- 1 Top Shower Bases
- 2 Shower Base Buying Guide
- 3 Best Shower Pans and Bases Comparison Chart
- 4 Wrap Up
Let’s be serious, only a few people have the necessary time to take a bath every single day. Most of us jump into the tub just to take a quick shower. This is why finding the best shower base is important. Unlike a bathtub, a shower base is easier to clean and maintain, and it might even look better in your bathroom.
You should consider installing a shower instead of a bathtub if you’re redecorating or renovating your bathroom. If you don’t like the shower base models available on the market, it’s not difficult to find the best shower pan which would fit your design and install tiles over it instead of doing it directly on the floor.
In the following article, we will present the best 6 shower bases and pans money can buy, and reveal their advantages and disadvantages. Read our quick buying guide to find out how to stop the right one for your bathroom.
Top Shower Bases
- DreamLine Slimline 36 x 48 Shower Base
- PRICE $
- Dimensions : 36 x 48 x 2.8 inches
- Color : White
- Style : Single Threshold Shower Base
- Material : Acrylic capped ABS
- Weight : 40 pounds
- Kohler Shower Receptor With Seat
- PRICE $$$$
- Dimensions : 32 x 60 x 21.1 inches
- Color : White
- Style : Neo-traditional design
- Material : Acrylic
- Weight : 95 pounds
- Barrier Free Living Shower Pan
- PRICE $$$
- Dimensions : 60 x 43 x 36 inches
- Color : White
- Style : Step-in design
- Material : Fiberglass
- Weight : 78 pounds
- Dreamline 36 x 60 Shower Base
- PRICE $$
- Dimensions : 36 x 60 x 2.8 inches
- Color : White
- Style : Single Threshold Shower Base
- Material : Acrylic capped ABS
- Weight : 46 pounds
- Tile Redi 37 x 72 Shower Pan
- PRICE $$$$$
- Dimensions : 37 x 72 x 6.5 inches
- Color : Black
- Style : Contemporary
- Material : Polyurethane
- Weight : 29 pounds
- Swanstone Shower Floor
- PRICE $$
- Dimensions : 32 x 60 x 4.3 inches
- Color : White
- Style : Single Threshold Shower Floor
- Material : Compression-molded materials
- Weight : 56 pounds
DreamLine Slimline 36 x 48 Shower Base
This shower base is made out of high-quality acrylic. The acrylic is stain and scratch resistant, and the floor has a textured pattern so you won’t slip while showering. The base has a clean, polished look and a low-profile design.
The base of this shower tray is reinforced with fiberglass for increased durability. Integrated tile flanges are present on three of the shower base’s sides. This will allow you to fit the shower base in a corner or in an alcove without any problems. The shower pan’s opening is specially designed to fit a standard compression drain.
- PVC Rings For Structural Support – PVC rings are placed on the back of the shower base to provide structural support. These rings distribute the weight pressing on the shower base evenly, so it will be able to withstand more pressure.
- Lifetime Warranty – This product benefits from a lifetime warranty. The unlimited warranty period is a proof of the manufacturer’s trust in the product.
- Damaged Products – Some customers complained that their products arrived damaged. Fortunately, you have a lifetime warranty that will help with changing the product for a new undamaged one.
Kohler Shower Receptor With Seat
This high-quality shower base has an integrated seat. You can choose between a right or a left-hand drain, depending on your preference. The shower base has an elegant design and it will fit most bathrooms, from those with a classical design to the more modern ones.
The integrated seat is 18” high, just enough to offer a comfortable stop to wash upon. The shower base has an integral flange on three of the sides, so you will be able to fit it in a corner or in an alcove without any difficulties.
- Nice Design – Most shower base manufacturers don’t really think about design, they only consider the practical side of the product. This is not the case with this shower pan. The product has an elegant design which will make a great addition to most bathrooms.
- Integrated Seat – The integrated seat will be helpful when you wash. You can either use it for sitting or if you don’t like sitting when showering you can just use it as a support for soap and shampoo.
- Packing Problems – Some customers complained that the shower base was poorly packed, so it arrived scratched at its destination.
Barrier Free Living Shower Pan
This is a great looking shower pan. It’s not very large, so you will be able to fit easily in a bathroom. Three sides of the shower base have an integral flange, so you will be able to install the unit in a corner or an alcove and create a nice transition from the base to the tiles on the wall.
The shower base’s floor has a textured surface, so you will have better traction on it. The bottom of the shower pan is self-supporting and pre-leveled, so it will eliminate all the water and the dirt easily.
The shower pan has a polyester gel coat finish that gives it a tile look. This will make the pan fit into the decor of most bathrooms.
- 30 Year Warranty – This shower pan comes with a 30-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about quality. As a general rule, products with a longer warranty period have a good quality.
- Can Be Used With Shower Doors – This shower pan can be used with shower doors without making any adjustments.
- Price is a little steep – This shower pan has almost the same price as other, larger units.
