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Shower tray materials

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What is the best shower tray material?

There is no easy answer to the common question: ‘What is the best type of shower tray material?’ Everybody’s needs are different. Before you start the process, you’ll need to think hard about colour, style, safety, finish, cost and maintenance. But forget the bad old days of flimsy plastic that cracks and stains almost straightaway. Today’s modern shower trays are available in a range of high-quality materials that are stylish, stain-resistant and easy to clean. This expert guide assesses each option, to help you make the right choice for you.

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Stone shower trays

In recent years stone shower trays, also known as stone resin shower trays, have become a very popular choice. These usually feature a mix of natural stone minerals and a resin compound, polished to a smooth finish.

There are lots of benefits for a stone resin shower tray. First and foremost, they are a sturdy, solid option – so they’re a great choice if you’re after something long-lasting. They are strong and robust, but offer a great blend of durability and weight. They are also resistant to scratches, staining and cracks. And unlike colder ceramic trays, these shower tray materials remain at room temperature, so feel warm to the touch. Perfect for those chilly winter mornings when all you want to do is stay tucked up in bed! Stone shower trays aren’t the cheapest option, but their longevity means they’re a worthwhile investment.

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Stone Resin is ideal for a modern shower enclosure. We love the minimalist lines and ultra low profile design of this Simpsons Rectangle Stone Resin Shower Tray.

Slate shower trays

Slate is another of the shower tray materials that works well with contemporary designs. An interesting alternative to shiny white, a slate shower tray offers a luxurious look combined with a practical, non-slip surface. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to make a style statement in your showering space.

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Slate’s low profile design means it can be fitted on or level with your floor. Merlyn offers a range of shower trays in fossil grey, white or slate black effect finishes. It’s not a budget option – but perfect if you’re keen to source something a little less ordinary for your bathroom. A slate shower tray helps to create a unique, eye-catching look that will last for years. However, it is extremely porous, so take care with cleaning products as it’s easily stained.

Marble shower trays

Another upscale option for shower tray materials is marble. Marble offers a classic, timeless finish that works well with both period and modern bathroom designs. It’s associated with luxury and master craftsmen, and it often found in high-end, five-star hotels.

A popular choice for wet rooms, a marble shower tray can be set into the floor itself, for a sleek, uniform look. Thanks to the variety in veining, each piece of marble is unique, so it’s perfect for a customised design.


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However, that elegant appearance comes at a price! Marble is usually a much more expensive material than other shower tray options, and isn’t always widely available. It’s heavy, which makes it expensive to transport and install. It’s also cold to the touch – and very slippery when wet. Lastly, because it’s a soft stone, marble is very absorbent and therefore susceptible to staining. It’s also easily etched by certain acids, so you need to select your cleaning materials carefully.

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Ceramic shower trays

If you’re watching the pennies, a ceramic shower tray could be a sensible solution. Ceramic is durable and stain-resistant, but much more affordable compared with other materials such as stone or slate. It does have other disadvantages, however. Ceramic tends to be quite weighty. It is also prone to crack or shatter if anything heavy is dropped on it. And just like your typical bathroom basin, ceramic shower trays are cold to the touch. However, if you’re looking for a durable budget option, that’s easy to keep clean, ceramic is tough to top.

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Acrylic/ABS shower trays

Acrylic shower trays are another affordable option. They’re also very versatile, as they come in lots of different shapes and sizes – perfect if your bathroom is bijou!

Acrylic shower trays feel warm to the touch (ideal for chilly feet!), and are lightweight with greater flexibility. This means that they are fairly quick and easy to install. The downside of this material is that it is not very robust. So an acrylic shower tray can feel flimsy and is more susceptible to breakages and cracks.

Want to know which shower tray size is going to suit you? Read our blog post with the ultimate guide by clicking here

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