Building a shower is a major undertaking, and it is extremely important that you make the right choices for your circumstances. A shower is something that is used every day, and so you should have a shower that you enjoy using, and not one that you regret installing.
There are innumerable shower bases currently available on the market which are suitable for tiling. In order to determine the best one for you, you will have to consider several factors such as price, durability, size, adaptability and the most important factor of all – quality.
In order to find out which shower base is best for your project, you’ll have to consider all the above-mentioned factors. You’ll also have to compare several different types of bases in order to determine which one is the most suitable for your application.
There are countless options available, all variable in price, quality and durability. There are also several different manufacturers who produce these products at varying levels of quality and pricing.
What Is a Ready-To-Tile Shower Base?
The “ready-to-tile” shower pan is a closed-cell unit (made of lightweight Styrofoam) that is waterproofed and ready to tile from the factory.
Because this shower pan is extremely light, it is simple to transport to its intended location while staying strong enough to withstand any reasonable forces it may encounter.
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Although ready-to-tile shower pans are less expensive than solid-surface counterparts, the additional expense of tiles and grout must be addressed. Any tile can be utilized, which means your options for designing your shower floor to your desired aesthetic are virtually endless.
Advantages of Ready-To-Tile Shower Bases
There are numerous advantages to installing this type of shower base. Firstly, their lightweight nature allows you to easily transport them to the desired location to ensure easy, fuss-free installation.
Another advantage is the relatively affordable price, especially if your shower is a standard shape. Bear in mind, however, that there will be extra costs incurred for tiles and installation etc.
The ability to make use of any type of tile is an advantage, as you can get quite creative with the textures and colors of your choice of tiles. This type of shower base also allows you to make use of sleek linear drains.
KBRS Tileable Shower Systems
This company is highly reputable in the US, and they produce a range of high-quality shower bases. They pride themselves in producing products which are durable and leak-free, and they are able to produce tileable shower bases to almost any shape or size.
This level of customizability is what sets this company apart from many others who produce only standard sizes. KBRS also produces several of their own waterproofing systems, making it easier for the home enthusiast to do the installation themselves.
If you have an oddly shaped shower base and a unique location for your drain, KBRS will be able to assist you in creating a shower base that fits your space and your requirements perfectly. These shower pans are exceptionally lightweight, yet they allow for excellent strength and durability.
The systems make use of either a liquid-applied waterproofing membrane, or a bonded sheet-applied waterproofing membrane, both of which ensure an excellent leak free installation.
You can find out more about them at their website here.
Tile Redi Base: Integrated Shower Pan With Center Drain
The standard ready-to-tile shower bases produced by “Tile Redi” are available in several sizes. This will allow you to find the right size for your shower installation. These are inherently waterproof and so leaks will not be an issue, nor will you need any extra sealant.
These bases are also pitched to the correct slant during production, so you don’t need to create a sloped surface using concrete prior to installation. It also comes with all the necessary equipment to ensure you’re able to install it successfully on your own.
To add to this, a centralized PVC drain and chrome plate are other standard features of this brilliant tileable shower pan. Add to this easy installation, no additional sealant required and a 3 year warranty, and you’ve found a great competitor for your shower installation, despite its relatively high price point.
They’re available form Amazon here.
Tile Redi 3060Lbp Shower Pan
Another tileable shower pan from Tile Redi, this one features an Integrated Left Hand Side PVC Drain. It also includes walls to prevent side splash, and its integrated drain on the left hand side allows you to build a shower which suits your unique applications.
The dimensions of this shower base are 30” by 60”, and installation is relatively quick. There is the added benefit of a stainless steel drain plate, as well as an epoxy adhesive which makes for an easier installation process.
While this is not a cheap option, it is still entirely waterproof and comes with a standard warranty of 3 years.
To check the latest price on Amazon, click here.
Tile Redi 3260RSPVC-15-2-4 Shower Pan
This is another great option from Tile Redi, and this one comes standard with a drain on the right hand side. At 60” by 32” in size, this shower pan is also pre-pitched which allows for excellent drainage without any extra effort on your part.
The drain on the right hand side is 2 inches in size and made of PVC. This shower pan also comes with fully integrated curbs and splash walls, allowing for an easy and seamless installation.
This shower pan does not take long to install, is easy to maintain, and it requires no extra sealant, but it could be seen as a little bit overpriced to some. Check it out at Amazon here.
DreamLine Slimline 36” x 36”
This shower base is produced by a different company called DreamLine, and boasts a center drain with a single threshold. Dreamline products are well-known for having great durability, and this particular model has the added benefit of fiberglass reinforcing.
The way its edges are constructed allows it to sit nicely under tiles, which enables you to create a shower with tiled walls. It does not, however, allow you to install tiles directly onto the base itself, but it does boast a great slip-free surface to help prevent any unfortunate accidents.
This option is durable and relatively well-priced, however it does require a professional to complete the installation, and does not allow for tiles to be directly installed onto it. Another consideration is that it can become scratched easily, which can detract from its aesthetic.
It’s available from Amazon here.
Tile Redi 3460C-PVC Base Shower Pan
This is another Shower Pan from the well-known manufacturer, Tile Redi. This one is 60” by 34” and comes with a central drain as well as splash walls and a properly integrated curb. Standard pre-pitching allows for the shower to be installed without the need for a professional to ensure proper drainage.
