What Is A Shower Tray Riser & Do You Need One?
Are you looking to install a shower in your new bathroom? Wondering what a shower tray riser is and whether you need one? Fear not! This is the post for you!
In this post, I’ll explain what a shower tray riser is and whether you need one. As well as answer some popular questions about the topic.
Let’s dive in!
What Is A Shower Tray Riser?
A shower tray riser enables you to install a shower on a tiled or concrete floor without trenching or demolishing the floor to accommodate pipes. The riser is a collection of adjustable legs that provide support for a person using the shower but also give you enough room beneath the shower tray to run the waste pipe to an existing drain located in the wall or under the tray.
A shower tray riser typically elevates the shower by about 5-10cm. This will create a slightly higher step up into the enclosure. The use of a riser can save you thousands in demolition and construction costs to add a shower to an existing bathroom.
Do You Need A Shower Tray Riser?
Not every shower will need a shower tray riser. If you are building a whole new bathroom from bare studs, you probably won’t need the riser. Your plumber can directly connect the drain of the shower to the main waste running under the floor.
If you are retrofitting a bathroom or building on concrete and do not want to trench for plumbing, the tray riser provides space for the pipes to run beneath the shower and into the wall.
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How To Install A Shower Tray Riser
While every riser kit is different, following these general instructions gives you a good idea of the scope of the project.
- Mark out the location for the shower tray and waste pipes on the floor.
- Drill holes in the floor for brackets that will connect the tray to the legs and to the floor.
- Install the waste pipe to the bottom of the tray according to the directions.
- Assemble the riser legs.
- Dry-fit the legs to the bottom of the shower tray to ensure proper placement and support.
- Secure the legs in place on the tray using provided adhesive or screws.
- Adjust the legs to the same height–at least 10 cm. This allows room for fitting the waste pipe.
- Flip the shower tray over and connect the drain pipe to the waste pipe.
- Remove any protective film.
- Wiggle the tray into what looks like the final position.
- Check the tray for level in all directions. Adjust each leg as needed to achieve true level.
- Measure the trim piece. Measure it again and cut it to length. Fix it into place using provided screws, velcro, or clips.
Should I Install a Shower Tray Riser Myself?
If you are installing a shower tray riser, you are likely building the whole shower enclosure. This is a good DIY job if you are comfortable with plumbing and enjoy making minor adjustments to achieve a perfect fit.
You should have a good selection of standard tools including a power drill, saw, levels, measuring tape, markers and plenty of patience. Expect to spend a morning just on the shower tray. For the entire shower, set aside a full weekend.
If you don’t enjoy this kind of project, expect to pay a plumber or contractor £500 to £1000 in labour for a shower installation that does not require demolition or extensive plumbing updates.
What Is Included In A Shower Tray Riser Kit?
A riser kit can include just the adjustable legs or risers. Other kits have adjustable legs and a flexible trim piece that covers the gap between the floor and the bottom of the shower tray.
Finally, you can find a riser kit that has the legs, trim piece, and shower tray. However, the riser kit will not have any pipes for plumbing.
Because there is no standard for what is in a riser kit, you can spend anywhere between £40 and £100.
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Are Shower Tray Riser Kits Universal?
Some shower tray riser kits are sold as standard or universal. While others are designed to perfectly support a shower tray manufactured by the same company. Universal kits will have multiple adjustable legs or an adjustable metallic support system.
You will need to check the specs for raising your shower tray to determine if a universal kit will provide all the support needed or if you should opt for the brand-specific product.
Read the box on the kit to learn how much weight per square centimetre can be supported and what size tray should be used. A universal kit for a 700mm X 700mm tray may not provide enough support for a larger 1200mm X 800mm tray.
Some trays require the legs to be screwed into place and others use adhesive. Match your kit to your tray.
Can Any Shower Tray Be Raised?
Most acrylic and fibreglass shower trays are designed for a raised installation. However, if you are retrofitting an older floor-mounted shower tray, it may not be created to work well with a shower tray riser.
If you need your shower to be raised, make sure to shop for the tray, riser kits, and plumbing at the same time to ensure the proper fit of all the parts.
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What Is The Difference Between Shower Risers And Shower Tray Risers?
A shower riser refers to the system of pipes used to change the height of your showerhead. Sometimes called rigid risers, these shower risers are attached to your shower wall. Without a rigid or shower riser, your showerhead would be at a fixed height.
A shower tray riser is a set of legs used to lift a shower tray off the floor enough to allow for pipes to run beneath it and connect to the main waste at the wall.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about shower tray risers and whether you need one for your shower installation.
While a riser may not be necessary for every shower installation it can be a huge time and cost-saving option. You may have to forego that sleek, flush shower entry. However, you may save yourself a lot of extra work and stress especially when installing on a concrete floor.
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Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.