The shower tray is an absolutely essential part of your shower enclosure, and unless you are building a wet room, you need one in order to use your shower. Choosing a shower tray that is robust, reliable, and excellent quality is important – but in the end, it will mean nothing if you install it incorrectly.
Done wrong, it can leak, damage the ground, and end up ruining your floors. The process will take time and patience, but it is worth it for good results in the end. To ensure you don’t make the same mistakes as many before you, this guide will take you through the installation process for your new shower tray.
What Type of Shower Tray are You Installing?
First, you need to determine the type of shower tray you are installing – is it a height adjustable one or a low profile one? This is important because they require different installation methods. In this guide, we are looking at the low-profile shower tray.
It is not as popular as the adjustable (or high-riser) version, and can be a little more complicated to install, but is still commonly used. If you are looking to install an adjustable shower tray in your home, you can head over to the guide we have written for it.
What Tools You Will Need
Before you get started, you need to know exactly which tools are required to get the work done so that you are fully prepared. Here’s a quick checklist for you to go through:
The Installation Process
Now that you have everything you need to get the work done, we can finally move onto the installation stage. Before we do so, there are a couple of key pieces of advice that you should keep in mind.
The first is that while these steps cover pretty much every aspect of how to install a low-profile shower tray, it may also vary slightly between manufacturers, so you should always read the instructions and paperwork that comes with your new tray first.
The second is that while the process may seem very straightforward, it can be difficult to install a low-profile shower tray, and there is no shame in admitting this. The trays need to be placed and fitted correctly, so if you are ever in doubt make sure you call up the professionals and ask for advice.
It’s better to admit defeat than do things completely wrong – especially since it can end up flooding and damaging your bathroom. Now that’s out of the way; you can find the detailed steps for tray installation below:
#1 Ensure that the area of flooring you are going to put the shower tray on is level, sturdy, and made from strong materials. Any flexibility can cause issues with the stability of the tray over time. Once this is done, place the tray in the intended area and use the pencil to draw around it – marking where it will be installed.
#2 Now that this is done, you can use the jigsaw to cut an access hatch into the floor next to the tray. It should be large enough for you to get your hand and part of your forearm into, because this is where you will be able to reach the waste if and when you need to. Remember to place the flooring you cut back on top as the hatch will need a lid.
#3 There will also need to be a hole for the shower waste tray, and this is where the jigsaw comes in handy once again. However, it is essential that you take precise measurements of the area before cutting the hole because accuracy is key with this particular task. Once you have done this, you can assemble the waste and get it fully installed.
Further Reading: Best Shower Trays Reviews
#4 At this point, it is time to get the floor ready for the shower tray. Take five parts building sand and one-part cement, mixing them together to create mortar.
Then, apply a thin layer to the area where the tray will be installed before pressing the tray into the area to ensure it fits comfortably. Use the spirit level to then ensure that everything is even. Once you are happy with the results, leave the mortar to dry for 24 hours.
#5 Return to the hatch you made earlier and use this opportunity to connect the waste trap to the outlet pipe so that everything is ready to go. Take a moment to also ensure the seal between the two is watertight. Once the mortar is dry, you can also start to apply sealant to the edges to keep
With all of this done, you have successfully installed your shower tray and can get on with using it as normal. It takes a good amount of work, so you should be quite impressed with yourself and your accomplishment. If you also have a shower enclosure to install, we have another guide on the process that you can read.
Further Reading: Guide for Fitting Shower Enclosure
How Deep Should a Shower Tray be?
The depth of your shower tray will vary depending on the type, shape, and material that it has been made from. When looking at low-profile trays, the total depth doesn’t matter as much because it doesn’t need to be placed on legs when it is installed.
Generally speaking, you will find that the depth ranges from 25mm to 40mm – although there are models out there that are deeper. When looking at how deep a shower tray should be, we have already mentioned that it doesn’t have much of an effect.
While a 25mm tray will be able to hold less water, it will still function correctly, and you won’t need to worry unless your drain becomes blocked and you have not noticed. Personally, I prefer a deeper shower tray, but that’s just my own recommendation.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to install your shower tray effectively and correctly so that you can spend time enjoying your shower instead of stressing out over where you went wrong.
The process won’t be quick, but it is also a lot simpler than you might have expected, so following this guide means that you will be able to get the installation just right. After all, it’s better to do something correctly the first time than have to re-do it later.
What did you think of our guide to installing a shower tray? Did it hit all the right marks, or are there areas where you thought it fell short? We love hearing from you, so feel free to leave us a message in the comments below.