When you’re taking a shower, you don’t really think about shower pans. However, it plays a very important role in the shower. Today there are many options that can be chosen according to shower configuration, style, and function.
Read on as we explain what a shower pan is and share with you 8 of the best shower pan options that are on the market today. Plus, learn how to build, install one, and so much more.
Top 3 Picks
Best Overall: WOODBRIDGE Tileable Shower Pan
This is our favorite because it can apply tiles over the bottom of the pan, and it even comes with an installation kit. There are also different sizes available. This shower base by WOODBRIDGE is UPC and CSA certified.
Best for Small Showers: DreamLine Neo Angle Shower Pan
This shower pan by Dreamline has a neo angle that can fit in small showers. It’s made out of sturdy acrylic reinforced with fiberglass fibers. It’s also non-slip and is cUPC certified.
Best Bargain: PROFLO Shower Pan
The PROFLO Shower Pan is made out of high-quality composite material with additional reinforcement. It also has a non-porous substance that resists stains and more. It is anti-slip that helps prevent falling.
What Is a Shower Pan?
A shower pan, which is also known as a shower bed, is basically a separate area in your walk-in shower that can direct and maintain water in the drain. They usually come with a drain hole and have a slow floor to help them need water in the direction they are supposed to go.
They’re typically easy to install, a lot of them do come with install kits and they come in a variety of sizes. But a shower base will definitely require more time to install properly versus a shower pan where it can just fit in easily.
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If you’re not wanting to spend a lot of money, especially on a shower pan, this one will definitely meet your requirements. This shower pan it’s molded into one single piece, so it is very easy to install. Most users that have bought this were able to set up this base alone without hiring someone to do so.
Well, this is budget-friendly, this place is actually made out of high-quality composite material with additional reinforcement. The non-porous substance can resist stains, temperature variations, and shocks so that you can have a hot or cold shower without any issues.
There is even a non-slip top layer to make sure that there are no accidental falls. If there is an issue with this shower pan, there is a 1-year limited warranty that you can consult with the manufacturer.
- Easy to install
- Shock and heat resistant
- Only comes in one color which is white
- Warranty is short
The shower base by WOODBRIDGE comes in one piece and it has a kit for easy installation. The kit includes three aluminum metal bars as well as 12 pounds of tile epoxy glue, which is sufficient to cover the whole foundation area.
There are many sizes available, but the square drain that is always located in the center of the base is the only thing that these shower bases have in common. A two-inch PVC drain in a stainless-steel drain plate with a nickel finish is also available.
This shower pan is built to withstand wear and tear, as well as impact and scratch resistance.
- UPC and CSA Certified
- You can use the kit right away
- Drain plate is made out of high quality
- 1-year limited warranty
- Some users say the quality of this pan doesn’t work well for their needs
If you have a shower that’s mostly in the corner, you’ll like this neo-angle shower base by dream line. It is smaller than the square bases, but the shape of this shower pan will allow you extra room.
This design allows a door opening if it’s 34 in which should be plenty of room and it’s typically installed with glass doors.
As for the construction, it’s made out of sturdy acrylic reinforced with fiberglass fibers, so this is definitely a very durable shower pan. There’s also an anti-slip surface that will help avoid injuries when you go in and out of the shower.
This shower pan by Dreamline is cUPC certified which means they have gone through thorough testing and can guarantee high-quality standards. The downside to this shower pan is that the drain isn’t included, but this base can still fit standard 2-inch drains.
- Compact but big enough
- cUPC certified
- Does not come with a drain plate
This shower pan by Westbrass has a solid acrylic base and it’s extremely easy to clean. It is also made out of reinforced fiberglass and resin backend. There are six sizes and four different finishes that you can choose from but there is a circle drain that is in the middle. There’s a drain kit included that you could choose either plastic or brass so you can install the shower pan easily. The shower pan by West brass is actually designed for a three-wall alcove shower. If there are any issues with the shower pan, Westbrass does offer a one-year limited warranty to solve those issues.
- Choose from 6 sizes
- Drain kit included
- 1-year warranty
- Small circle drain in the middle, which could potentially cause flooding if the water volume is too high
This Tile Redi USA Shower Pan it’s perfect if you need to wheel a wheelchair to roll inside because it does not have a frontal threshold. It is rectangular in shape and there is no obstacle in the front, so this is absolutely perfect for walking showers. The base is also designed to be tiled and epoxy is included which means it’s a very stylish base. It does come with a wrong dream play made out of stainless steel which means it is very durable. There are flashing metallic bars that are also included to prevent leaks and it even increases the waterproof ability.
This shower base meets the UL and AISI standards and it even comes with a limited 3-year warranty should there be issues with the shower pan.
- Easy to install
- Includes drain and flashings
- Doesn’t need tiles
- Because of the way it’s built, especially with the door closed, it can potentially make water flow out of the shower
This shower pan by Woodbridge has a solid surface shower base and it comes with three different drain styles. There are also 6 different sizes to choose one so feel free to pick one that will fit in the shower. It is a rectangular shape and made from non-porous solid surface material with a smooth surface. That means it won’t attract mold or mildew and there will be no grout to clean. There’s also a slip-resistant design so that you don’t have to worry about falling in and out of the shower. It also has an integral three-sided tiling/water retention flange that helps with the easy installation.
There is a generous 10-year limited warranty if there are defects, which in our opinion is a huge bonus.
- Generous 10-year warranty
- 6 different sizes to choose from
- High-quality material that helps prevent mold and mildew
- It does make some noise when the shower is in use
This shower pan by ELEGANT STORE is a premium shower pan that is made from a sheet molding compound. It’s also lightweight, heat and water-resistant, and is extremely durable. There’s also an integrated tile flange that you can merge with your current flooring and makes for easy installation. You can choose from three different drain locations such as drain on the right, drain on the left and drain on the center of the shower pans. The downfall is it’s only white as far as the color if the color matters to you. There is a drain included as well as a stainless-steel cover that you can put over the drain. This shower pan also has a non-slip design, so it’s good if you want to feel safe in the shower without worrying about falling while going in or out.
- 3 different drain locations
- Nonslip design
- Drain included as well as stainless steel cover
- Only comes in one color which is white
Finally, we have the Tile Redi USA shower pan that comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and drain locations. One of the main features of this shower pan is that it is pre-pitched, and it also has a bench surface to customize the base to the look and feel of your bathroom, which in our opinion is very cool. It is very easy to install, as all you do is install a pan in the mortar base, but you will have to consult the manual to see how to put it together. Keep in mind that the framing for the bench is not included so you may have to purchase that separately. There’s a drain and plate included that is a 2-inch center PVC drain and a square top grate. This shower pan is leakproof, so you won’t have to worry about any water damage.
- Base N Bench setup to adhere to the look and feel of your bathroom
- Choice of sizes, colors, and drain locations
- Made out of high-quality polyurethane
- No framework comes for bench
- Some quality issues reported by users
How to Install a Shower Pan
If you’re feeling like it’s time for a DIY project, you can follow these easy steps to installing a shower pan.
Make sure measurements are taken
You’ll want to take the necessary measurements to make sure that everything fits. Then you can start preparing everything to install the shower pan.
You’ll want to make sure you do prepare the subfloor to allow your shower pan to sit on it.
Shower Drain Flange Installation
This is considered the drain, so you’ll want to make sure that everything is in the right place and locked in.
Secure the Shower pan
It’s really dependent on if it can be sat on adhesive or needs mounds of mortar. You’ll need to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for that.
Attaching Gasket and Drain Screen
This is straightforward as you’ll place the rubber gasket over the drainpipe. Then you’ll put the drain screen on top of that.
Test for Leaks
Of course, when you’re done installing the shower pan or base, you’ll want to test for leaks. If there are no leaks, congratulations, you’re done! If there is, you’ll have to make adjustments.
How to Build a Shower Pan
If you are an experienced DIY’er, this may be a fun project for you to actually build a shower pan. You’ll of course need all the tools and materials to even get started. You’ll even have to do some measurements so that you can build the shower pan that is best suited for the shower.
Here are some basic steps that go into building shower pans:
- Drawing the Floor
- Confirming the layout
- Opening the walls
- Forming the curve
- Putting on the first layer of Mortar
- Laying in the liner
- Folding in the layers
- Making a drain hole
- Attaching the Tile Backer Board
- Adding Metal Lath
- Form the curb
- Covering the lath
- Mortar the curb
- Adjusting the drain hole
Check out HandyDadTV YouTube Channel for full detailed instructions on how to build a shower pan.
Related: Teak Shower Floor: Pros And Cons
How to Build a Shower Pan on a Concrete Floor
If you have a concrete floor in your bathroom, you’ll have to adjust how to build a shower pan on that.
Here are some basic steps to build a shower pan on the concrete floor:
- Build the Shower Pan
- Prepare the floor
- Laying the shower liner
Check out TileCoach YouTube Channel for a full and detailed DIY tutorial on how to build a shower for concrete floors.
Custom Shower Pan Idea
Tiled Shower Pan
This shower pan was made with custom titles that match the bathroom decor. You can see that the drain is located in the center. It appears that the tiles are slip-proof, which means there won’t be injuries getting in and out of the shower. Check the full tutorial here.
What’s the difference between a shower base and a shower pan?
A shower pan is easier to install and can just take up a small portion of the shower.
A shower base is more customized, so it’s harder to install. They’re typically underneath the shower floor, usually made out of cement or mortar.
Do you need a shower pan for a tile shower?
Yes, because it can help prevent water damage to the tile shower floor. It’s actually important that you have a pan for those showers.
What sizes do shower pans come in?
Thankfully they come in all different sizes that will fit the perimeter of your shower. They can range from 32 x 32 inches to 60 x 42 inches. The neo-angle ones can range from 36 to 60 inches in diameter.
Is a shower base better than tiles?
It really depends on what you want. Shower bases are much easier to clean whereas tile floors you’ll be cleaning often. A shower base works better if your shower is an odd size or making the most of the space.
Looking for a shower pan can be a fun experience. It means less cleaning; it looks better and more efficient. There are many designs and sizes that you can choose from that you can put in your shower. We strongly recommend the WOODBRIDGE Tileable Shower Pan because it has different sizes and designs that you can choose from, and it even comes with an install kit. If you have found that this guide about shower pans has been useful, please let us know in the comments if you like!