Shower pan is a bathroom floor accessory that is either made from ceramic, acrylic or fiberglass. It not only provides you with a space to shower but also helps guide the wastewater during a shower to the drainage system in a clean and efficient manner.
Best, the shower pan is built from a non-slip textured material that will provide your foot with a firm grip on the ground, making it safer to stand on. Additionally, many manufacturers mix fiberglass to the shower pan to improve its durability, aesthetic look, and longevity.
If you’re building or renovating a bathroom and looking for a shower pan, then our shower pan review below will help you find a quality model at a great price.
What To Check Before Buying Best Shower Pan?
First and foremost, ensure that the shower pan is compatible with both the installation space of your bathroom and with the connection to the drainage system.
In most cases, a square shower pan should be compatible with most installation spaces.
Additionally, make sure that you measure the installation space and purchase a shower pan that is at least 1 inch smaller on each side.
You do not want your shower pan to have a tight fit in your installation area because of temperature contraction and expansion that may eventually crack the shower pan.
The shower pan is made from different materials. Here is a breakdown of some popular materials that manufacturers used to make the shower pan.
Acrylic: The acrylic shower pan is one of the most popular on the market. It is lightweight, affordable and easy to make. Additionally, it also has decent durability and lasts a long time.
But one of the best attributes of the acrylic shower pan is that it requires little maintenance and is extremely easy to clean.
Steel: As you may have guessed, the steel shower pan is one of the strongest shower pans that you can buy. In fact, this shower pan is known for its toughness.
However, being tough does not necessarily mean that it is long-lasting. Quite the contrary, despite being very tough, the steel shower pan tends to break down and lose its toughness over time.
Custom Tile: The custom tile shower pan usually has a ceramic tile glued over the top of the base in such a way that it mimics a real ceramic floor.
It is both durable and long-lasting, but it will cost you as this is an expensive type of shower pan. However, it looks absolutely stunning if you can afford it.
Composite: One of the latest additions to the shower pan is the composite shower pan. As its name suggests, it is built from a mixture of materials ranging from fiberglass to ceramic.
One of the main advantages of the composite shower pan is its affordable pricing and high durability which makes this type of shower pan value for money.
Fiberglass: The fiberglass shower pan is possibly the most durable shower pan on the market. Since it is made from fiberglass, it will not corrode, does not react with air and will not dent or scratch easily.
Therefore, the fiberglass shower pan will keep its stunning appearance for years and years to come.
3. Easy to Install
If you are planning to install the shower pan yourself, as in a DIY job, then installing this shower pan is quite easy.
However, it will all depend on the weight of the shower pan as well as its size.
If it is too big and too heavy, it is always recommended getting an extra person to lift and lay the shower pan. You certainly don’t want to install a big shower pan like the Swanstone Veritek R-3454-010 all by yourself.
4. Easy to Clean
You do not want to spend hours and hours cleaning your shower pan. Therefore, we recommend that you go with a model that is easy to clean in a matter of minutes.
Acrylic and fiberglass shower pans have a polished surface that is a very easy to clean. All you will need is a mild degreaser and a piece of cloth to clean the shower pan.
7 Best Shower Pans of 2021 Reviewed
1. Dreamline Slimline (Best Overall)
2. Dreamline Slimline Neo-Angle (Easy to Install in Small Bathrooms)
3. Dreamline Slimline Double Threshold (Aesthetically Pleasing)
4. Sterling 72171110-0 (Lightweight)
5. Kohler K-9193 (Heavy-duty)
6. Bestbath NP3030 (Small & Compact)
7. Swanstone Veritek R-3454-010 (Very Durable)
1. Dreamline Slimline – Best Overall
- Material: Acrylic Capped ABS
- Dimensions: 36 inches x 48 inches x 2.8 inches
This Dreamline shower pan is a durable model made from an Acrylic ABS plastic. This is a very durable and long-lasting material that will not corrode when it comes in contact with water and air.
