Custom Shower Pans – My 4 Best Options

Whether you are building a new home or renovating your home, custom shower pans are a great choice. You can easily remove a bathtub and replace the tub with a modern tile or marble shower. The usual problem is the standard shower pan liners don’t exactly fit the space you have. Not to fear, you have four fairly easy options. Any of these options can be installed by a pro or even by you. Here are some choices.

Tile Redi Shower Pans.

The company Tile Redi builds a one piece tile ready shower pan that will not leak. It’s a tough “plastic” pan that won’t leak and is quick to install. The Tile Redi pans come in many standard sizes, but you can get custom sizes too. In just about an hour or so an installer can have the leak-proof pan in and ready for tile installing. So these shower pans solve several shower liner problems and let installers finish faster.

Fiberglass Shower Pans.

Several companies will build you a custom size shower pan. Check with most any building supply company. But a regular fiberglass pan will not work as a base for ceramic tile. Custom sizes aren’t cheap at all either. You can easily find a custom fiberglass pan, but you don’t get a tile floor. You get a fiberglass floor.

Schluter KERDI Systems.

Schluter systems build several shower components that together make for a waterproof shower. A polyethylene membrane is the key to the system. The membrane completely covers the sides and floor of the shower and is integrated with a special drain for a complete water and vapor barrier. The system installs over a sloped concrete base or uses a ready made shower pan. The shower pan base is available in standard sizes. Of course using concrete as a base allows for any custom size or layout. These systems are very popular because they work and are fast to install.

Mortar shower pans.

Properly installed a traditional mortar shower pan is a great choice. The key to a trouble free traditional pan is the vinyl waterproof membrane. You see tile floors are not waterproof. Water seeps through the grout especially. The trick to a traditional shower pan is the vinyl membrane that is built into the shower floor and sealed to the drain. A traditional shower pan takes longer to build than some of the other options, but is often cheaper to get done. Custom shower pans in any size are shape can be built with a mortar base. This method of building a shower requires more skill and experience than the other methods. One reason installers like the other methods is that the systems can be installed with less skilled employees.

A custom shower pan can be successfully built using several methods. Check with local installers to see what’s available in your area. For a ceramic tile floor, the Tile Redi system or the Schluter KERDI are both fast and easy installs, but quite a bit more expensive than the traditional mortar shower pan. Maybe you might even decide to tackle building a shower pan yourself using one of these methods.

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Get more tricks on how to build or repair custom shower pans at our site. Al Bullington invites you to visit for answers to your tile questions.


Dragon Hostel Toilet/shower.
Image by Tracy Hunter via Flickr

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