How to Install a Shower Pan – DIY Guide

A shower pan is a waterproof cover made either from lead or vinyl and is placed under the floor of a shower to collect any water that may ooze from the tiles or grout. After getting the water, it directs it to drainage.

Like any other structure, the pan wears out and requires replacement. When you observe that your pan has developed a crack, holes or is leaking to the floor, you should know it is time to replace it. The task of doing the replacement is not very easy. This precise guideline can help on how to install a shower pan successfully.

Tools and Equipment

First off, you need to assemble the necessary tools that will be required for the job. The first item to obtain is a new shower pan. The others are essential tools available at home. They include; hammer, caulking gun, tape measure, pliers, carpenter’s level, power drill, silicone bath caulk, screws, masking tape, washers, framing square and drill bits.

Measuring the Place to Install the New Shower Pan

After gathering tools for work, you should measure all the walls that will be in contact with the pan. Note down the measurement because they will guide you when purchasing a new shower pan from a seller. Consulting with a professional mason can be important on the issue of choosing the best size depending on the measurement you have taken.

It is necessary to note that most modern shower pans are either fiberglass or acrylic to ease the burden of installation. If you are not using a standard model or size, you might be forced to make a special request from the seller. The standard sizes are mostly found in white and almond sizes.

How to Install a Shower Pan

Cleaning the Area Ready for Installation

When removing the old pan some debris and adhesives are usually left on the floor. Using a broom or a vacuum swipe all the loose debris. In the case of old caulk or debris that is still sticking on the floor use a paint-scraping tool or a putty knife to remove them. Follow any other recommendation made by shower pan manufacturer as part of preparation before installation.

The next step is to dry the surface thoroughly and ensuring that there is no excess moisture before fixing the pan. Moist ground usually compromise adherence of the caulk causing defects on the seal. Dampness on the surface can also create a breeding environment for mildew.

Installing The Pan: Try Fitting the Pan When Dry

Your surface is now ready for the shower pan installation. First, you have to fit the shower pan on the shower base to check their compatibility. Do not apply any fasteners. The shower pan should fit snugly in the on the floor. If it fits tightly, there is a risk of it buckling. If it is loose, you should consider replacing it because it’s likely to cause severe seepage.

Installing The Pan

Connecting the Drain

You will need a flange, gaskets, drain body and drain pipe. Apply primer and cement to both the flange and drain pipe so that you can attach them to the drain in the floor. Wait until the cement has dried up then put gaskets well on the flange.

Next, place the shower pan over the drain and use silicone to caulk the flange. Align the holes of the drain to those of the flange screws. You need to press the drain body to ensure it’s in place. When all these are well fixed, attach the drain screen appropriately and screw it tightly.

Ensuring the Base is Leveled

Before attaching the pan, you need to ensure the floor is perfectly leveled to avoid water logging when the shower is in use. You will use a carpenter’s level to do this. In case of a sloping, add shims to be sure fiberglass or acrylic pan sits in level on the surface.

Attaching the New Shower Pan

On the rim of each stud, put the marks at the center and pre-drill holes at the marks. Using rustproof nails or screw, attach the pan into the stud by nailing or screwing.

After fixing the pan well, use carpenter’s level to confirm the slope of the floor. For certainty test the plumbing connections and the base to ensure there is no leakage.

Attaching the New Shower Pan

Caulking and Making a Tight Seal

Use silicone bath for caulking to create a seal that is tight and waterproof. Caulk is used to; cover areas that you drilled, the point where studs and pan meet and joints made by the floor and base.

Permanent Fixing

If the pan size is compatible with the floor base align the drain cut out and the drain components well. There are specific instructions from the pan manufacturer to guide you on attaching drain hardware properly.

Once it is well fixed, mark the location of shims and the point where the top of the pan lip meets the studs in case you need to remove the pan. Attach the pan to the studs following any special instructions that might be in the manufacturer’s manual.

Permanent Fixing

Sealing the Pan

Using silicon bath fill all the penetrations, either drilled factory holes, of the pan to create seals that are waterproof. Do not leave the seals around the studs where there is contact with the pan. Allow the caulk some time to dry and recheck if there are any faults.

Bottom Line

Shower pan installation is that simple, but you need to be very cautious. It is essential to bear in mind that pans produced vary from one manufacturer to another. During the process of installation check out on the manual provided.

The information provided is just general knowledge on how to install a shower pan. Therefore you need to follow the specifications that come to manuals from different manufacturers.

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