Also, we like the price of this pan because it is very competitive and offers a build construction and features that rival more expensive shower pans.
In order to help you fix this shower pan in position, it has a 3-alcove side so that you can screw it tight to your bathroom walls. Note that you will need a 3-sided wall to install this shower pan.
Moreover, the base is grooved to provide better traction to your feet and prevent you from slipping during a shower. Connecting the single 2 inches drain of this shower pan to your drainage system is also very easy as it uses standard size connectors.
The only problems with it is that water may easily stagnate at the center. A small inclination in the design could have helped here. Also, the drain is at the center and can easily get blocked by stepping on it.
Nevertheless, we have no problem nominating this model as the best overall shower pan. It has an excellent build construction and the price is very competitive.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Competitively priced
- 3 alcove side for easier installation
- Lifetime warranty by the manufacturer
- The slope could have been more inclined
- You can easily block the center water drain
2. Dreamline Slimline Neo-Angle – Easy to Install in Small Bathrooms
- Material: Acrylic Capped ABS
- Dimensions: 36 inches x 36 inches x 2.8 inches
This model is very similar to the Dreamline Slimline we have just reviewed above. However, this one has what Dreamline calls a Neo-Angle that is not only there for aesthetics but also to limit the installation space in a small bathroom. This makes it easy to install.
Also, we find the same acrylic ABS build construction that makes this shower pan long-lasting. It even has a 2 inches drain opening for you to connect it to your shower drainage system.
Additionally, the grooved surface is anti-slip and quite comfortable on the feet. The risk of slipping during a shower is minimal with this shower pan.
As with most Dreamline products, there is a lifetime warranty on it. Although, we do not think that you will need it because this is a heavy-duty shower pan that will not break easily.
The other big difference with this shower pan is that it has a 2-alcove wall corner rather than 3. However, installation is still quite easy.
But, this shower pan is not perfect. For one, it lacks sturdiness especially when used by people who are a little on the heavy side. However, this model still remains adequate for most people of average weight.
- Easy to install in a small bathroom
- The grooved base is anti-slip. Safe to use
- Excellent durability. Made from a thick ABS plastic
- Lifetime warranty
- Not very sturdy
3. Dreamline Slimline Double Threshold – Aesthetically Pleasing
- Material: Acrylic Capped ABS
- Dimensions: 36 inches x 48 inches x 2.8 inches
In our shower pan review above, the Slimline by Dreamline is the first product we have covered and recommended. This current unit is almost the same model but comes in an all-black color.
It has the drain hole more strategically placed to the left so that you don’t step on it. This is a big improvement.
Moreover, you can purchase this unit in different styles as well. For example, if you want the drain to be on the left or right side of the shower pan, you have the choice during purchase.
Again, we find that the groove surface is very comfortable and anti-slip as well.
But one of the best features of this shower pan is its slim height of only 2.8 inches which allows this shower pan to sit flush to the floor which makes it look amazing in the bathroom.
But despite being short, it still does a great job containing and draining any wastewater during the shower.
All in all, if you’re looking for an all-black shower pan to fit the color scheme of your bathroom, this Dream line model is an excellent choice. It is very durable, looks great and does a great job draining away any wastewater quickly and easily.
The only problem with it is that it is quite low-profile so not recommended for those using a high pressure rainfall shower. Also, the surface does not dry easily and it can still remain wet for hours.
- All-black surface finish. Aesthetically pleasing with a model look
- Durable and long-lasting. Made from a thick acrylic ABS material
- It can be purchased with different drain styles
- Easy to clean
- The surface takes a lot of time to dry
- Not recommended for use with a high-pressure rainfall shower because of its low height
4. Sterling 72171110-0 – Best-Lightweight
- Material: Vikrell
- Dimensions: 30 inches x 60 inches x 5 inches
If you will be installing your shower pan all by yourself, then the Sterling 72171110-0 is an excellent choice. This is mostly because this model is lightweight at only 43.6 lbs. You will have no problem lifting and installing this unit in your bathroom.
