Experts say that a shower cleanses your body more efficiently than a luxury bath. With this fact being addressed, most people have started installing shower trays in their bathrooms. Having a shower in your bathroom gives it a clean, minimalistic appearance. In addition, it is easier to clean both the tray and shower glass and maintain it daily, which makes it a common choice among busy people.
However, the shower compartment tray that separates the shower area from the rest of the bathroom can show signs of wear over time. One of the main problems faced by users is a cracked shower tray. If you have a shower pan with a visible crack, we will help you fix it. Read on to find a DIY option for shower tray repair in a few easy steps.
Table of Contents
Types of shower trays
When we walk into the bathroom showrooms, we see many shower capsules, trays, and showerheads. Many different materials are used to make shower compartment trays. Here are the seven most common types:
Ceramic trays for showers are usually found in traditional bathrooms. They are durable and can support weight if installed correctly. These trays are also used in public shower rooms as they are easy to clean.
Modern shower bases are made up of acrylic or ABS acrylic. It is a durable material that is also scratch and water-resistant. These trays are lightweight and cost-effective, making them an ideal option for a strict budget.
If you have a taste for finer things in life, a marble tray is what you need for your shower cubicle. It instantly adds a touch of luxury to the space. Marble trays feature a stone compound internal centre that provides added support and durability.
One of the most commonly used materials for making these trays is plastic. It is the most lightweight and affordable option available in the market. Plastic shower trays are easy to clean and can be feasibly installed at home.
5. Epoxy resin
Resin-based trays are mixed with natural materials like stone to add strength to the base. Epoxy resin trays have a stone-like appearance with a high gloss effect. If you want to add a touch of luxury to your bathroom, this is the best option to go for.
A fibreglass tray is the most common choice for motorhomes and caravans. They are shock and scratch proof which makes them ideal for challenging spaces. Apart from being durable, they are also incredibly lightweight.
7. Stainless steel
Stainless steel trays are not quite common but come with a variety of benefits. They are scratch and breakage proof, making them one of the longest-lasting tray options.
What causes a shower tray to crack?
No matter what type of shower base you have, a few key factors contribute to the breakage of its surface. Here are the most common causes for shower compartment tray cracks:
1. Poor installation
When a plumber installs a tray in a showering cubicle, it is essential to use the suitable material underneath it. Any gaps or air bubbles can cause the surface of the tray to crack. Ceramic and stone trays are more susceptible to damage due to poor installation. However, ABS and plastic trays might also not withstand heavy weights if not installed the right way.
2. Usage of harsh chemicals
People commonly use harsh cleaning chemicals on their ceramic, stone, and resin bathroom fixtures. Even though it might seem like an easy solution, it is the most harmful thing you can do to your bathroom components. Toxic chemicals like bleach and micro-scrubbing cleaners can damage the surface of your trays.
Continuous use of these chemicals will make the surface porous and hence prone to breakage. It is most common in the wet room trays as the same chemical used to clean the rest of the bathroom is also used on them. Use a mixture of mild soap and vinegar to clean your shower base instead.
3. Direct impact
It is one of the most common reasons for breakage in most trays. While steel trays are resistant to any cracks caused by a direct impact, other materials can be easily impacted by this. For example, if you drop something heavy or sharp on your shower, it can cause deep cracks that are beyond repair.
To save a fully cracked tray, you will need to invest in professional resurfacing, which can be quite heavy on the pocket. So make sure to keep heavy and sharp items away from your shower to prevent any irreparable damage.
4. Faulty production
If your tray is installed correctly, safe from chemicals or any direct impact, then faulty production can be the case behind the crack. There can be a few pieces that weren’t manufactured according to the set quality, which can cause them to break.
Always make sure to buy from trusted sellers who use premium quality materials and techniques for their products. This will help you save money in the long run.
Repairing a cracked shower tray in 5 simple steps
If you have got a small crack, also known as a hairline crack, in your shower compartment tray, then don’t worry! We are here with an easy guide. All you need is a bathroom repair kit and a little bit of precision. So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Preparing the tray
The first step is to empty your shower tray and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Make sure your tray is not wet, or the water will seep into the cracks. A clean shower base will allow you to see the crack better, so you can work to fix the issue.
Let the tray dry entirely before putting any product on. Any form of moisture will prevent the product from sticking to the crack. You can also use a hairdryer on cold air settings to speed up the process.
Step 2: Using filler
If you have a tiny crack caused by weight or impact, it can easily be fixed. You will need a good quality filler that is designed for the material of your tray. Precisely fill in the cracked space with a filler and spread it out with the help of a rubber spatula. The goal is to smooth out the top surface of the product.
If your filler is in powder form, you might need to mix it with water to form a paste before filling in.
Step 3: Smoothing out the surface
Once the filler is dried, it is time to slough away the rough surface. With the help of sandpaper, gently smooth out the filler till it comes in line with the tray. While doing this, avoid scratching the surface of your tray.
If you see any holes and empty spaces, repeat the filler application and even it out with sandpaper. This step is essential to avoid a bumpy texture after fixing.
Step 4: The finishing coat
After making sure that the crack is appropriately filled in and dried, apply a finishing coat on your shower base. This finishing coat will depend on the material of your tray. You might need a second coat for some materials, but one coat will suffice for most cases.
Step 5: The final wait
Let the finish dry, and there you have it, a shower tray that looks as good as new! Wait for 24 hours at least before using your shower after fixing. It will ensure your filler and finishing coat are completely dry and ready for use.
What things should I consider before getting a shower compartment tray?
Make sure if the material, size, and shape of the tray go well with your bathroom. It will play a significant role in how it is installed in the area.
How often does a shower base require refinishing?
Ceramic and stone shower bases can require professional refinishing once a year. However, you can also do it at home with care and precautions.
Can water cause a shower compartment tray to crack?
Water is not a common cause of breakage in shower trays. However, if a tray already has a tiny crack, water can damage it even further.
What is the most crack-resistant material for shower trays?
Currently, stone resin is the most preferred material for shower bases because of its durability, beauty, and crack resistant qualities.
Cracking your shower compartment tray isn’t a problem you can neglect as it must be fixed immediately. After doing your research, you can also consult professionals for a quick shower tray repair. Follow our step-by-step guide if you plan on repairing your cracked shower compartment pan by yourself instead. It’s okay to see some wear and tear issues every now and then. Just make sure to act fast and repair cracks to avoid further damage. If your shower pan is beyond repair, follow our tips on how to pick out a new shower tray.