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How to Replace a Shower Pan

Replacing your shower starts with putting in a new shower pan. Once you finish the steps for how to replace a shower pan, you can install the shower enclosure. To succeed, you need to be comfortable with making plumbing connections. You’ll also want to pay close attention to creating a level surface for the pan to sit on.

How to Replace a Shower Pan Directions

  1. To remove the old shower enclosure, use a reciprocating saw to cut away panels.
  2. Tear out the remaining shower walls and pan with the pry bar and hammer.
  3. Vacuum debris out of the shower enclosure.
  4. Go underneath the shower to access the drain pipe.
  5. Saw off the old drain pipe because you will be installing a new drain and trap.
  6. Set the new shower pan in its spot to see how it fits.
  7. If it does not touch some or all of the studs, you need to pad the studs with 1/2-inch plywood strips.
  8. If you need to add plywood strips, cut them to fit against the studs.
  9. Secure the strips against the studs with screws.
  10. Check where the new pan meets the existing finished floor. Trace the edge with a sharpie marker. You may need to remove some flooring if it extends beyond the footprint of the old pan. Depending on the type of flooring, you can use a utility knife or chisel to remove it.
  11. The next step in how to replace a shower pan is to mark where to cut the drain hole.
  12. With the new pan in place, mark the floor through the drain hole in the new pan.
  13. The shower pan’s installation instructions should say how large to cut the new drain hole. You can expect to need a hole saw of about 4 inches that fits onto your power drill.
  14. Set the shower pan aside and cut the drain hole in the floor.
  15. Disassemble the drain strainer for the new pan. It will have a gasket that goes on the top of the shower pan. A second gasket fits underneath the drain.
  16. Insert the strainer and screw tight the nut on the bottom. Use channel lock pliers to get the nut snug and sealed.
  17. Evaluate the floor to see if it is level.
  18. If needed, screw shims to the floor to achieve a level surface for the new pan.
  19. Set the pan in place and confirm that it is level. If not, continue adjusting the surface with shims.
  20. Drill pilot holes in the top edges of the shower pan against the studs.
  21. Drive galvanized screws into the studs to secure the pan.
  22. Under the shower, dry fit the parts for your new drain trap.
  23. Secure the connections with PVC glue.
  24. Working top side again, push the compression gasket through the drain opening to connect with the PVC pipe.
  25. Use the mallet to force the gasket down while a helper holds the pipe steady below.
  26. Install the screen on the drain strainer.
  27. You are now ready to proceed with the installation of the shower walls.

Tools & Materials

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pry bar
  • Tape measure
  • Power drill and hole saw blade
  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Sharpie marker
  • Utility knife
  • Chisel
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • 4-foot level
  • Shop vac

Trusted Shower Installers in the Mid-Atlantic

Homeowners have appreciated the workmanship of PJ Fitzpatrick for decades. We replace showers and convert tubs to showers. We can handle every aspect of the job, including plumbing and disposal of old materials. Make your bathroom shine again and contact us about shower replacement today.

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We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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