July 27, 2023

Home ideas

Complete Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Shower Tray

Shower trays have evolved from our traditional notions of functional design. With hidden drains and gorgeous and luxurious materials combined with neat detailing, the shower tray is an important element of bathroom décor nowadays.

Nothing compares to setting foot on a shower tray and opening the faucet to immerse yourself under a stream of water. The shower experience is a quintessentially modern luxury that is closely connected to wellness. Although it seems like a no-brainer, the shower design starts with the shower tray, which allows all the magic to happen.

With this article, we are going to provide you with practical, technical and aesthetic advice. You are guaranteed to make the right decision when armed with all this information. Remember the best shower tray is the one that best suits your bathroom.

Bathroom with black natural stone shower tray

Essence Habana Dark Classico BPT 120x80x5 Shower Tray

The Top Design Criteria for Your Shower Tray

To choose the right shower tray for your bathroom there are six important considerations that will inform your decision. These will require some research on your part and include technical as well as aesthetic criteria. The following list is a starting point for choosing the right one for you:

  • Dimensions. Bathroom layouts will determine the size of the tray most suitable for the available space.
  • Shape. This is a determining factor; corner shower trays are recommended for small bathrooms for instance.
  • Plumbing requirement. Depending on the scope of the job, the position of the drainage will affect the category of the shower tray, i.e. raised or level access.
  • Materials and cost. The overall décor and project budget will help decide on the most appropriate material.
  • Colour. The colour of a shower tray will be closely linked to the choice of material and the design of the shower room, or bathroom. From dramatic black shower trays to standard off-white colour matters.
  • Safety. Don’t leave safety as an afterthought. How you access the shower tray is an important consideration and is connected with ‘housing for life’. In other words, future-proofing the bathroom so that it can be accessible for less mobile users. The shower tray must also be non-slip and easily maintained.


Mineral Stone Shower Tray

Mineral Stone Slate Shower Tray

Shower Tray Materials

When you visit your bathroom showroom, either physically or online, you will find 5 different categories of materials to choose from. They range from organic-style materials to more standard sanitary ware finishes. The following schedule lists the most popular shower tray materials in UK bathrooms:

Stone Resin Shower Trays

For anyone who has a reconstituted stone kitchen worktop, there is no need to detail the material’s long list of advantages. The stone resin shower tray is strong, durable and available in a wide variety of options. It is also eco-friendly thanks to the use of both recycled and waste materials.

Like the reconstituted worktop, the resin shower tray is non-porous and practically indestructible. These qualities make resin the perfect material for a shower tray.

Additionally, the material can imitate slate and other types of stone. The shower tray can therefore match the style of any bathroom décor. The slate effect tray, for example, looks uncanny and has a natural texture and non-slip finish.


Mineral stone white shower

Mineral Stone Slate Shower Tray

Acrylic Shower Trays

This option is the most popular in UK bathrooms. The advances in material technology provide acrylic with numerous features that make it suitable for use as a shower tray.

Acrylic is affordable, lightweight and easy to install. In addition, acrylic feels warm underfoot and has a comfortable tactile finish. Thanks to its popularity there is a vast array of dimensions, in different shapes and colours, so finding the right one is straightforward. Acrylic lasts and lasts, and with proper cleaning will provide years of service.

Ceramic Shower Trays

Ceramic is the classic shower tray option. The material has a weight and a finish that matches other sanitary ware installations. This also explains how comfortable ceramic feels against the skin, it retains the heat.

Be aware, however, ceramic is heavy and requires more careful handling to avoid chipping. Nevertheless, with the correct maintenance, ceramic will look just as good in 10 years as it does the first day.


Natural stone modern shower tray

Essence Persian White Classico BPT120x80 Shower Tray

Natural Stone Shower Trays

For the family bathroom or anywhere else where luxury and chic elegance is a consideration, then natural stone is unbeatable. It feels substantial underfoot and looks expensive. Stone is a monolithic material meaning that it is homogenous the whole way through.

The great advantage of natural stone is its bespoke quality which allows for custom sizes as well as the standard range of shower tray dimensions. With the right treatment, stone provides an organic non-slip finish.

Fibre Shower Trays

Nowadays, we are all much more aware of our environmental footprint and carbon emissions. That explains the emergence of fibre shower trays including flax fibre and mineral options. These materials provide the flexibility and performance of acrylic and stone but with a reduced carbon footprint.

The look is flawless, and the finish can match any décor style, from rustic to cutting-edge contemporary. Fibre trays are to all intents and purposes indestructible. What’s more, at the end of their life span, they can be recycled.


