Can You Replace Just a Shower Pan?
The short answer is yes, shower pans can be replaced without requiring you to replace the entire shower unit. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why they’re separate components and not structurally connected to the rest of your shower. However, the term shower pan has a few different connotations, and people often use “shower pan” and “shower base” interchangeably when they’re really not the same thing, so we should probably clarify before going any further with answering this question.
What Is a Shower Pan?
In the most basic sense, the shower pan is part of your shower floor. It’s a concave structure made of waterproof materials that catches water and funnels it down the drain. If you have an acrylic shower pan in your shower (like in the image to the right) then the shower pan is the part that you’re actually standing on when you shower. These are the easiest shower pans to replace because you can remove them and install a new one without having to do extensive remodeling work to the shower walls or shower base (the shower base being the substrate that the shower pan sits atop).
Why and How Would You Replace Your Shower Pan?
The most common scenario in which a homeowner might replace just an acrylic shower pan would be if the rest of the shower is in good shape but they want to swap out their existing shower pan for one with a lower lip or no threshold at all to make the shower more accessible and safer for those with limited mobility.
However, in showers with tile floors, the shower pan is not exposed but actually sits beneath the tile. So, if you wanted to replace the shower pan on one of these showers, you would have to remove the tile flooring to access the shower pan. Right away, you can see that this job would be more invasive and require more skill than replacing an acrylic shower pan.
Should You Do the Job Yourself?
Whether you have an acrylic shower pan that is exposed or a hidden shower pan beneath your floor, replacing it is a project that you should entrust to a professional. An improperly installed shower pan can allow water to get beneath your shower floor or behind the walls, where it can cause mold, mildew, structural damage, and a host of other problems.
For more information about replacing the shower pan at your home in the Nashville, TN, area, contact American Home Design to schedule a free consultation.