Recently updated on April 14th, 2022
The shower pan is one of the best bathroom-related inventions to come out of a person’s mind. They direct water towards the drain in a shower, and they make life so much easier for those of you out there who love a clean bathroom. However, if you don’t have a shower pan in your bathroom, chances are you might want to learn how to install one on your own. Learning how to install a shower pan on a concrete floor can, at first, seem like an intimidating challenge that shouldn’t be undertaken without the help of a professional.
Thankfully, this is where we come in to help you! Shower pans are easier to install than you might think, provided you read through our instructions carefully and stay prepared with the right tools. This article will explain how to install the shower pan, what tools you will need, and the difference between a shower pan and a shower base.
Also Read: How High to Install Shower Valve: Complete Guide
Let’s get into it!
“Shower Base” and “Shower Pan” – Differences
While the shower pan and shower base have many similarities, we’re here to explain how they differ from one another.
The shower base is a structure that is constructed underneath a shower pan. It is usually made of cement and helps direct water towards the drain. At the same time, it also helps protect the shower pan. When a shower base is being constructed, manufacturers ensure that its floor is sloped and has a drain hole. Additionally, a shower base must have sidewalls and a threshold.
On the other hand, the shower pan is on top of the shower base and typically refers to the part of the shower that you stand on to bathe. They are usually made of various kinds of materials. These include fiberglass, metal, chrome, stone, or acrylic. Shower pans are generally manufactured with a built-in slope. It is important to note that you cannot install a shower pan if you don’t have a subfloor in your shower.
Role of a Shower Pan
To put it simply, a shower pan is manufactured to catch water. When you install a shower pan in your bathroom, you’re ensuring that it prevents water from seeping onto the grout or tile while directing the water towards the drain. As a result, the shower pan prevents your bathroom from getting wet.
How To Install A Shower Pan on Concrete Floor?
Installing a shower pan on a concrete floor will require some elbow grease and patience. Please make sure that you pay attention to the list of necessary materials and the step-by-step installation process!
Things You Would Need To Install A Shower Pan
- A roll of measuring tape
- A leveling tool
- The shower pan
- A drain fitting kit
- Assortment of screws
- A screwdriver set
- Plumber’s putty
Steps of Installation of a Shower Pan
As we mentioned before, please read through the instructions below carefully. Installing a shower pan when you are not a trained professional can be pretty challenging, especially if you are nervous about doing so! Do not worry or panic, but instead, focus on what you’re doing and go through each step calmly and carefully.
Here is how to install a shower pan on concrete flooring:
- Using the measuring tape, carefully measure out the area where the shower pan will go. We’d recommend that you follow this first step before purchasing the shower pan so that you can make sure you’re buying the correct pan for the space. Make sure you take notes of the measurements to find the right size. In some cases, if your shower is oddly shaped, you might have to order a new shower pan for the size of your bathroom.
- Get the space ready for installation. To do this, clean your shower area using a broom to clear any dust or debris, followed by soap and water to eliminate any lingering dirt. In some situations, you might need to read the instructions on the shower pan packaging because there might be a few steps to take before you begin the installation process. These could include painting a layer of a water sealant on the base of the shower pan, for example.
- Dry the area where you will be installing the shower pan. You can do this by letting it air dry overnight or using a dry cloth or sponge to remove any moisture.
- This next step is called dry fitting. When you dry-fit the shower pan, you check to see that the pan fits in its allotted space. This step is crucial because it allows you to assess the space and the shower pan before laying down any sealing materials or caulk. We recommend that you thoroughly check the shower pan in the area to make sure that it fits snugly. It shouldn’t fit too tightly. At the same time, please make sure that it doesn’t fit loosely in the space. If the fit is loose, you risk water seeping out from the sides and causing mildew and mold over time.
Use the level to check that the shower pan is sitting correctly. You could also use the shims to mark where to install the pan after removing it after the dry fitting.
- Once you are sure that the shower pan fits correctly, it’s time to begin the installation process. First, you need to remove the shower pan and place the drain fitting into the drain hole in the shower pan. Use the plumber’s putty and apply it underneath the drain fitting.
- Next, install the drain fitting on the shower pan and screw it in tightly, taking care to ensure that you’ve screwed it in tightly. Make sure that you inspect the drain fitting correctly. If it comes with any gaskets, install them in the required spaces.
- Before moving on to the next step, double-check the drain fitting to ensure it lines up with the shower pan.
- Remove the shower pan and set it aside. Put down a cut-open garbage bag on the subfloor, then mix some mortar. Spread the mortar all over the space to lay down the shower pan. Make sure that the layer of mortar is thick; it should be at least one inch thick. It needs to be thick to ensure that once the shower pan has been laid in it, it will not move around or shift from side to side.
- Now that you’ve laid the mortar base, gently pick up the shower pan and lay it on the mortar layer you have just spread out. Please make sure that you proceed with this step with caution so that you don’t have to worry about trying to move the shower pan once it has been laid down. Make sure that you use the leveler to check that the shower pan is level with the ground.
- Depending on the make and model of your shower pan, you might need to attach some brackets or screws to the wall studs in your shower. If your shower pan does not come with brackets or screws, you can simply secure the shower pan to the wall by using screws. We’d suggest that you use screws with large heads to make it easier to fix the flanges to the wall.
- Let the shower sit in the mortar for at least 12 hours so that it has time to set and the mortar has time to dry. You can let it sit overnight. Please take care not to walk on the shower pan immediately after placing it in the mortar.
- The next day, pour a small amount of water down the shower pan to ensure that the drain is working correctly. You must also test it to see that there isn’t any water pooling underneath the shower pan.
- If you find that you are facing any problems, we’d recommend that you call a plumbing service to assess your work and correct any issues.
How to Install a Drain in a Concrete Floor?
Here’s how you install a drain in a concrete floor:
- Before drilling into concrete, make sure that you know where your pipes are in the bathroom. The last thing you want is to drill into a pipe and cause leakage or burst!
- Once you’ve identified where your pipes are, you have to dig a channel so that your new drain and pipe have somewhere to drain water.
- Next, you will need to get a sledgehammer, a pry bar, or a jackhammer. Mark the spot where you want to drill a hole for the new drain and drill into the ground to make a drain.
- The hole you dig must connect to the channel.
- Into the hole and channel, lay your pipes and secure them to one another.
- Next, pour fresh concrete to fill the channel and hole you made.
- Place a new drain cover on top of your new drain.
Do I Need a Liner?
Yes, you do. A liner prevents water from pooling on the floor of your bathroom while also stopping mold or mildew from growing on your shower curtain.
Also Read: Linear shower drain pros and cons
The average shower base is usually around 35 wide and 60 inches long.
Yes, you do. You do this so that it doesn’t move around.
This article walked you through the detailed step-by-step process of installing a shower pan on a concrete floor. While it can seem complicated, we can assure you that the process is much more straightforward than you would think! Just make sure you follow our instructions, and you won’t face any trouble at all.