Again, just like the other Tile Redi products, this one doesn’t need any extra sealant, and comes with a 3 year warranty as standard. The main disadvantage of this one is the relatively high price.
Check it out at Amazon here.
Tile Redi P3642-PVC Base Shower Pan
This shower base is slightly different to the others in that it has different dimensions, as well as a centrally placed drain. This base is 42” by 36” in size, and prevents leaks and requires no additional sealant, just like its other Tile Redi counterparts.
This product might call for the additional assistance of a professional, but if you are a home enthusiast who knows what you’re doing, you should be able to install it yourself with relative ease.
There is an integrated curb and splash wall, as comes standard with most Tile Redi products, as well as a central 2 inch PVC drain. This option is also relatively expensive when compared to other options from this manufacturer.
Check it out at Amazon here.
Woodbridge Tileable Shower Base
This is another shower base produced by an entirely different manufacturer. It also boasts a built-in curb and wall, and has a pre-sloped construction. This product is exceptionally strong, durable and resistant to scratching.
The dimensions are 60” by 30”, and there is a central drain. This base also comes standard with enough adhesive to allow you to install it yourself. While this base can be installed with ease and comes standard with a 3 year warranty, there have been complaints about its inherent durability.
Check it out at Amazon here.
Tile Redi 3636C-PVC Shower Pan
This is the only shower base from Tile Redi that is produced in a square shape, with dimensions of 36” by 36”. It boasts a number of features similar in nature to other shower bases made by Tile Redi, and it is of extremely high quality.
Check it out at Amazon here.
Tile Redi Base N Bench P3648C-RB36-KIT Tileable Shower Pan & Seat
This is a tileable shower pan and seat which are both fully leak-proof. The seat and base can also be tiled over, and the design is such that the drainage potential is not negatively affected. The dimensions for the bench are 32” by 12”, while the shower base itself is 36” by 48”.
This luxury option comes with all the benefits of a standard Tile Redi Shower Pan. Check it out on Amazon here.
Alternate Option: Tiled Floors
When it comes to resale value, a tiled shower floor is considered the most desirable and high-end option for a property. Tiled floors are the most versatile alternative due to the wide variety of different types of tiles available on the market and the flexibility to tailor tiles to meet any shower shape.
Several components must be built in order to make a tiled floor surface for a shower. To begin, a screed must be laid out to level the floor while also producing the proper fall to allow water to drain. After that, a waterproof barrier must be applied to prevent any water difficulties later on, and the tiles must be adhered to the surface before grout is applied.
Because tiled floors are affixed directly to the surface, they are exceptionally difficult to remove, and any renovations or repairs may require ripping up the entire floor.
The grout in between the tiles is highly prone to collecting stains and dirt, and this is also very difficult to clean.
If tiled floors are not installed properly or waterproofed properly, they will inevitably need major repairs due to water leaks.
Shower floors made of tiles are usually far more expensive than shower pans made of one piece. This is related not only to the additional supplies, but also to the additional work. When compared to a shower pan, a tiled shower might take up to a week longer to build, and this extra time translates to significantly higher labor expenses for the entire project.
Alternate Option 1: Molded Stone Shower Pan
This is a top-of-the-line product with a hefty price tag. Natural stone and synthetic plastic combine to make molded stone shower bases. This results in a luxurious, easy-to-clean shower base that is also long-lasting.
This sort of shower pan, by its very nature, requires no grout, accessories, or substantial labor, and costs start at roughly $800.
Alternate Option 2: Cultured Marble Shower Pan
This is another high-end option that offers unrivaled strength and lifespan when compared to synthetic alternatives. Aside from the increased cost of the pan, there are additional installation charges due to the material’s inherent fragility prior to installation.
Cultured marble, on the other hand, is more durable than fiberglass or acrylic once placed, and it just requires a simple wipe down for upkeep.
Because marble is a porous stone, it can absorb the color of certain chemical products if not properly sealed or treated before usage.
Alternate Option 3: Acrylic Shower Pan
Acrylic shower pans are a cost-effective solution that is also lightweight and long-lasting. This style of shower pan is one of the most economical solutions while staying quick and easy to install, starting at around $200.
Another benefit is that this type of shower pan is usually easier to clean because there are no grout lines to worry about, and there are fewer leaks that may necessitate shower repairs.
The acrylic shower pan’s tendency to scrape and produce microscopic cracks over time is a downside. This can lead to water leaks, which can lead to damage, mold, and discoloration of the shower pan.
Caulk is commonly used to cover the edges of acrylic shower pans, but one problem is that caulk might break over time, potentially producing waterproofing issues.
Alternate Option 4: Fiberglass Shower Pan
When it comes to single-piece shower pans, fiberglass shower pans are the cheapest alternative, with prices frequently under $200. This low-cost material is prone to staining and mineral deposits, which can accumulate over time.
Cleaning the mineral deposits will result in scratched fiberglass since abrasive materials will be required to remove them.
While there are many options for shower bases, you will quickly be able to find the right choice for your own project by looking at the pros and cons of each, and how these apply to your particular situation.