Remodeling Tips and Reviews

How not to build a Shower Pan

How not to build a Shower Pan

Feb 27, 2012

Recently, I came on a job where the shower was mid way through complete and had numerous problems with how it was being done. First, they had used green sheetrock for the walls, which any pro knows is a big no no. Its not a matter of if water gets behind the tile but when and how much. But, the bigger problem was the shower pan. The drain was unlevel above the tile and

A common floor drain used as a shower drain. Water would have run down the open slits within days of use

I noticed it was too big to be a shower drain. When I inspected it closer I realized it was nothing more than a standard floor drain you might put in the laundry room or a commercial kitchen. That meant there was no way to seal the shower pan liner to the drain, thus creating a nightmare of leaks as water slowly started working its way down to the pan. Eventually this leads to termites under the shower, rotten wood, foundation shifting and even rusted gas lines if they are too close. I had to demo out the

entire mess and the above images shows what was there. A 3″ pipe had been used without a pea trap and a hole had been cut in the PVC liner to install the pipe. This was a disaster waiting to happen. The corners of the liner had also been cut to rather than folded and no glue was used anywhere.

Correct shower drain with pea gravel around it to help keep seep holes open for water

Once the sheetrock was off,  the cement bed was demo’d up and the wooden subfloor removed I had to crawl under the house to cut the 3″ line out and install an adapter to reduce to a 2″ line so I could install a pea trap and the correct drain. Once the pipe was run, I reinstalled the floor, installed the base plate for the drain, laid down the PVC liner and cut a hole in it to hold the drain which I then set up and glued. The the drain head then screws down into the base and the pan is ready for mud.

Correct Hospital bed corners  for a leak proof shower pan

Correct Hospital bed corners for a leak proof shower pan