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Install a Shower Floor

Install a prefabricated shower floor or pan to provide a finished surface for immediate use. Or, use it as a base for a future tile or stone floor.

Shower floor.

Tools & Materials


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Getting Started

Make sure your drain pipe is at the appropriate height (approximately 1/4 inch above your concrete or subfloor). Make adjustments as necessary. If you're working on a subfloor, make sure there aren't any exposed nail or screw heads sticking up above the surface of the subfloor.

Clean your workspace. Clear the subfloor of any debris, such as sawdust, wood chips, splinters, plaster or glue gobs.

If you don't plan to add stone or tile, flat shower pans are less expensive than the tile-ready pans. The tile-ready pans already include the necessary slope to the drain. Use mortar, vinyl and wire mesh in a flat shower pan to create this slope.

Good to Know

While some prefabricated pans will claim no additional waterproofing is necessary, you may want to apply a vinyl shower liner to the concrete or subfloor.

Applying Caulk

Plug the drain with a rag. Use the acrylic caulk or construction adhesive (depending on the shower pan manufacturer's recommendations) and caulk gun to secure the pan to the concrete or subfloor.

If the underside of your shower pan is flat, apply caulk or adhesive to the floor base in a zigzag pattern. If the underside has raised ridges that will contact the subfloor or concrete, apply the adhesive to those ridges. Place a ring of caulk / adhesive around the drain.

Laying the Pan in Place

Take off your shoes, and lay the pan in place. Apply pressure evenly with your hands and then carefully with your feet. Use a damp cloth to remove any excess caulk or adhesive that has oozed up around the drain hole.

If your shower pan has flanges that attach to the wall, you have two options. Screw through the flanges (be sure to drill pilot holes first), or attach the screws just above the flange so the head of the screw secures it. Use an electronic stud and electrical finder when securing the flange to the wall. This ensures you'll attach it to a stud and avoid any plumbing or electrical service.

Let the caulk or adhesive set according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Attaching the Drain Assembly

Attach the drain assembly kit per the manufacturer's instructions. Before proceeding with other improvements, allow any adhesives used with the drain assembly kit to dry, and perform a water leak test on the drain connection. Stop up the drain cover and add water to the shower pan, observing to see if the water level drops.