But one of the best things about this model is that it is made from Vikrell which is a material that is extremely easy to clean. Furthermore, it will keep its glassy surface finish for a long time, even after years of use.
You will like the fact that this model is backed by a 10-year manufacturer warranty if you purchase it as a consumer or 3 years if you install it in a business location.
If you need a lightweight shower pan that is easy to install, then this model from Sterling is definitely the best shower pan for the money.
The only problems is that the price could have been a little better.
- Lightweight at 43.6 lbs. Easy to install by 1 person
- Back by a 10-year manufacturer warranty
- High-gloss surface. Very easy to clean
- A little more expensive than the competition
5. Kohler K-9193 – Heavy-duty
- Material: Enameled Cast Iron
- Dimensions: 60 inches x 34 inches x 4.5 inches
The Kohler K-9193is a heavy-duty shower pan. This model has a very effectively design offset that is able to evacuate a lot of water fast. Therefore, you can use this unit with a high pressure shower head, no problem.
Furthermore, this unit is a premium shower pan that looks absolutely stunning. It is made from an enameled cast-iron which is very durable. In fact, this shower pan can easily last a lifetime if it is maintained properly.
At first look, it does not look like it has an anti-slip technology as there are no grooves on its surface.
But you would be wrong as the finish of this shower pan is made from a non-slip material. This surface not only prevents you from slipping during a shower but is also extremely comfortable to stand on.
A few issues with this model is that you can purchase it with a left offset only so there is not a lot of flexibility in terms of design. Also, with a length of 60 inches and width of 34 inches, this shower pan is a bit big for those with a small bathroom.
- The shower pan has an offset to easily evacuate wastewater
- Heavy-duty and durable. Made from enameled cast iron
- Surface finish is anti-slip and comfortable to stand on
- A bit big for a small bathroom
- You only get this model with a left offset and not a right offset
6. Bestbath NP3030 – Small and Compact
- Material: Fiberglas
- Dimensions: 30 inches x 30 inches x 6 inches
The Bestbath NP3030 is a small shower pan that measures 30 inches x 30 inches. It is designed for small bathrooms as it does not take a lot of space.
However, 30 inches is still large enough to provide ample space for you to take a shower comfortably. At least, when it comes to 1 person.
But one of the best features of this shower pan is its construction material which is fiberglass with a wood-core. It is extremely durable and should technically last a lifetime.
The floor of this shower pan is textured to make it slip resistant. When it comes to cleaning, you will also have no problem as it is extremely easy to clean.
If you have never installed a shower pan before, this model comes with a clear instruction manual that will show you how to do it. Since it is small, you can do it yourself, and you will not need an extra pair of hand for help.
The only issue is here is the price. Indeed, this shower pan could have been more competitively priced especially considering its small size.
- Small and compact. Does not take a lot of space in the bathroom
- Made from fiberglass. Very durable and long-lasting
- Comes with a detailed instruction manual on how to install
- The height of 6 inches allows you to contain water more effectively
- The price could have been more competitive
7. Swanstone Veritek R-3454-010 – Very Durable
- Material: Veritek
- Dimensions: 60 inches x 40 inches x 10 inches
The Swanstone is the only model in this review that is made from Veritek. This model uses a special type of compressed material invented by Swanstone that is ideal for bathtubs.
It is able to contain water over an extended period of time very effectively. It has a superior durability and can be used as a heavy-duty shower pan, no problem.
One of the best features of this top-rated shower pan is that the surface finish is treated in such a way that it will not allow mildew or bacteria to grow on it.
Additionally, the surface is pebbled in such a way that it is slip resistant.
There is also a lot of flexibility with this shower pan as it is available in different sizes and colors to suit your preference and need.
The only caveats with this model is that it is quite basic in look. Furthermore, the drain hole is located right at the center, so you can easily cause a clog by stepping on it.
