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Choosing A Wet Room Shower Tray

When it comes to installing a wet room or walk in shower the easiest way to achieve the required fall to the drain is with the use of a wet room tray / floor former. Wet room trays come with the required fall to drain (approx. 2%) built into the tray, taking away the guess work and effort of trying to create it for yourself.

As the popularity of wet rooms has increased, so has the choice of wet room trays available. Whilst this increased choice is a welcome, it does lead to confusion for some when choosing the most suitable tray for the project’s requirements and installation constraints.

Several factors need to be considered, including but not limited to:
Floor substrate – Usually wood or concrete/screed
Finished floor covering – Tiles or Vinyl
User’s needs – Is wheelchair showering a requirement?
Drain position – Avoidance of joists and aesthetics

Whilst most wet room trays / floor formers available are suitable for use in both wooden and concrete floors, and are available in many size and drain location configurations, the main deciding factors on the choice of tray will come down to the finished floor covering, and the end user’s needs, i.e. does it need to support a user in a wheelchair, and thus ‘point loading’ ability is a major consideration (more on this a little later).

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Wet Room Tray Considerations

Floor Finish:

The finish of the floor is a determining factor on the choice of tray used, as not all trays are suitable for a vinyl floor finish, whereas the vast majority of trays that are suitable for a vinyl floor covering are also suitable for a tiled floor finish, when the appropriate drain is used.

More often that not, where a vinyl floor is to be fitted it is for anti-slip purposes, such as for use with the elderly or a mobility wet room.

Wet Room Trays suitable for use with a TILED floor finish include:
Wetrooms Online WetBase™ Standard
Wetrooms Online WetBase™ Linear
Jackoboard Aqua Flat
Jackoboard Aqua Line Easy
Contour Shower Dec
Impey Aqua Dec Easy Fit
Impey Aqua Dec Linear
Wedi Fundo Range
AKW Tuff Form

Wet Room Trays Suitable for a VINYL floor finish include:
Contour Shower Dec
Impey Level Dec
AKW Tuff Form

End User Requirements:

If the wet room is to be used by persons whom need to use a stool / wheelchair or similar for showering purposes, point loading will be the biggest factor in the choice of tray. Point loading is when the full weight of the user is transmitted / concentrated through a small area onto the base, think of the four legs of the stool or contact points with the floor when using a wheelchair.

These points are subject to much greater forces that when the user is standing, and as such the tray needs to be of sufficient strength to withstand these concentrated forces.

Trays suitable for ‘Point Loading’ purposes include:
Contour Shower Dec
Impey Level Dec
AKW Tuff Form

Once the choice of tray has been narrowed using floor finish and end user criteria the other criteria can be applied. For example, if fitting on to a wooden floor, and the position of joists is an issue, then the Impey Aqua Dec Easy Fit / Impey Level Dec is a great choice due to its unique rotating drain position, which allows for the avoidance of joists.

Or if you are choosing a tiled floor finish you may wish to consider the Wetrooms Online WetBase™ Linear, where the fitter chooses the drain exit in a 600mm trough, left, centre or right, again allowing for the avoidance of joists.

To Summarise:

Consider an Contour Shower Dec, AKW Tuff Form or Impey Level Dec if:

You intend to use the wet room for wheelchair bathing

AND/OR

You intend to cover the floor with a VINYL/ALTRO covering.

Consider a Wetrooms Online WetBase Standard Tray or WetBase Linear Tray, Impey Aqua Dec, Impey Aqua Dec Linear, Jackoboard Aqua Line or Jackoboard Aqua Flat if:

You do NOT need the wet room for wheelchair bathing

AND

You intend to finish the wet room with a TILED floor.

Please note: The Contour Shower Dec & AKW Tuff Form can also be used for a standard wet room with tiled flooring, simply specify the appropriate drain for ‘Tiled Floor’ on ordering.