How to install a shower base pan

Written by steve smith
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To complete a new stand-up shower, shower walls and a shower base are installed. This showering base is also referred to as a shower pan. It's a moulded piece of fibreglass, ceramic, metal or porcelain that fits along the bottom of your shower. The base funnels water from the showering area down into the drain to protect the floor from moisture. The shower base is a one-piece part, and it installs with several common tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Furring strips (if needed)
  • Wood screws, 1-inch
  • Power screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Power reciprocating saw
  • Hole saw
  • Carpenter level

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  1. 1

    Fit the new shower base into the shower area and butt the sides up against the studs in the walls. The shower base is made to fit right up against the studs. Make sure the sides fit flush with the studs. If not, install furring strips on the studs with 1-inch screws and a power screwdriver to make the shower base fit flush.

  2. 2

    Trace the drain hole cutout in the shower base with a pencil to mark the location of the new drain hole on the floor. Remove the shower base and cut out the trace mark to make a drain hole for the base, using a reciprocating saw or hole saw. If there is an existing drain hole in the floor, cut a new one for the new tub so the drain holes line up properly.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the shower base drain, which comes with the unit. Attach the drain to the shower base by fitting the top part of the drain into the top part of the shower base hole, and the bottom portion under it. Then screw together and tighten the two parts in the drain hole.

  4. 4

    Place the shower base back inside of the shower area. Press it flush to the wall studs or furring strips if used. Press the drain down into the drain hole.

  5. 5

    Level all sides of the shower base with a carpenter's level. If necessary, slide shims under the shower base to bring the sides up to level.

  6. 6

    Drill a pilot hole every 6 inches or so along the lip of the shower base right along the top and into the wall studs. Mount the base to the studs by screwing wood screws through the pilot holes and into the studs.

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