Line Krion Stone resin shower tray

Line Shower Tray

Shower Tray Sizes

Once the material is selected, then we need to think about size and dimensions. The standard space requirements for a bathroom or shower room require an area for towelling off once outside the shower. Together with the other space requirements, this helps us decide on the appropriate dimension for the shower tray. Remember there is no point having a generous shower if the rest of the bathroom is squeezed into the minimal leftover space.

Depending on the material, a shower tray can be customized to fit your individual bathroom layout. This is important to keep in mind as the right size shower can sometimes provide the key to the ideal bathroom configuration.

Small Shower Trays

Most people are surprised if you draw an outline on the ground, at how small a shower cubicle can be. The small shower tray can be as little as 700 mm square. A quadrant or corner shower is the most efficient in terms of space.

Large Shower Trays

Nothing beats the generous, arm stretching shower experience. With the extra space, you can easily add a rain shower head or horizontal jets of water.

Large shower trays include anything that measures over 1200 mm in one size. The most popular standard sizes are the 1200 mm x 800 mm shower tray and the 1200 mm x 900 mm shower tray. The larger tray size allows users to towel off within the cubicle and creates a focal feature within the bathroom layout.


Grey mineral stone shower tray

Walk-in Shower Trays

Accessible showers are increasingly popular in bathroom design. Also known as the walk-in shower, the shower tray is either level or almost level with the finished floor. Anything that measures less than 8 cm off the bathroom finished floor level is considered a walk-in shower tray, because you can simply step into the shower.

The wet room is an example of the walk-in shower tray, where the floor tiles are laid in such a way as to effectively become the shower tray.

Alternatively, it can have a low-profile level surrounding forming a continuously raised lip. Or the shower screen/door can prevent water splashes where the door or screen has a silicone profile to prevent water egress. When there is a screen, it sits at the junction between the tiles and the tray.


Pentagonal Acrylic shower tray

Work Pentagon 100×100 cm Shower Tray

Profile Considerations

From both a technical and aesthetic point of view, the profile is the single most important consideration for shower design. The raised shower tray is suitable for existing installations where the waste drains through an external wall under the tray. An accessible shower will require a low-profile shower tray. The walk-in shower can require construction work if there is not an existing floor drain.

For fans of long luxuriant showers with abundant water jets, then a deep shower tray might be the best option. This approach helps to contain the water run-off and prevent flooding.


Shower Tray Shapes

Every bathroom layout is slightly different. The shape of the room and its dimensions will help you to identify the most appropriate shape shower tray. Remember that a shower screen or curtain will also have to be provided (as long as the bathroom is not a wet room). The following typologies are the most popular in UK bathrooms.

Krion stone resin shower tray


Square Shower Trays

The square shower tray is ideal for corners. The square configuration feels more spacious and provides additional elbow room. The minimum dimensions will be 700 mm x 700 mm and the standard size is 1000 mm x 1000 mm.

Rectangular Shower Trays

The rectangular shape is the easiest shape to accommodate. It can fit into a corner or along a single wall. The waste drain is usually located on one end of the rectangle and provides additional flexibility.

The rectangular shower tray is recommended for shower projects replacing a bathtub. Although the rectangle can measure as little as 900 mm x 700 mm, the most typical sizes are 1200 mm x 800 mm shower tray or 1200 mm x 900 mm shower tray.

Quadrant Shower Trays

For a small shower tray that does not feel small, the quadrant or curved corner configuration is recommended. Typically, the quadrant shower tray is square shaped with a curve of varying degree radius provided on one side.

This is specifically suited to small bathrooms, always in a corner location. The standard dimensions are 700 mm x 700 mm and 1000 mm x 1000 mm. The wastewater drain is normally positioned on the central axis of the curve.

A variation on the quadrant shower tray is the offset quadrant with a rectangular shape and a curved end that extends beyond the rectangle. This is available in similar sizes to the standard rectangular shower tray. The additional volume can feel luxurious but requires a special shower screen.


Natural stone shower tray

Samui Persian White Classsico BTP120x90x5

Other Additional Considerations

We have looked at how the shower tray can enhance bathroom décor. The choice of size, shape and profile are the starting points for selecting the ideal shower tray for your bathroom. However, equally as important are the material, colour and safety considerations.

It also follows that the shower cubicle enclosure is closely related to the shower tray. Consider the shower enclosure and tray as part of the same entity for the best results. The shower screen is also an extension of the shower tray and both should be chosen together.


Shower Trays: Professional Advice and Inspiration

To really understand and appreciate the advances in shower tray design you will need to visit your Porcelanosa showroom. From materials to finishes, sizes and colours, profiles and styles, there is a dizzying array of choices.

Beyond the seductive designs, however, you will need professional advice which is also available. Arrange an appointment and, if you have any queries in the meantime, write to us and we’ll get straight back to you.


Make an appointment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *