How to Install a Shower Pan

The need to install a shower pan erupts from the shower and bathtub debate. Many prefer showers over bulky bathtubs to make their bathroom look larger. In addition to conventional showers, modern walk-in showers have gleaming aesthetics, including glass walls. Therefore, bulky bathtubs are losing the race, especially in the case of compact bathrooms.

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The shower pan can emerge as a blessing in congested bathing quarters that mostly use a walk-in shower instead of a large and bulkier bathtub. Primarily, shower pans protect your subfloor from water damage by utilizing aided drainage. Shower pans are waterproof, mostly made of fiberglass, acrylic, or tile, and slopes just enough to direct the water flow toward the drain in the floor. It helps you eliminate most problems caused by lingering water, from mold growth to structural issues.

Tools and Materials Required for Shower Pan Installation

It would help if you had some basic plumbing tools all the time in your house. You can install a shower pan on your own with the help of the required materials and tools. Here is a list of the must-have tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Cardboard
  • Drill

The following list describes the required material:

  • Shower pan and drain fitting kit
  • Cartridges
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Thin plastic
  • Mortar, water, bucket, and trowel

How to Install a Shower Pan in Your Bathroom?

Installing a shower pan is not difficult, and you can do it without professional assistance. This guide will help you through the process to help you succeed in the installation of a shower pan.

Prepare the Tools and Check Them Before Stepping into the Process

It would help if you had your equipment and toolbox ready for installation. Verify and check the tools list again, so you do not get disturbed during the installation. 

Take the Measurements

Measurements of the place for the shower pan installation are crucial in the estimation of its size. The pan size depends on the shower size and reach. All the water pouring out of the shower must move through the pan, not directly through the floor. 

Prepare the Space

After taking the necessary measurements, you need to prepare the space for the shower pan installation. Preparing the space means you should clear the walls down to the studs. The other most important thing is to level and clean the floor. If you do not level the floor, the shower pan will not remain balanced, and the water will pan out from one side of it. 

Dry-fit the Shower Pan

Set the shower pan into place to explore the margin for any changes you can make to the drain. Measurements from the walls are essential to line up the pan correctly. 

When you position the shower pan correctly, observe its edge to ensure it is sitting level. Use shims and studs to mark the points for later permanent installation. Check the stability of the pan by walking through it.

Install a Shower Pan

How to Install a Shower Pan Liner?

Before you start the final installation, it’s essential to install the drain flange. Before this step, it is important to note the pan’s measurements because the plumber’s putty can harm some materials. 

  • Disengage the drain flange to untie the parts. 
  • Use the plumber’s putty or silicon caulk around the underside of the drain and push the drain into the shower pan. 
  • Position the foam gasket over the threads from the underside of the pan. After the foam gasket, you need to put it around the cardboard or paper gasket.
  • You must tighten the nut carefully by hand and then use the pliers to seal the connecting point properly. Make sure to remove the extra caulk or plumber’s putty. 

Complete the Installation

Now you must make a compound with the correct mixture of water and sand to create a mortar bed. It’s time to place the shower pan into the mortar bed and move it back and forth to align it with the marks on the studs. Some pans require the rim to secure to the exterior-grade screws. If your pan does not require this, watchfully place a bag of cement or another heavy object in the center of the shower to avoid the sand from thumping the pan upward while it dries.

Use PVC fittings, primer, and glue to fix the shower pan. Each drain is different, but in most cases, the flange attaches to the PVC drain pipe with a friction gasket. Finally, complete the installation with the help of cement to secure the shower into the mortar bed.


It is not difficult to install a shower pan, yet it requires some careful plumbing tactics to make the installation last longer. You have to take the proper measurements, prepare the space for the pan, make the markings by dry-fitting the pan, and finally, fix the assembly using cement to secure it in the mortar bed. This whole process is simple, and all you need to do is to follow the instructions carefully.

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