I have lost count of the years that have passed since I started working as a professional plumber and tiler. It’s a job I do with passion: allows me to stay in contact with people and see my satisfied customers is always a great joy.
They can ask me anything but when it comes to the shower trays my eyes are the first to light up! A shower tray is simply everything! 🚿
That’s why I decided to write one definitive guide to shower trays: I will first review the different ones installation methods, then we will see together all the pros and cons of the different types of material present on the market.
We will then see i best shower trays available, both expensive and cheap, and finally I will answer some questions that my customers very often ask me: what to do if the shower tray loses water, if it moves, if it crack, how to clean the shower tray, how to cut it to size and how to remedy the blocked drain.
If you want to skip the introductory part and go directly to the reviews, then click here now to scroll to REVIEWS OF THE BEST SHOWER TRAYS.
Well, I’m no longer in the skin! We proceed.
Shower tray resting on or flush with the floor?
The standing shower tray it is a plate that is placed, as the word itself says, on the floor of the bathroom itself; it has a more or less high edge according to the different models, although most today are particularly low and easy. The interior is clearly shaped so as to facilitate the flow of running water towards the hole which flows into an underlying basin, which is connected via a tube under the plate to the drain. It lends itself to an easy and quick installation.
The shower tray flush with the floor it is a dish that is on the same level as the bathroom floor and is certainly much more elegant. The inside of the plate is made in such a way that the water usually flows either towards the center or towards a corner, which then ends up directly in the drain. The shower tray flush with the floor is a little more difficult to install and certainly needs the supervision of a specialist. It cannot be installed in all bathrooms, but the bathroom itself must include any shower tray of this type.
This is the big dilemma that could be faced, for example, if you are thinking of doing the bathroom all over again, completely.
In fact, I happened to be dealing with customers who did not have clear ideas about the real differences between the two types. Many think it is a matter of pure choice or taste but it is not so, because in some cases there is no choice at all.
To make you understand better, if you have a bathroom that does not include the installation of a shower tray flush with the floor from the beginning, you will almost certainly have to think about the support solution.
Free-standing shower trays have their advantages: they can be installed very easily and do not need to revolutionize the bathroom because they have a water collection basin at the bottom that communicates with the drain through a tube. They are also a great classic, even nowadays, with their small step and very beautiful models are on the market, which do not disfigure absolutely in front of the competition.
The shower trays flush with the floor are those that I personally Advice to customers who decide to redo the entire bathroom. Or to those who have just bought a house, who have to renovate and put themselves in my hands.
These types of dishes are definitely more beautiful, as I said before, because they create a completely different environment in the bathroom. It’s a a question of design but also of aesthetics, the fact of having continuity in the floor, without steps, without interruptions, creates more harmony in a room where we basically spend a lot of time of our lives.
The great advantage of shower trays flush with the floor is that of being literally perfect for the elderly or the disabled, as it has no steps.
The advice I give you is to turn to an expert in the sector to mount it, because it is easy to run into problems caused by a wrong installation: examples in this sense are water leaks or stagnation due to the screed with the wrong angle .
Finally, what I always say, the shower is still the shower! When I enter the garage, I want relaxation to start right from the feet. A high-quality shower tray flush with the floor makes all the difference. Just look at a simple photo to understand it.
The size of the shower tray
The first major classification, even before the measurements, is made according to the shape.
There are shower trays square, rectangular, circular, semicircular is semicircular asymmetric. These are the most classic forms found in Italian bathrooms.
Keep in mind that you cannot choose according to taste but always according to the type of bathroom and its size. In case you plan to do it completely again, then you can think of the variant that you like best.
The most classic form there is is the square one. In small bathrooms these shower trays are often found, varying in size from 60 x 60 centimeters up to 90 x 90 centimeters where possible. Even in larger bathrooms it is always possible to find a square shower tray, only larger in size.
Rectangular and semicircular are less frequent but lately more popular.
Rectangular shower trays are simply perfect in places where there is ample space available. The rectangular shower tray has a great advantage: creating a sort of environment dedicated to a very special moment of the day such as the shower. In this way, you can also furnish the interior as you wish, thus giving free rein to your imagination and tastes.
A rectangular shower tray can also be installed 130 x 170 centimeters if possible.
The most frequent dimensions are 70 x 80 centimeters, 70 x 90 centimeters, 70 x 100 centimeters, 80 x 100 centimeters.
Semicircular shower trays are a must for small bathrooms: they have a design aimed at saving space and giving harmony.
What material to choose – total guide, pros and cons
Now I show you the various materials available on the market and of each of them I bring you the Pros and Cons so you can get an idea of what is best for you.
