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Shower Pans

A comprehensive resource to assist you in buying and installing shower pans.

Shower pans are shower bases that form the bottom part of the shower area.  This is the area where the water stays and gets collected while you’re taking a shower or any form of activity that requires letting the water run.

Shower pans, also known as shower bases or shower trays, are a great foundation and act as a base of the shower stall, in addition to having drainage capacity (via holes) within them to allow water to  flow and not to clog up.  This prevents what could be otherwise costly leaks as they facilitate the free flow of water through the drainage system. There are various kinds of shower pans, and the most popular ones include ones made of acrylic, fiberglass shower pans.  Other popular ones are tile shower pans, and some made of molded materials such as stone and marble shower pans.

Acrylic is a clear plastic that somewhat resembles glass, though it’s far more flexible and safe in terms of the pressure it can handle.  One popular form of acrylic is fiberglass.  Acrylic is not only used for shower pans, but you’ll find it in other parts of the shower like shower doors and shower enclosures.

There are many reasons to consider choosing acrylic shower pans.  It’s stronger, making it really resistant and really safe, and it won’t break as easily as glass might with pressure. It’s also very lightweight and really easy to mold, which makes the job for workers very easy when it comes to fitting your shower base to the surface of your shower.

The disadvantage of this material in shower pans is that it is really expensive and when exposed to a direct flame it can burn or melt, so it’s important that things are installed properly.

Fiberglass, on the other hand, contains thin fibers of glass and is formed into a woven layer.  To mold fiberglass, resins are added to form and it molds for the sake of shower pans, enclosures and others. Either way, acrylic shower pans and fiberglass shower pans usually have non-slip surfaces for the safety of those who use these showers.

Shower pans can also be made from any kinds of composite materials that can be molded, those usually being marble or stone.  Both successfully take on the preferred embodiment of a shower pan once the molding has been completed.

Having said that, since shower pans are made of molded and fabricated materials,  the size or shape of the shower pan doesn’t really matter much. In order to choose the right shower pan, whether it’s for a new shower or simply serving as a shower pan replacement, try to keep the following in mind.

When taking a shower, try to look at the grout in the shower stall.  Grout is the semi-cement  material that you’ll find between the tiles.  It fills the cores of the tiles, and if the grout is cracked then water in your shower is most likely coming out from the holes.

Another thing to look out for when taking a shower is whether the water levels raise up to your ankles or more without draining. In this case, your drain is probably clogged and it may in fact also be time for a new or better shower pan.

When choosing the best shower pans to buy for your bathrooms, there’s more than just the material and the maker to keep in mind.  You also need to consider the style of your bathroom, the size of your shower enclosure, and the kind of color you want, (if any).  Many people simply prefer to go with chrome shower pans, but there are others available as well.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money if it means buying a sturdier shower pan, as you’ll likely not want to have to worry about replacing or maintaining it over the long haul.  The cost of labor with respect to fixing a shower pan can easily outweigh the cost of the initial purchase and installation, so talk to an expert to make sure that whatever you’re buying is a high quality shower pan that you can expect to last for some time to come.

While you can definitely get shower pans from a local hardware store, there are places online that you can look as well.  Some of these include Lasco Pans and Bases, Americh, and Royal Stone.  Some of the makes you might want to look for are Kohler shower pans or Corian shower pans, as both are quite popular.  Browse prices, read any care and maintenance instructions, read reviews where available, and find something that looks great for your bathroom.

Shipping costs on these are generally low since these are small devices, so don’t hesitate to buy shower pans online if you can find any that you like.  You may need to have a professional installation done, but you can easily perform some DIY shower pan installation by following some basics online.