What are the types of tile over shower trays?

A tile over tray or a tile tray is a shower base that once it is waterproofed offers the look of a tiled floor (since you can tile over it).  So, what options are available for a tile over shower tray in NZ?

ProFinish™  Tile Tray System

The ProFinish™ Tile Tray system offers a 20 Year Warranty and is made of high density, rigid polyurethane, and replaces the need for a traditional sand and cement sloped tile shower base.  This system can be customised to suit individual requirements and can accommodate either a channel drain or a standard tile centre waste, they are suitable for above floor or recessed application, and can be manufactured to accommodate any waste position.

 The ProFinish™ Tile Tray System is bonded to the floor, by using wet area wall linings, which offer a continuous waterproofing membrane on floors, trays and up the walls.  Once these are laid, the whole shower enclosure is ready to be tiled over.  It can be installed onto solid timber, particle board, concrete or slate/tile subfloors.

Below are some of the options for a ProFinish™ Tile Tray System:

Photos Source: Newline Showers
Photos Source: Newline Showers
Photos Source: Newline Showers

ProFinish™ Tile Tray System

Suitable ForAll types of floors including Solid Timber Flooring, Particle Board, Concrete/tile subfloors. Perfect for apartments or multi-store buildings.
Cost ProFinish™ Trays costs can vary depending on the size and configuration. Standard sizes vary from $600 up to $2,500. (This does not cover installation).
Customisation Options AvailableProFinish™ Tile Tray System can be easily customised to suit your needs. It is also worth noting that customisable products are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Standard Sizes AvailableProFinish™ Tile Tray systems offers a Hobbed or Recessed Tray, and comes in a 2-sided, 3-sided or alcove, and neo configurations. There are several standard available sizes to fit your needs.
Warranty Period20 Years

Shower Tray-Tile Over Stainless Steel

A stainless-steel shower tray offers an impermeable layer beneath the tiles under the shower. These types of trays can come in standard sizes or be customised to fit your needs. Generally, when installing a shower tray-tile over stainless steel you will need to apply a waterproof membrane across the walls to create a fully ‘tanked’ or fully waterproofed area. 

Stainless Steel shower trays are a good option for your tile-over shower tray, but they can be expensive, and often don’t have as many standard options available as the ProFinish™ range. While stainless steel is indeed a durable material, it can in fact rust and corrode if continuously exposed.

Photos Source: Allproof Industries NZ

Stainless Steel Tile Over Trays

Suitable ForSolid timber flooring & intertenancy buildings.
Standard Sizes AvailableWhile there are not as many standard sizes and configurations available as ProFinish™, you can expect to find the most common sizes available with different NZ Companies.
Customisation Options AvailableYes, you can usually customise these types of trays. It is also worth noting that usually customisable products are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Cost Stainless Steel is often an expensive material, so you could be paying from $600 onwards. (This does not cover installation).
Warranty Period20 Years

Other Pre-Formed Shower Bases/Trays

Pre-formed shower bases or trays provide a rigid, waterproof base and are usually made of materials like polystyrene and cement. They usually come with pre-formed falls so that the water from the shower can directly fall towards to the shower waste. They can often be customised and are a cheaper option when compared to stainless steel trays or the ProFinish™ range.  These types of tile-over shower trays are suitable for existing concrete or tile floors.

Photo Source: Finpan
Photo Source: Danik Bathroom
Photo Source: DWB

Other Pre-Formed Shower Bases

Suitable ForSolid timber floor and concrete floors.
Standard Sizes AvailableThere are several options available in the market.
Customisation Options AvailableYes, you can usually customise these types of trays. It is also worth noting that usually customisable products are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Cost Pre-formed shower trays vary from $300 to $500.
(This does not include installation).
Warranty PeriodPlease check your preferred manufacturer for the warranty.

Differences between shower trays made of Polystyrene vs Polyurethane

To recap, the ProFinish™ Tile Tray System is made of polyurethane while other pre-formed shower bases are usually made of polystyrene. But what does that mean in terms of durability, load bearing and resistance? 

The molecular formula of polyurethane is more complex than of polystyrene, and it offers an overall far better performance in aspects regarding thermal and fire resistance as well as load bearing and even noise reduction. Therefore, making it a more durable material. Because polyurethane is a far superior material, it will be more expensive than polystyrene. 

In Conclusion

Overall, if you are looking for a superior tile-over shower tray that will stand the test of time, durability and will offer great customisation and easy installation, then the ProFinish™ range is the best suit for you.  Stainless steel trays are a good option too, but they are not the cheapest option, and often do not offer as many standard sizes options such as the ProFinish™ range. However, if budget is your main pain point to be addressed then there are cheaper alternatives in the market, such as pre-formed bases made of polystyrene.

 If you are still unsure to what type of tile over shower tray you should buy, then you can contact our team on 0508 639 5463 or email us at [email protected] and our team will be glad to assist! 

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