How To Do Your Own Shower Pan Installation

By: Glenn Whitehead

How To install A Shower PanIf you're considering doing your own shower pan installation or need to repair an existing one; this is a job that can be done by the adventurous "Do It Yourselfer". In this article I'll cover the basic tools, materials, and steps of installing your own pan.

Tools Needed 

  • Wheel barrow or large tub to mix the cement in 
  • Shovel to mix cement 
  • Concrete trowel to spread mud bed 
  • Hammer
  • Vinyl liner-Cut to fit the floor area and extend 10-12 inches up the wall on all sides 
  • Portland cement and river or mortar sand to mix mud bed 
  • New Drain Assembly 
  • Treated 2x8 lumber-to be cut for blocking behind liner 
  • Roofing tacks 1 1/4"- To secure liner to walls 
  • Liner adhesive
Installation Steps
  • If you're doing the shower pan installation in an existing shower, breakout and remove old floor, mud bed, liner and remove existing tile up at least 12 inches on all walls.
  • Install treated 2x8 blocking between wall studs around the perimeter of the shower to support the new liner.
  • Install new shower drain assembly.
  • Mix portland cement and sand for preliminary mud bed (1 part portland, 1 part sand). 
  • Using the concrete trowel, spread mud bed so it slopes from all sides to the drain. The top of this mud bed should be just below the bottom hub of the drain assembly at an average height of about 2 inches. Then let this bed cure for a couple of hours.
  • Cut the liner to fit the size of the floor and extend up the wall ten to twelve inches or at least a couple of inches above the curb at the door. Using the roofing tacks, secure the top edges of the liner to the wall studs. Be careful not to use any nails lower or near the floor, as this may cause leaks.
  • Using the liner adhesive, secure the liner to the drain assembly between the hub and the removable upper rim. Cut out holes for the drain and the drain assembly bolts.
  • Install the adjustable drain piece to the desired finish floor height
  • Mix portland and sand for finished mud bed.
  • Spread mud to a height of 3/4"-1" below the desired finish floor height depending on the thickness of your tile. The idea is to install the tile flush to the top of the drain assembly.
Remember to be careful during the shower pan installation to avoid cutting or puncturing the liner. As a precaution, it's a good idea to plug the drain and place several inches of water in the pan, mark the water level, and leave it overnight to be sure the pan is water tight. This could prevent you from having water damage problems later.

If you would like a more detailed visual demonstration of a complete shower installation, I recommend a video course by Randy Davis. It includes 4 instantly downloadable videos that contain everything you need to know about this process. The last time I checked the price was $27 and they offer a 60 day money back guaranty. For more information

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