Do you know what to put under shower base when you’re installing a shower base for the first time? If you don’t, then this guide is exactly what you need!
Renovating your bathroom all by yourself may seem like a challenging task, but you should know that it’s not impossible. It can be incredibly rewarding looking at the work you have done afterward.
If you have an aging shower pan or just want to change the way your bathroom looks, there are a number of methods that you can implement.
Even though newer homes don’t really come with any building restrictions, older buildings generally require you to get a city permit before you can start off with any kind of renovation work.
The first thing that you will want to know is what to put under the base of the shower. If you are going to replace the shower with a new one, it’s important for you to gently remove the older pan.
This requires you to first remove the drain ring and then get rid of the studs as well. Once you have removed that, you will have to add a waterproof liner on the subfloor, and cover it up with mortar.
Once that is done, the shower pan will have to be inserted, and finally, you will have to carefully even out the surface once it dries out properly. The entire process is slightly lengthy, and can take upwards of a day.
That is one of the reasons why you need to make sure that you can shower elsewhere, because this bathroom is likely to be out of commission for a couple of days. When you want to replace a shower pan, there are several steps that you need to keep in mind.
In the following article, we will provide information about the best way to renovate the shower pan and replace it with relative ease. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow.
What To Put Under Shower Base
Before we talk about the replacement steps, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Most people use these terms interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two.
When you talk to a contractor or an employee at the hardware store, knowing these tiny details could make all the difference.
The shower pan is usually made from fiberglass or acrylic. In some cases, it is also made from aluminum. The pan is made to sit on top of the base and forms the floor of the shower.
There are two kinds of shower pans available in the market. The easiest choice is to opt for the readymade pans. You just have to install them in place, and you are good to go.
The second option requires a bit of work; you can tile it if you want. If you want to match the shower pan to existing tiles or wish to add some color to your floors, this is a fantastic option that you should consider.
If you are thinking of buying a shower pan that can be tiled, it’s important that you look at the product description.
Polyurethane and aluminum shower pans are the most important choice because they can be tiled easily. Acrylic or fiberglass shower pans cannot be tiled, so make sure you understand the difference.
The Shower Base
The underlying structure beneath the pan is what forms the base. This primarily consists of a layer of liner and mortar that is installed on the subfloor, just below the shower pan.
It plays a very important role because the shower base helps prevent water from seeping down into the walls. By placing a sealant or a liner just above the subfloor, you will ensure that it doesn’t get wet or retain moisture.
Moisture, as you can imagine, is quite harmful, and can cause mold growth as well.
Steps for Installing the Shower Base
To install the shower base, you need to begin by removing the old shower pan. Once that is done, you will have a clean, dust-free subsurface underneath.
From there, you need to place a waterproof pan liner down on the surface first. From there, add a new pan and check the leveling. The pan should be adequately leveled.
Ideally, you should use a couple of levelers and place them on either side. This is going to ensure that your pan remains firmly balanced when you are fitting it in place.
Then, you need to use a bit of plumbers putty to secure the drain firmly into position. The mortar you used should be mixed properly, and the texture should be similar like peanut butter.
Carefully avoid the drain hole and apply the layer of mortar to a thickness of an inch. You need to then place the new plan into the mortar carefully.
As it dries, you should know that the mortar is going to expand. It’s one of the reasons why you should consider using a bit of strapping to make it remain in place. You need to give it an entire day for the mortar to dry out.
Types of Mortar
There are four different kinds of mortar that you can choose. Depending on the ratio of components used in the makeup, the types vary. This also impacts the bond strength and the overall durability of the mixture.
Ultimately, the type of mortar you choose will have an impact on its moisture resistance as well. Ideally, you should buy the mortar mix and the pan kit together.
Type N is the ideal choice for people who need a general mortar mix that’s ideal for different situations. It’s used for load bearing walls and offers considerable strength and flexibility. It’s a fantastic choice for those who need a general-purpose solution.
Then, you have Type M. This is the strongest kind of mortar out there, and it is used for retaining walls and for foundations. It can resist extreme pressure.
Another type of mortar with moderate strength, Type S is ideal for use in outdoor projects with a higher likelihood of moisture. They are suitable for use on patios or for non-load-bearing walls.
This is the least strong type of mortar available out there. It’s primarily used for creating a sturdy base, and not much else. Many people prefer using this type of mortar for fixing cracks that usually occur in mortar that was laid down previously.
This mortar is generally used indoors because it has such limited strength. As you can imagine, this might not be a wise choice for use with your shower pan.
Should You Put Mortar Under a Fiberglass Pan?
Mortar should ideally be used under all kinds of shower pans. It greatly reduces the risk of cracks appearing under the shower pan, and it also prevents the pans from slippage or moving.
Fiberglass is incredibly durable, so adding some mortar in the mix means that you never have to worry about any kind of movement underneath. It also offers a much stronger grip on the floor.
Ideally, it’s best to go with mortar that is compatible with tiles as well. These are just a few things that you should keep in mind when installing a new shower base!
Hello, my name is David Zal and I’m a plumber with more than 20 years of experience based in Englewood (Florida). I like to teach normal people how to make easy fixes in their homes. I believe that a lot can be achieved just with DYI and that’s why I started this blog.