-KER by Porcelanosa can be installed over.
Whichever shower tray or model you choose, one of the things you need to do before swapping your bath for a shower is find out which taps or shower columns are compatible with your design (mixer or thermostatic taps), whether you want to incorporate a glass screen, or whether you'll tile the floor.
Once you've done your research and are sure about the layout of each element, you'll need to take the following steps to install your shower tray. You could also talk through the process and get customised advice from PORCELANOSA Group professionals.
How to swap your bath for a shower tray:
- Measure the space available for the shower tray. It's important to remember to allow for 3 mm expansion joints at each side of the tray which will subsequently be sealed.
- Measure the height of the bath where it is now, so you'll know how many metres of tiles you'll need. You then need to subtract the height of your chosen shower tray from this height measurement and add the first row of tiles above the bath. The part of the wall covered by the bath may or may not be tiled. If the bath is housed in a frame, the tiling may reach down to the floor in which case you won't need to cover it.
- Use the cut-off valves to stop the water flow.
- Remove the overflow valve before removing the bath.
- Remove tiles from the front and/or side of the bath. Remove any bath panels.
- Next remove the first row of existing tiles over the bath.
- Remove the bath as well as all the grout.
- Check the drain and leave it ready for the shower tray installation. The valve connection line to the tray must have a minimum diameter of 40 mm and the large flow ones 50 mm. You'll need to reduce the water flow capacity in older houses with 32 mm valves.
- Connect the tray valve to the drainage pipe and centre it where the tray hole will be. Pour a little water and check the connection isn't leaking.
- Check that the surface is flat and the drainage is at floor level. The surface where you're going to install your tray needs to be perfectly level. You can do this using mortar.
- After the manufacturer's recommended drying time has elapsed, place the shower tray on the surface. Check that the hole on your new tray is aligned with the drainage valve and that the tray is correctly levelled.
- Position the valve on the tray and pour water on it to check it drains properly. Remove the shower tray again.
- Spread installation adhesive over the surface, following the manufacturer's advice at all times. At PORCELANOSA 13.Group we recommend using polyurethane putty such as P-404 by Butech. You must not use cement, white cement or adhesive cement to bond the materials.
- Put the shower tray back in place and connect the valve to the tray. Fill it with water to prevent any gas coming up from the drainage.
- Make sure the tray is perfectly level.
- Leave the putty to dry for 24 hours.
- Protect the shower tray so you can go ahead with laying your tiles or panels. You can do this by applying masking tape to the perimeter next to the walls, and covering the tray with cardboard.
- Make the wall waterproof with Butech's imperband sheets and apply your new tiles or panels using the appropriate adhesive, leaving a 3 mm expansion joint between the tiles or panels and the shower tray. Next grout the area in a suitable colour.
- Make sure you use the right material for the join between the tray and the tiles or panels. We recommend using an elastic putty such as Butech's s-107 n neutral silicone which has excellent adhesion, elasticity and resistance.
- Place the grate trim in the shower tray drain.