PRO: Very common in Italian homes, it is a usually inexpensive shower tray. Ensures easy cleaning. It is available in many colors and finishes, such as the anti-slip one. It has a remarkable durability.
VERSUS: It is a fragile material, so you have to be careful not to drop anything heavy on it. Once broken, all you can do is throw it away and buy a new one. It is cold and has an all too classic design.
PRO: It can be easily cut and therefore it is highly customizable from the beginning, for those who want to bathe from scratch and want a shower tray of a non-standard size. It lasts a long time, it is not very thick and light, it can be installed flush with the floor and it is very light. Aesthetically it is very beautiful. It is cheap.
VERSUS: It is not easy to clean. It is a material that can be damaged if too aggressive a detergent is used. On the other hand, it should be washed because soap residues can create ugly stains. In short, a little demanding.
PRO: It has been in fashion for a few years now. It is very beautiful and resistant. It can be installed flush with the floor as it is thin. It is characterized by a non-slip surface. It’s warm.
VERSUS: It costs more than ceramic and acrylic. It can change color with use over time. Care must be taken that it has a gelcoat coating otherwise it will easily stain.
PRO: Thin enough to be installed flush with the floor. It has a very modern look. Easily washable and highly customizable in terms of color and finish.
VERSUS: A scratch due to the fall of an object can ruin the coating and the water thus has a free way to rust it. You must pay attention to the detergent used to wash it so as not to stain it.
PRO: Material highly resistant to temperatures, shocks and weather especially. To the touch it is warm and soft. It can be « fixed » if it is injured, as long as it is light. It is one of the most beautiful shower trays aesthetically speaking.
VERSUS: The cost is high.
Slate or natural stone
PRO: Simply phenomenal aesthetic effect. It is resistant to water, shocks, weight and temperatures if treated properly. It is stain-resistant and easy to wash.
VERSUS: Being composed of natural stone it is cold. It’s expensive.
PRO: Highly customizable. It is of high quality and guarantees a beautiful modern look. Very thin, it can be installed flush with the floor. Very resistant to wear and therefore long lasting. It washes easily.
VERSUS: Fragile. If it breaks it cannot be repaired. The color depends solely on the quantity of marble powder used in the mixture, therefore few variations.
PRO: Not containing resins. It is very subtle and a decidedly modern look. It is an ecological material, and in these times it is a fundamental thing. It is waterproof but breathable. Resistant to thermal shock. Its anti-static being makes it dust-proof and therefore highly hygienic. Easy to wash.
VERSUS: Attention must be paid to the dish washing phase. We recommend that you always use only water with a little vinegar. Aggressive cleaners damage it.
PRO: The continuity solution par excellence. The shower tray is made exactly like the whole bathroom.
VERSUS: It can cost depending on the tiles. Installation is not easy as the entire bathroom needs to be redesigned.
The Best Shower Trays – Reviews and Opinions
On Amazon there are many products that can really satisfy anyone. Even a shower tray can be purchased safely and now I will show you what I believe to be the best available online.
1. Natural stone solidstone – measures 70 x 120 (height 2.8)
A natural stone shower tray is something fantastic, which not even a photograph can make us understand. It is when you install it at home, in your bathroom, that you truly understand what your money has bought: it is a touch of modern design and sensory pleasure that you will no longer want to do without.
This model I show you is a rectangular shower tray of 70 x 120 centimeters. Always online on Amazon you can find other models of different sizes of Solidstone, depending on what is best for you in terms of size.
Let’s move on to the details.
I’m talking about a shower tray in natural stone (70% of calcium carbonate and 30% of polyester resin), as you have probably already read in the materials guide, it is one of the quality products available on the market.
This of Solidstone in particular is treated in such a way as to be highly resistant to wear, thermal shocks and even direct sunlight. It also has a gelcoat coating.
Gelcoat is important in this case: it protects the material from bacteria and limescale.
The plate comes with the class 3 anti-slip certificate. Furthermore, the plate is hot and you will not suffer great thermal trauma when you enter the shower.
If I tell you that the Solidstone shower tray is a single piece and it is not empty inside you might think that it is a very heavy object. Well, you’re wrong. Solidstone plates are very light because they are made of a mix with polyester resin.
It is a very thin plate (2.8 cm high) and therefore can also be installed flush with the floor. Just be careful to call a trusted plumber for installation. Or you can do it yourself if you are capable of it, the important thing is that you use a polyurethane sealant adhesive (as suggested by the same company).
The drain only 6 cm high and the stainless steel grill are included in the price, which seems a bit high but in reality it is an excellent value for money.
2. Marble resin shower tray (slate effect) – choice of sizes
Marmoresin shower trays have recently become fashionable. They are certainly better than the classic ceramic or acrylic dishes but they cost a little more. On the other hand they are absolutely more beautiful.
