Buying Guide: Acrylic Shower Trays

What is the purpose of a shower tray?

A shower tray plays a crucial role in a bathroom, which is to direct the flow of water from your shower into the shower waste.

What are the main types of acrylic shower trays?

There are usually two main types of acrylic shower trays, and they are categorised as low profile or raised/standard profile. Low Profile trays will be somewhere between 20mm and 50mm in height, while raised/standard acrylic shower trays will be between 60mm to 90mm. 

Both types of acrylic shower trays can come in a wide range of different configurations, and sizes, and in different shapes such as rectangle, square, curved, and neo.  The location of shower waste in an acrylic shower tray can vary between centre or offset, regardless of its size or shape. See examples of our acrylic shower trays:

Low Profile Acrylic Tray
Standard Profile Tray

Within the low and standard profile trays, you will find the following configurations: 2-Sided, 3-Sided/Alcove, Curved and Neo.  See below: 

2-Sided Acrylic Shower Tray
3-Sided Acrylic Shower Tray
Curved Acrylic Shower Tray
Neo Acrylic Shower Tray

Can I buy an acrylic shower tray separate from a shower enclosure?

While you can buy acrylic shower trays separately, we always recommend that you buy your entire shower enclosure as a set, as this will ensure the perfect fit between the shower tray and the enclosure, which can save you from a big headache and spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars! This is not just because of the fit, but it also has to do with the manufacturing installations which need to be followed to the dot for great results.

If you are set on buying a shower tray separately, then we recommend you always double-check that the sizing and that the tray and shower enclosure can be assembled accordingly.

With all that in mind, let’s look more in-depth on the different types of acrylic shower trays.

Low Profile Acrylic Shower Trays

Low Profile shower trays offer a modern and sleek look to your bathroom, and they are generally installed straight on top of the floor surface. When installing a low-profile shower tray be mindful that the floor needs to be flat and level. Also, in most cases, the waste will need to run below the floor, and while this is usually not an issue when working on timber floors (as they can be cut more easily) it can turn into a bigger job when being installed on a concrete floor. 

General Features of Low Profile Acrylic Shower Trays

  • Low Profile trays offer a wide range of sizes and can come in 2-sided, 3-sided, curved, and neo.
  • Acrylic Low Profile shower trays usually feature a sill height between 20mm to 50mm, and an upstand of 20mm to 40mm.
  • Acrylic Low Profile shower trays are a good fit for people with reduced mobility who find raised shower trays a bit more difficult to access/walk to.

The Newline Acrylic Low Profile shower trays have a sill height of 40mm, and an upstand of 40mm. They also have the AquaCHECK™ technology, which includes a seal across the top of the tray upstand to provide an anti-capillary gap. Capillary action describes the ability of any liquid (in this case, water) to flow against gravity in a narrow space such as the gap between your shower tray and your acrylic wall liner.  

When shopping for a low-profile shower tray we recommend you go for a 40mm upstand for the best results. If you are wanting extra peace of mind against capillary action, then our AquaCHECK™ technology would be the ideal option for you.


Standard or Raised Profile Acrylic Shower Trays

As the name suggests, raised shower trays are raised off the floor and they are generally around 60mm to 90mm in height.  This design allows for easy access to the shower waste below the tray.

General Features of Standard Profile Acrylic Shower Trays

  • Standard or raised profile acrylic shower trays offer a wide range of sizes and can come in as 2-sided, 3-sided, 4-sided curved, and neo.
  • Standard Profile Acrylic Trays feature a sill height between 60mm to 90mm, and an upstand of 20mm to 40mm.

The Newline standard profile trays are 75mm high (4-sided trays are 90mm) with a specially designed 30mm upstand. Silicone is applied at the top edge of the upstand. When installed, the wall lining comes down over the upstand and forms a waterproof seal with no silicone visible in the shower. 

What are the different shapes of acrylic shower trays?

Square Shower Trays

Square shower trays are suitable for medium-sized bathrooms that have a corner suitable for installing a shower enclosure. Square-shaped showers are usually divided into 2-sided and 3-sided. Newline Showers offer 4-sided shower trays that can be installed either in a corner or alcove. 

Rectangle Acrylic Shower Trays

Rectangle shower trays generally offer a bit more room and comfort when compared to square shower trays, as they are longer. Due to this fact, they are also usually more suitable for a slightly larger bathroom. These can come in as 2-sided, 3-sided, and 4-sided. The exception would be our 900mm x 750mm when used in space confined bathrooms. 

Rectangle Trays

Curved Acrylic Shower Trays

Curved Shower Trays are also known as round trays and are ideal if you are looking to maximize space in your small bathroom. 

Curved Trays

Neo Acrylic Shower Trays

These types of trays don’t provide as much internal space when compared to curved shower trays due to their flat design but are also suitable for bathrooms with even more limited space.

Neo Trays

The different configurations of an acrylic shower tray

What is a 2-sided Acrylic Shower Tray?

A 2-sided shower will have 2 upstands therefore 2 solid walls and 2 sides of glass. Note that 2-sided showers need to be installed in a corner. If a rectangle tray is required, ensure the left hand and right hand is selected correctly.   As for the shower waste location, they will either be centered or offset. You can read more about the different types of shower wastes in our article ‘What are the different types of shower wastes?’


What is a 3-sided Acrylic Shower Tray?

A 3-sided shower will have 3 upstands therefore 3 solid walls and 1 side of glass. This type of tray is suitable for alcove/3-sided shower enclosure types. As for the shower waste location, they will either be centered or offset as well. 

What is a 4-sided Acrylic Shower Tray?

A 4-sided acrylic shower tray has upstands on all 4 sides making it very versatile because it means it can be used as a 2-sided, 3-sided, or as 4-sided as well. The shower waste location for our four-sided trays is always centered. 


Durability and lifespan of acrylic shower trays

Under normal use, acrylic shower trays are designed to last up to 10 years. While acrylic in itself is a durable material, some shower companies do put their acrylic shower trays to the test to be able to measure their durability and strength by hiring an independent tester to check how much weight a shower tray can withstand.
Newline Shower trays are independently tested by FEA and can withstand up to 250kg and feature a 10-Year Warranty.

To recap, when shopping for a new acrylic shower tray we recommend you go for a sanitary grade acrylic, and you should make sure to ask your preferred manufacturer if their acrylic shower trays have undergone any durability test and what is their warranty period, as well as what their warranty covers. If you can go for an acrylic shower range with extra technology like AquaCHECK™ then it is even better! You can check our entire acrylic shower range here

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