- Very durable. Made from a special compressed material
- Flexible. Available in different colors and sizes
- The surface has a special material that stops the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria
- Anti-slip shower pan with a pebble textured surface
- Since the drain hole is at the center, you may easily step over it
- Not the most aesthetically pleasing
How to Install the Shower Pan?
Step 1 – Measure the Installation Space
By using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of the installation space where you plan to install the base. Now measure the shower pan and try to avoid a tight fit with the wall of your bathroom. Leave at least 1 inch on every side for safe measure.
Step 2 – Prepare the Area
Now that you have measured the installation space, you need to start preparing the area for installation. Remove any old caulk or adhesive if present in the installation area using a wide blade putty knife.
This area needs to be free of dust and debris as well as be level to the ground.
If you spot in a small anomaly as in the ground and not being perfectly flat, you will need to correct it right away before we can proceed further.
If everything is okay, simply brush the area with a broom so that it is clean. Additionally, use a clean cloth to wipe any water or moisture present.
Step 3 – Install the Shower Pan
With the area ready for installation, lay the shower pan on the installation area. If it is heavy, do not hesitate to ask for help as some shower pans can be very heavy exceeding 200 lbs in weight. You do not want to be lifting such a weight alone.
With the shower pan in position, connect the drain outlet of the shower pan to the inlet of your drainage system. The drainage outlet is usually located at the back of the shower pan.
Once the base has been set in position, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 4 – Fix the Base
in order to provide the shower pan for moving, you will need to fix it in position. You do this by screwing the sides of the shower pan to your wall using either 1-1/2 inch or 2 inches screws.
Once you have secured the base, apply silicone to the sides to waterproof it and prevent water from getting in there.
Step 5 – Let the Silicone Dry
Wait at least one day for the silicone or chalk to dry completely. Then, let the water flow for a few minutes and check for potential leaks around the shower pan.
Also, verify if the drainage system is working and the shower pan is correctly evacuating the bath water.
How to Clean and Maintain the Shower Pan?
The shower pan is pretty much self-maintaining. This is mostly because of the special composite surface used on the shower pan that prevents the formation of mold, mildew, bacteria.
However, from time to time even the best shower pan on the market still needs some cleaning to give it its brand-new look.
It is very simple, and all you have to use is a brush and some bathroom or kitchen cleaning detergent. You may also use a regular degreaser to clean the shower pan.
Remember not to let the detergent or degreaser come into contact with the chalk or silicone side of the shower pan as it may eat it away and cause leaking.
Thoroughly spray the detergent or degreaser on the shower pan and let it sit for at least 3 minutes.
Then, open the water and brush the shower pan thoroughly for at least one minute. Rinse and repeat this process if you have to.
Also, use this opportunity to clean the drainage system of the shower pan. Over time, it can easily get clogged with hair and other debris.
Once done, thoroughly rinse the shower pan with water to prevent the detergent from drying over it. There you have it. Cleaning the shower pan cannot be easier.
As we’ve seen, the shower pan is a practical shower accessory that will prevent wastewater from spilling all around in your shower.
It will guide the wastewater to the drainage system and provide you with a firm footing while you take a shower.
If you’re not sure which model to go with, then the Dreamline Slimline is a safe bet. It has a nice set of features and is very competitively priced.
And if you have a very small bathroom and still need a shower pan, then consider the Bestbath NP3030 as it is small and compact.
In this post:
- What To Check Before Buying Best Shower Pan?
- 7 Best Shower Pans of 2021 Reviewed
- 1. Dreamline Slimline – Best Overall
- 2. Dreamline Slimline Neo-Angle – Easy to Install in Small Bathrooms
- 3. Dreamline Slimline Double Threshold – Aesthetically Pleasing
- 4. Sterling 72171110-0 – Best-Lightweight
- 5. Kohler K-9193 – Heavy-duty
- 6. Bestbath NP3030 – Small and Compact
- 7. Swanstone Veritek R-3454-010 – Very Durable
- How to Install the Shower Pan?
- How to Clean and Maintain the Shower Pan?