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How to make a shower pan with Video

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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 mortar
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.

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  1. great videos, thanks. I am installing a shower pan in a 10 year old home. The floor is very sound. WHat is your opinion on using the “sloped sticks”. These appear to almost ensure the correct slope of a shower.

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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

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Written by Dominick Amorosso

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