If you’re currently in the process of building your dream bathroom or simply renovating an old one, it’s natural to wonder about shower pan or shower base sizes. A shower pan, also sometimes referred to as a shower base, is the part of the shower you stand on when having a shower.
The shower pan does the important job of directing all water from the shower down the bathroom drain. For this reason, during installation, shower pans are slightly tilted so that they are on a slope. This way, all excess water from the shower easily rolls off it and right into the drain. It functions just the way a funnel would, in channeling water in the right direction.
In This Article
Are Shower Pans Important?
Shower pans are necessary for bathrooms today. They serve as a sure method of waterproofing. These pans are usually made of materials that are waterproof such as PVC, fiberglass. Even if you plan to use other flooring materials, such as tiles on your shower floor, it is still necessary to install a shower pan as they provide a waterproof area for you to do your flooring.
Shower pans protect the subfloor and shower floor from unnecessary leaks that might otherwise have gotten through. Most other materials such as concrete or grout used on the shower floor are never completely waterproof, so it’s important to have a shower pan to prevent unexpected and annoying leakages.
Is it Possible to install my Shower Pan Myself?
If you have a good grasp on plumbing, why not? However, if you are a plumbing novice, definitely not! Shower pan installation is better left to professionals who understand how to calculate the correct angles of slope required for the shower pan to drain water properly. Also, your shower might be one of those that need custom-sized pans, which might be difficult to find at your regular store, and you’ll need a professional to either make or find this kind of shower pan.
Furthermore, if you DIY your shower installation, there is a risk that you may have standing water leftover in your bathroom whenever you use the shower. There’s also a risk of potential leaks, which could cause costly damage to your subfloors and floors. This leakage and wetness could also cause the growth of mildew and mold, which could be harmful to health for both you and your family.
What’s the Depth of a Shower Pan?
The depth of shower pans should be at least 2 inches from the top of the drain and be as high as 6 inches. That is the height/depth for a flat shower floor. With a slope shower floor, you need to figure out the slope per foot, then subtract by 2″ to have the minimum shower pan height.
Read further: Shower Curb Height
Common Sizes of Shower Pan
Shower pans are made in even-numbered measurements, so they range from 32 inches x 32 inches to 42 inches x 60 inches. See the two diagrams for the common shower pan sizes on the market. There are also neo-angle corner shower bases that typically measure anything from 36 inches to 60 inches.
Their drains are typically set either as an on-edge drain, an off-set drain, or a center drain. Your plumber needs to remember the position of the drain when replacing old shower pans or choosing new pans so that the shower pans work effectively with the drain.
Shower pans can also either come as individual pans or as an entire kit. The amount of space you need for the shower pan will depend on a few factors, such as if there are any needed adjustments, such as seating for people with limited mobility.
Top Benefit of Shower Pans
Why go through the hassle of installing a shower pan in your bathroom when you could take a shower without it. Well, the answer to this is pretty simple. Shower pans are not just there to make your bathroom look good. They’re also really practical. It’s one way to ensure that your bathroom does not encounter unexpected damages. Some of the most important benefits of shower pans are discussed below.
Prevents Water Leakage
One of the most persistent problems in badly built bathrooms is water leakage. A shower pan does a very important job of ensuring that there are no unexpected leakages in the bathroom. These pans could come in square and rectangular shapes. These shapes influence the direction of the flow of water. Naturally, water flows towards a direction where there is the least resistance. A shower pan ensures that there is no such path for water in the shower except down the drain. More still, the shower pan directs water to flow in the right direction towards the drain. During installation, they’re tilted so that water quickly flows down the drain once it hits the floor.
Ease of Installation
Shower pans come in standard sizes, which makes installation quite easy, especially if the person in charge of the installation has some plumbing knowledge. They are a variety of shapes, sizes, and models of shower pan available in stores, so it’s pretty easy to choose one that suits your bathroom.
Shower Pans Save Time and Money
It is a lot more practical to just install a shower pan that suits your needs than remodel your entire bathroom just because you want to change your shower requirements. This not only saves time and money but also saves the energy that would have been spent on labor. It is both economical, practical yet stylish. Shower pans allow you to enjoy showering in your bathroom with as few hassles as possible, ensuring you don’t have to worry about water damage in the rest of the bathroom.
Tips for Shower Pan Installation
Water can persistently flow through any available cracks, no matter how small, and it’s really bad when this happens in a bathroom. This is the reason care is taken to make sure there are no such cracks in the shower area of bathrooms. So there’s no use trying to cut corners as this would only end up costing you a lot of money in the future for repairs of damages caused by leakages.
Don’t try to cut back on cost or effort when buying shower pans. In the long run, everything spent would be worth it because you’ll always have peace of mind and a relaxing experience when using your bathroom.
If your bathroom is too big to fit a standard-sized shower pan, don’t try to build a new one by cutting and joining pans, as it would cause damages in the long run. Instead, ask the home improvement stores for custom-sized shower pans.