Are low profile trays in danger of becoming a commodity sale? Philippa Turrell investigates
Reaching a new level of low, in design, is rarely considered to be a good attribute, except – that is – in shower trays. The traditional standard of an 80mm high tray has nearly all but been succeeded by models measuring just half that height. In fact, 40mm shower trays (and less) are now the new norm. Low level trays were derived from a practical point of view, offering ease of access for those with mobility issues, such as the older generation. However, also recognising 80% of the UK’s wealth is held by the 50+ age group, the door was opened the door for premium retail-inspired designs.
The low level tray is less intrusive to blend in seamlessly with its surroundings and which matches the bathroom architecture of wet rooms. Combined with a 90mm waste, a low level tray can also remove water from large, ceiling shower heads to complete the spa-like environment.
But with the growing demand for ‘less is more’ in terms of showering environments, and 40mm trays joined by reduced height models of 20mm, will the market eventually diminish in favour of wetroom formers. The industry consensus is not. Experts point to the maintenance and hygiene benefits of opting for a low profile shower tray over a tiled wetroom floor.
In fact, low level trays are now the new standard and with that has come more competitve pricing, further boosting their popularity. To differentiate between a commodity and more premium low level tray, manufacturers have looked to colour, texture and selection of sizes or variety of sizes.This requirement for a greater choice in sizes has recently seen companies offer bespoke services, to tailor trays for awkward or unusual sized spaces.
The low level shower tray may be minimal in height but its impact on bathroom design and sales opportunities remain huge.
The full article appeared in the June 2013 issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News