Shower Glossary

ABS

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (abs) – a tough impact resistant thermo plastic typically used for the finish coating on shower trays.

Acrylic shower tray

Generally associated with the budget market, acrylic shower trays are a lightweight plastic product which often incorporates wooden strengthening to increase rigidity.  Made from the same material as acrylic baths, they are manufactured in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes.

Aluminium extrusion

The aluminium framework typically associated with fully framed shower enclosures.  Originally available in a variety of colours, most manufacturers now only offer white, silver and gold.

Bath Screen

A glass water deflector designed specifically for use with an over bath shower head. A wide range of products is available including single panel hinged bath screens, four panel or four fold bath screens and fixed and folding bath screens. Many practical and attractive designs are available and some feature towel rails or robe hooks fitted into the fixed glass panels.

Ceramic shower tray

A high quality and heavy product made from glazed fireclay.  They are very hard wearing and often used in commercial applications.

EN 12150

European safety standard requiring toughened safety glass to shatter into pieces of approximately 5mm to minimise the danger from shards of glass. 

ETAG 22

European Technical Approval (ETA) applicable to watertight covering kits for wet room floors and/or walls.

Frameless shower enclosure

The ultimate in luxury shower enclosures generally feature 10mm thick toughened safety glass, a total absence of aluminium framework and high quality components.  Apart from some standard sized fixed wet room shower screens or walk-in panels, frameless shower enclosures are genuinely bespoke with each product manufactured precisely to the customer’s requirements.  

Fully framed shower enclosure

Traditional construction comprising aluminium framework surrounding an acrylic or glass panel varying in thickness from 2.5mm to 8mm.  Although framed shower enclosures are associated with the budget sector of the market, there are many good quality products offered by reputable manufacturers.

Resin shower tray

A medium weight product comprising a moulded resin shower tray finished with a hard wearing surface gel coat or ABS plastic.  These trays are rigid and are a compromise between lightweight acrylic trays and heavy ceramic products.

Semi-frameless shower enclosure

Typically comprising a minimal thin aluminium framework on one side of the glass where the panel attaches to a wall.  Semi-frameless shower enclosures are a good compromise between framed enclosures that allow generous adjustment and minimalist frameless shower enclosures, which offer little or no adjustment because they are generally manufactured to fit a space exactly.

Silicon sealant

A product used widely in the shower industry to waterproof joints between walls, panels and shower trays.  Silicone sealant begins to cure as soon as it is exposed to moisture in the air so it must be used quickly.  Although silicone sealant is not as strong as adhesives, it remains very flexible after it has cured.

Shower curtain

The simplest and most cost effective way of creating a shower within a bath. A simple shower rail attached to the walls at either end of the bath will allow a plastic curtain to be drawn along to act as a water deflector. Modern shower curtains are colourful in design and the materials used often have some degree of mould resistance and are machine washable.

Shower tray

The base on which the shower enclosure stands which includes a drain hole for a standard waste connection.  Shower trays are supplied in a variety of shapes and sizes and manufactured in ceramic (heavy), resin-stone (medium weight) and acrylic plastic (lightweight).

Tanking

A term applied to the waterproofing procedure carried out in bathrooms, wet rooms or shower rooms to protect the building against moisture ingress and leaks.

Toughened safety glass

Glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering creates balanced internal stresses which cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards.

Walk-in shower

A shower enclosure having no door and incorporating a shower head behind a large glazed screen.  This is the layout typically used in wet rooms.

Wall channels

Provide the anchor to the wall for the shower door and provide a small degree of adjustment to compensate for walls that are not exactly vertical.  Wall channels are normally ‘U’ shaped and have a series of fixing holes on the inside face. Some channels incorporate a flange with fixing holes protruding on one side.

WBP ply wood

Water and boil proof (wbp) ply typically used in wet room floors.

Wet room

The term applied to waterproofed rooms typically equipped with a walk in shower having an inset drain in a gently sloped floor.  Wet rooms generally replace conventional shower trays.