How to make a shower pan with Video

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 subfloor first.

2) Now install the rubber membrane ensuring 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, they should all be even but tapering down towards the drain. Let’s say your shower is three feet wide, then a 1/2 slope is more than enough. Remember, water will flow easily as long as you set the tiles good as well.

shower pan setup

4) Now that you have the base in place it’s time to lay yet another layer. In 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. Also, you can use this found at Home Depot 

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


27 thoughts on “How to make a shower pan with Video”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. You would screw the tile board right in place.Than tile that.So many so called pros comment on how to never screw the board to the curb, but these are the ones that have no clue what they’re doing. So yes screw the boards in place and then tile the board.

  4. Hello Dominic,

    How do I put cement board and tile on the inside shower curb? The small area between the bottom of the shower door and the bottom of the shower floor? I have laid the final layer of cement and am to the point where your video leaves off. I have cement board on the outer side and top of the curb, but I am concerned about screwing it into the inside which is so close to the shower floor. You wouldn’t recommend applying the tile straight to the rubber membrane would you?

  5. Hey Dominick
    Thanks for the shower pan video. I am installing a mortar pan onto a slab floor. It will be 4′ x 7′ . Do I need the felt paper and wire mesh under the bottom layer of mortar?

  6. My friend and I are going to construct a shower stall. This question relates to the floor pan. The condo where we will be working is on the ground floor with a concrete slab that is exposed since we removed the old tub and shower stall. Would you recommend against installing the membrane directly over the slab, rather than putting concrete in first?

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