The advantage of a marble resin plate is that it can be installed flush with the floor as it is very thin.
What you see above is black but it is also available in other colors and sizes. The top has a slate effect which I think is really excellent.
This is also class 3 anti-slip and the surface has a gelcoat coating that makes the plate antibacterial and therefore highly hygienic. I also remind you that gelcoat protects materials from stains that can be created due to soap residues.
Also in this specific case, it is possible to request the cut to size of the plate according to your needs. The important thing to do in this case is to choose the closest size to the one you need IN EXCESS, so you can then cut too many centimeters to make it suitable for your needs. Everything is free but delivery times will clearly be different.
The drain and grate are included.
There are several purchase options for marble resin shower trays like this.
Here is another one, for example, always available in different standard sizes or with the option to have it cut as desired.
3. Marinelli slate effect SMC (resin) shower tray – choice of sizes
The model we see now is a shower tray made of a special resin: the SMC. It means Sheet Molding Compound and consists of fiberglass « sheets » ready to be shaped by heat. This mechanism is practically perfect for a shower tray and guarantees remarkable resistance and high durability.
The dishes of the Marinelli Group are excellent and accompanied by very positive reviews, as well as all the other bathroom accessories sold by them. In short, a quality brand.
The shower tray is available in different sizes. Here you see the white model but there is also the beige and black model.
These plates can be installed flush with the floor as they are very thin. Let’s talk about a thickness of 2.6 cm.
The material used lends itself perfectly to cutting and for this reason it is very easy to request the size that best suits your needs, even if desired.
It is a very resistant shower tray that does not lose its color over time. Many might think that the surface can wear out over time, but in this case all this does not happen. It looks like a unique, beautiful and really solid piece.
The surface is non-slip.
Care must be taken when washing it: use only mildly aggressive products, i.e. neutral detergents and a non-abrasive sponge.
Absolutely recommended, great price.
4. Giorgy shower tray in thermoformed SMC resin – various sizes
Another shower tray that I often recommend, always in SMC, is that of Giorgy which also presents itself very well with many positive reviews.
It is very thin, available in many sizes. Here you see the basic white model; you can also find anthracite, gray and beige.
It is a very resistant dish and it is not as cold as ceramic. It is wear-proof over time: it does not lose the color and if you buy the white model, it does not turn yellow.
The drain is included.
5. Crocket ultraslim resin shower tray (stone effect) – various sizes and colors
A shower tray that could really satisfy anyone. Available in many colors and sizes. Let’s talk about the Crocket ultraslim resin shower tray.
Very beautiful and elegant, it can also be installed flush with the floor thanks to its only 3 centimeters thick.
The anti-slip stone effect surface is covered in gelcoat which guarantees maximum hygiene, being antibacterial. Furthermore, as I have already explained to you before, for the resin shower trays the gelcoat coating is fundamental as it prevents stains.
The drain stack and stainless steel grill are included.
The price is certainly demanding but you will not regret it: the Crocket shower tray is a guarantee.
The Best Economic Shower Tray
6. Idralite slim acrylic shower tray with rim – various sizes
Let’s see what are in my opinion the best economic options, in case you want to save money but at the same time guarantee an effective and lasting solution.
The options are basically aesthetic: the shower tray is in edged acrylic, it’s up to you to choose the one that best suits your bathroom. There is the glossy white model (the one you see in the picture), the white stone effect model and the anthracite stone effect model.
The glossy white is the most classic one, while the others (especially the black one) lend themselves more to more specific environments. If you have the chance, I recommend anthracite because it has a beautiful design at a really great price.
The acrylic shower tray is edged, this means that even if it can be installed flush with the floor, it remains the edge before entering the shower cubicle. But don’t think about who knows what obstacle: I’m talking about a border of just 4 centimeters, so it’s really low.
Available in various sizes and shapes, it is made of reinforced acrylic and ABS which make it an object which is both light but highly resistant to impact and time.
Easy to wash although care must be taken as acrylic can be damaged if too aggressive detergent is used. As I said earlier in the guide to materials, acrylic must be kept clean and cannot be overlooked. A known problem is the fact that soap residues can leave ugly stains.
If you don’t want to spend a lot and install a quality and modern shower tray in any case, I absolutely recommend this one from Idralite.
Shower tray for camper
A good shower tray for campers, made of very resistant ABS plastic.
It is a square shower tray, 60 centimeters side. It has a particularly raised edge, 10 centimeters.
It is an article that I consider quite universal and can be installed in almost any camper or caravan.
Outdoor shower tray
If you have a swimming pool or a garden and want to install a well-made outdoor shower tray, then here is the best one.
