The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How To Install a Shower Pan

Premade shower pans make installing a new shower easier. You won’t have to worry about building a watertight shower floor from scratch. How to install a shower pan requires using some basic tools. The overall process is not overly complicated, but success still depends on attention to detail. Under the best circumstances, your off-the-shelf shower pan’s drain hole will match up with your existing plumbing. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to move the drain pipe and align it with the shower pan.

How To Install a Shower Pan Step by Step

  1. Read the manufacturer’s directions that came with your shower pan. It will include specific guidance that supplements these directions.
  2. With the subfloor of the new shower area exposed, test fit the pan.
  3. Mark a line on the floor around the edges of the pan.
  4. Using a 3/16-inch bit, drill holes through the pan’s wall flange into each stud.
  5. Examine the drain hole of the pan to see if it aligns with the drain pipe. If they match up, the job of how to install a shower pan just got easier.
  6. If the pan’s hole does not align with the pipe, trace the pan’s hole onto the subfloor.
  7. With the drill, make a starter hole in the subfloor inside the circle that you traced.
  8. Insert the jigsaw blade into the starter hole and cut out the area where you need to reposition the drain.
  9. Move the P-trap for the drain. As you rebuild it, make sure that the waste pipe comes out 1-3/4 inches above the subfloor. Check the pan’s directions to confirm this height because it might be different.
  10. The subfloor must be level before you install the shower pan. Check it with the level in all directions.
  11. If the subfloor is not level, you must build a level surface with a self-leveling compound.
  12. Spread the compound with a trowel inside the pencil marks on the floor.
  13. Allow the compound to cure completely before proceeding.
  14. Consult your directions to see if you use caulk or plumber’s putty under the drain flange.
  15. Spread the caulk or putty on the underside of the flange’s rim.
  16. Insert the drain flange through the top of the shower pan.
  17. Press down until it fits firmly against the pan and excess caulk has squeezed out.
  18. Wipe away excess caulk.
  19. Underneath the shower pan, slip the rubber washer over the threaded portion of the flange.
  20. Place the friction washer over the threads.
  21. Screw the locking ring onto the threads tightly. You might want to adjustable pliers to achieve a snug fit.
  22. Look at your manufacturer’s directions to see if you use adhesive or mortar between the shower pan and the subfloor.
  23. If adhesive is called for, spread it on the subfloor.
  24. If mortar is called for, place mounds on the subfloor in the pattern specified in the directions.
  25. Press the shower pan onto the adhesive or mortar. Apply firm pressure across the whole pan.
  26. Drive screws through the pan’s rim into the wall studs.
  27. Insert the rubber drain gasket over the pipe extending upward through the flange.
  28. Tighten the gasket setscrew.
  29. Attach the shower drain screen.
  30. The pan is now ready for you to install the shower walls.

Tools & Materials

  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Level
  • Trowel
  • Caulking gun
  • Adjustable pliers

PJ Fitzpatrick Replaces Showers

Our home improvement company serves DE, PA, NJ, and MD, and shower replacement is one of our specialties. If you think how to replace a shower pan will eat up too much of your time, consider our services. We build all kinds of showers, including seated showers and low-threshold showers. Ask us for a shower installation estimate today.

Need help with this project?

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

Get Free Estimate