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How To Fit A Shower Tray

Bathrooms offer the perfect solution for those wanting to refresh their homes and potentially add value to their property. Second, only to the kitchen, the bathroom dominates as one of the most important rooms in the home to improve or maintain.

Showers are becoming increasingly popular in the home as people wish to be more economical with water consumption. Time-pressed individuals and style-conscious homeowners are now choosing showers over baths for convenience and as a space-saving solution.

Shower trays are a must in terms of functionality and versatility. In this guide, we will discuss exactly how to fit a shower tray and the two types available properly.

Fitting A Shower Tray

Shower tray

A shower tray that isn’t fitted correctly can add up financially, thanks to leaks and repairs, and will eventually need to be replaced. That’s why it’s vital that you know exactly what to do when installing a brand new one.

A new one that’s been fitted well can easily last for years, so it’s worth taking the time to get to know the process of properly installing them. In the end, knowing how to fit a shower tray properly will save you a lot of time, money and heartache.

Read on to learn about the different shower tray types and how to fit them properly.

The Types Of Shower Trays

One of the most important components of a shower is the tray. Its function is to collect all the running water and depose of it down the drain. Without a shower tray, water would run through the bathroom each time a member of your household decided to shower.

There are two different types of shower trays:

  • Adjustable height shower tray and riser kit: these types of trays are the most popular as they provide easy access to the plumbing behind the shower.
  • Low profile shower tray: these trays are great for those who might have difficulty stepping into a shower when there is some height to the step. They are also a great choice for those who are looking to incorporate a more contemporary design into their bathroom.

Tray Size

Shower trays come in a wide range of sizes and shapes to accommodate an equally wide range of showers.

Before making a purchase or commencing any DIY, you must take the correct measurements within your shower enclosure to avoid any mishaps - which occur much more than you might think. When you have measured, it’s a good idea to double-check and quickly measure again. This will eliminate the risk of any incorrect calculations.

Many manufacturers offer a wide range of sizes, anything from 700 to 1800 mm, so plenty of choices are available. Just make sure you choose wisely, however!

Now let’s get to the crux of things and discuss how to fit both types of the tray.

How To Fit A Shower Tray And Riser Kit

How to fit

  1. Place your new shower tray in the general position you intend to fit it. Use a pencil to outline the shower tray, and be sure to use a spirit level to ensure that the space is flat. It is vital that you ensure there are no issues with clearance or alignment. Fit the adjustable legs that come with your shower tray and adjust them to your desired height.
  2. Loosely attach the shower tray waste and ensure that below the shower tray, it will be able to connect securely to your bathroom’s water waste. You may need to adjust the leg height to enable easy connection to the water waste pipe.
  3. Use the included side panels to check the shower tray’s alignment and height. Depending on your chosen height for the tray, you may need to trim the side panels, so they sit flush. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best fit.
  4. Ensure the legs and seals are properly tightened; use your spirit level to reaffirm that the shower tray is 100% level with the bathroom floor. This is vital for the tray’s design and functionality to ensure water is drained away effectively.
  5. Attach the underside of your shower tray waste hole to your water waste. Check for leaks by pouring water through the shower tray waste trap and adjusting it if needed.
  6. Once everything is correctly connected and the side panels are in place, you can seal the edges around the shower tray, starting where the tray meets the bathroom walls.
  7. Finish the walls around your shower tray with your chosen tiles or wall panels, making sure to leave around a 3mm gap between them and the tray. Then apply the sealant through this gap, creating the secondary seal 24 hours after the initial seal.
  8. Finally, secure the side panels. The side panels will usually snap into place around the shower tray adjustable legs using supplied clips.

How To Install Low Profile Shower Trays

Low-profile shower tray installation is a more complex process, so only try this if you are a confident DIYer. Below, we will also discuss how to make a shower tray plinth to enable easy access to the plumbing on the floor beneath.

  1. Before installing your shower tray shower, be sure to use a spirit level to ensure that the space is flat and strong enough to withstand the weight of the tray. Using 20mm+ thick marine plywood is recommended and creating a solid plinth for maintained and secure shower tray use.
  2. Cut an access hatch with a jigsaw into the floorboards next to your fitting area to easily access pipework once the low-profile shower tray has been set.
  3. Locate the position of your low-profile shower tray waste and that of your bathroom waste pipe so you can cut a recess around them. Mark these areas to ensure they are comfortable before assembling the waste trap and putting it in place.
  4. Create a mortar mix in which you can lay a thin, even layer across the intended shower tray location.
  5. Apply your low-profile shower tray gently upon the mortared area and press very lightly (a similar technique to laying floor tiles). Be sure to use your spirit level to ensure the tray is 100% level with the floor. Once correctly placed, leave the mortar for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
  6. Use your access hatch cut beside the shower tray to connect the shower tray waste and your bathroom’s water waste pipe. Check for leaks by pouring water through the shower tray waste trap and adjusting it if needed.
  7. Carefully seal around the edges of the shower tray itself. Leave a 3mm gap for floor and wall tiles, then apply the sealant through this gap, creating the secondary seal 24 hours after the initial seal.

Things To Consider With Shower Tray Installation

While installing a shower tray isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do, if you have some experience and know-how, it really needn’t be impossible. By far, the most important thing to keep in mind throughout the entire process is ensuring that it is perfectly flat, no matter which tray you are installing.

If you manage to get through the fitting process and find that the tray isn’t 100% flat, this can cause a lot of problems with drainage. It can even lead to nasty leaks, which can have knock-on effects and could mean that the shower tray will need to be fully replaced.

Another important factor to remember is to consider any repairs that may need to be carried out in the future as you fit the shower tray. This way, you will not limit access by having the fitting too close together.

How To Maintain A Shower Tray

How to maintain

A regular and thorough clean of your new shower tray, as well as the entire shower enclosure, will go a long way in maintaining the unit. Water and soap residue can quickly lead to the development of limescale but adopting a cleaning routine that you can stick to will help stop this from developing.

Ensure you try and dry your shower after its use also. Although it’s not something that many of us think about, it is useful in preventing mould. A mixture of baking soda and white wine vinegar can also help eliminate general dirt and mildew that can lead to mould.

Shop The Range Of Shower Trays At PlumbNation

If you are upgrading your shower, don’t forget that PlumbNation has a wide range of showers, trays and accessories to make your bathroom that bit more special.