How to make a shower pan with Video

How to Make a Shower Pan

How to make a shower pan

A mortar shower pan is so much nicer than a store bought fiberglass unit. Once you established your drain setup you’ll want to buy a shower pan drain as shown in the video.


1) I like to lay down a layer of felt paper on the sub floor first.


2) Now install the rubber membrane insuring that you have it going up the sides at least three inches on all four sides and that it is laying down nice and flat. Or as flat as you can get it.


3) Now mix up some sand mortar mix for the base. And of course make sure you make straight lines all around your base, at least 1 1/2 thick at the base tapering down to the drain. I use a straight board cut to the width of the shower. Two different sizes may be needed. Along the base edges it should be all even but tapering down towards the drain. Let’s say your shower is three feet wide, then a 1/2 slope is more then enough. Remember, water will flow easy as long as you set the tiles good as well.


4) Now that you have the base in place it’s time to lay yet another layer. This one you’ll fix any not so nice areas of your first one. You can use a mortar for this one. This is the top coat and last chance to make it right. So make sure you really pay attention to the height of the drain leaving enough space for the tiles. As well at this point you’ll be able to screw the drain up or down to get it just right. Always make sure you have the top of the drain just a little below the tiles.

Shower Pan


This is a picture of the shower in the video once completed and used for a few months.

Finished Shower Pan

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26 Comments on "How to make a shower pan with Video"

March 15, 2015

We’re installing a 3′ x 4′ ceramic tile shower on the 3rd level of a 3 story townhouse. It currently has a 3/4″ plywood sub floor and trusses in between the 3rd and 2nd floor. Should we consider reinforcing the sub floor before building the shower for strength and support?

December 4, 2014

Hi Dominick. I’m going to be installing a shower pan soon but I wanted to add a seat to the shower and cover it with tile. Do I take the membrane over the framing of the seat as well and if so, how?

July 26, 2014

I watched your video on installing a shower base and was wondering if i messed it up by installing by cement board on the wall over the membrane on the walls before the final cement mix base? Thanks

June 7, 2014

Hi Dominic, awesome video. I have a concrete floor. I want to attach the wire mesh to the floor. A staple gun will not work. How would I attach the wire mesh to the concrete floor?

Chris Kunsak
May 3, 2014

So glad I found your site… love the way you do your video’s. I’ve got a lot more confidence after just watching it once. I’m sure by the time I have my bathroom updated I will have watched at least a dozen of your video’s over and over again. Thanks!! Question…

I have a standard tub / shower combo currently. The opening that my tub currently sits in is 59″ wide x 48″ deep. I would like to change over to a shower only. I’ve only ever really seen “shower only” type set up’s with the drain in the middle. Could I set this up keeping the drain where it currently is … which is closer to one side of the opening? My concern is that I would end up having a shower drain that is 6 – 12″ from one side and 3 – 3.5′ from the other… any concerns with the slope?

April 17, 2014

After the tileboard installation video are there any others for this shower? I can’t find them.



February 26, 2014

Did all the right steps in making the pan and have a good slope.Checking it for voids and finding some What should I use to get the voids out? Is there something that I can skim over the sand mix and even out the voids Thanks

Matt Godwin
February 21, 2014

I’m a commercial roofing contractor and we use a ridged tapered insulation board with 1/4″ slope per foot to achieve slope to drains. Do you think I could use this same concept for my sub- slope in lue of a sloped mortar bed? Then cover with epdm membrane

January 26, 2014

Have built a number of houses including my own, but have never constructed a shower pan, so I’m in for a new experience. Coming across your video was fantastic. Your instructions are to the point and in order. Hope our new walk in shower comes out as good as yours did. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Mike Keys
January 7, 2014

Dominick, Do you think the same basic principles would apply when using a linear drain as opposed to the center standard setup? With linear drains it seems that you use one pitch which allows different types of tile other than mosaic.
Also, are you just using standard mason’s mortar, mixed dry?
Good video.
Mike Keys