Far from the « classic » design, in my opinion it is an excellent object to be placed outdoors, for the hot Italian summer, to be spent at home with the family.
Made of polyethylene, it is very resistant to direct sunlight and limestone. As you can see from the photo, the drain hole is located on the side, so you don’t have to restructure the entire garden to install it.
Large enough: almost square, 103 x 107 centimeters and 11 centimeters high. The weight is 6 kilograms.
WHAT TO DO IF …
Does the shower tray move?
It means that it was not installed properly. The pose was not done consciously and therefore, inevitably, when you get on the plate, this will tend to sink on one side. If the platter was installed by a professional, you must call him and explain the problem and agree a new appointment together to re-install everything.
Does the shower tray leak?
One of the most common problems. If the shower loses water, you must intervene by dismantling the pan and carefully checking the drain. Most likely the siphon gasket is damaged or not inserted correctly, therefore it is necessary to clean, disassemble the siphon, clean it, reassemble it paying careful attention to the gasket (which enters correctly or replace it if damaged). Once you put the plate back in place, let the water run and calmly check that it is not leaking yet, otherwise you must repeat the procedure.
Is the shower tray cracking?
The shower tray can crack due to the movement of the shower tray or because a heavy object is inadvertently dropped on it. However this happens, the repair can be done or not depending on the type of material. If the plate is ceramic (small lesion) or acrylic or has an enameled surface then you can buy the Cramer repair kit special that is right on Amazon. This involves the use of mastic, hardener, spray, spatula and sandpaper that you will find included, as well as the excellent guide to use. On the Cramer website there is also a nice explanatory video showing the steps to follow. I also place it below for you:
How to clean the shower tray
Cleaning the shower tray can be more or less demanding depending on the type of material it is made of.
- If the plate is made of ceramic, you can sleep peacefully. In fact, ceramic is really resistant to the most aggressive detergents on the market, it does not lose its brilliance after many washes. These plates are coated with a special enamel.
- Acrylic is a little more demanding. You should use a mildly aggressive detergent, preferably neutral, and hot water. Non-specific products can seriously damage the surface of the plate. In addition, great care must be taken to remove all residues of soap, shampoo, shower gel and anything else remaining on the bottom, otherwise stains that will not be able to be eliminated will remain.
- Ecomalta is an ecological material and should be treated not well, very well. I recommend the use of only hot water and vinegar, with a good pass the dish is nice and ready for the next shower.
- Resin and marble resin are relatively demanding materials. You can use any detergent, the important thing is that it is not acid-based and that it is abundantly diluted in hot water. Do not use abrasive sponges.
- The natural stone shower tray must be washed with neutral detergents to avoid considerable damage.
- In any case ALWAYS AVOID greasy cleaners and wax as they make the shower tray unnecessarily slippery, even when it is non-slip; ALSO AVOID caustic soda and solvents of any kind such as acetone.
How to cut the resin or marble resin shower tray
The operation is professional and is carried out precisely by professionals in the sector. The tool that is used to cut a shower tray and make it suitable for our space is the radial saw with diamond disc.
This is a type of saw that cuts cleanly, which leaves no marks as long as you keep it running and slide it without stopping.
Clearly if you have such a tool in the house or garage you can do it yourself. But I recommend using work gloves and safety glasses to avoid hurting yourself and endangering your health.
You must be careful to fix the shower tray well in order to avoid involuntary movements during the cutting phase.
Any burrs must be smoothed when the work is completed if the cut is not made correctly.
What to do if the drain of the shower tray is blocked?
You don’t have to take anything apart but rely on what are the dear old methods of your grandmother or on objects that can be found in all Italian homes.
The first thing to do is eliminate the disposable with your own hands: check the drain perhaps using the flashlight of your smartphone (be careful not to wet it) and if you can with one hand try to remove the hair that obstructs the drain. If you can’t, take a wire (example: a hanger), shape it like a hook and use it to go even to the bottom of the drain and recover all the accumulated hair. This usually should already work but if that’s not enough there are other things you can try.
When the shower tray and drain are dry, take 300 mg of baking soda and pour it into the drain. Immediately after pour 100 ml of vinegar. Now cover with a stopper or with a damp cloth and wait for about half an hour for the chemistry to do its job. After this time, clean the drain by pouring boiling water directly into it. This process should literally dissolve the obstructions mainly consisting of hair and hair.
You will have understood that a shower tray can literally change the appearance of your bathroom from so to so. Now do you understand why I love these accessories?
Today as today we can also say goodbye to super classic dishes, with little you can opt for items that are respectable, quality and above all very beautiful to look at.
I recommend that you always rely on an expert for installation or take all the right precautions to avoid doing damage if you want to do it yourself.
I just have to wish you a good shower!
Greetings from Ciro.
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