Dreamline 36 x 60 Shower Base
This shower base has a slip resistant textured floor, so you’ll have lower chances of falling during the shower. The base is made out of top-notch acrylic. The acrylic is resistant to stains and scratches and it improves the base’s durability.
The shower base is made out of three layers. The first layer is a white acrylic, the second one made out of fiberglass, and the third is the structural support foundation. The fiberglass and the support foundation further increase the base’s durability, so it will be able to withstand more pressure.
There are three models of this shower base, each of them having the drain positioned in another part. You can choose between having the drain on the right, left, or middle of the base.
- Lifetime Warranty – This product comes with a lifetime warranty. This warranty will help if the unit doesn’t work as it should.
- Integrated Tile Flange – The tile flange will allow you to install the unit easier. Once the unit is installed, this flange will keep the splashed water from reaching the floor.
- Damaged Goods – Some customers complained that their products were damaged when they arrived. You should take a good look at the product when you get it and change it if it’s damaged.
Tile Redi 37 x 72 Shower Pan
This shower pan comes with an integrated curb which will drain all the water quickly, with splash walls and a 2” drain. The shower pan is easy to install and it’s also leak proof.
You can put the tile directly on the surface of the shower pan without extra waterproofing. This shower pan also comes with epoxy for tile setting and a chromed drain plate.
This shower pan eliminates a headache, labor, and expense you have to put into pouring a shower pan. It even comes with a box of tile setting material for the wall and one for the floor tiles.
- Easy To Install – This shower pan is very easy to install and it comes with all the materials you need to get the job done. You won’t need anything else than packs of tile.
- Great Customer Service – You don’t have to worry about changing a product if it arrives damaged. This company’s customer service is great and they will send you another now one without any trouble.
- Pricey – Even though this is a great product, especially if you’re remodeling your whole bathroom, it does come at a price.
Swanstone Shower Floor
This shower base is made out of Veritek. Veritek is a composite material that doesn’t need a surface coating, so you can be sure it won’t chip or crack over time. The white color of the material runs through the whole product, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.
The composite material used to produce this shower base is mold and mildew resistant, so you don’t have to worry about stains. The floor has a pebbled aspect and it’s slip-resistant.
Since the whole shower base is compression molded, there is no need for tiles or grout. This makes the shower base very easy to clean and maintain. It also makes the shower base more durable than those made out of different materials.
- Mold And Mildew Resistant – The material used for producing this shower base is resistant to mold and mildew buildups. This is a great feature, as you won’t have to clean it very often.
- No Coating – The composite material is already white, so it doesn’t need coating. This will extend the product’s lifetime because the coating is usually the first one to deteriorate.
- Delivery Problems – Some customers complained that their products were damaged at delivery. Make sure you check the product, as the warranty should cover all defects.
Shower Base Buying Guide
The shower floor is the most important component of the shower. It doesn’t matter if you invest in a good shower liner, a shower curtain, or even in shower doors if the floor is leaking. That’s why finding the right shower base is very important. The following section will explain what to look for in a shower base or a shower pan.
What Type Of Material Should I Choose For My Shower Base?
There are multiple types of materials used for shower bases, and all of them have different advantages and disadvantages.
- Acrylic – Most manufacturers use acrylic for their bases. The reason behind this decision is the multitude of advantages acrylic bases offer.
First of all, acrylic bases are lightweight. You don’t need a team of people to help you get the base up to the bathroom, you can do it with only one helper.
Second, they are easy to install. Their light weight is a major factor in the ease of the installation. You don’t need a team to install an . Once you have it in the position you want, only one person can handle the entire installing operation.
. Once you have it in the position you want, only one person can handle the entire installing operation.
Despite their light weight, acrylic shower bases are very durable. They can withstand a lot of pressure, and they take their share of knocks and drops.
Acrylic shower pans are easy to maintain. They don’t have tiles or grout, so they’re easy to clean. You can also use almost every cleaning product you can find on acrylic surfaces without damaging them.
An acrylic shower base is good at heat retention. This means the base will absorb some of the water’s warmth and retain it, so you will have warm feet while showering.
- Steel – Steel shower bases have fallen out of popularity in the last decade. They are very efficient, but what they gain in efficiency they lose in aspect and design.
The main advantage of using a steel shower base is that they are very easy to maintain. Mold and mildew don’t grow on steel, so you won’t have any problems with them. Steel is also very durable, so you can use most of the cleaning products you can find on it without harming it. There are some cleaning substances that can harm steel because they scratch it.
Steel shower bases are very durable, but they’re also heavy. Installing them can be difficult, especially when you need to install them in tight spaces.
- Tile – Tile is a very popular material in the shower base business. Many people use tile for their shower pans because of its many advantages.
Tile is a versatile material. People usually use ceramic tiles, but you can also use marble, onyx, or stone tiles. This allows you to create unique and exquisite designs.
Tiles come in different textures, shapes, and colors so it’s easy to understand why people use them all over the world for their shower bases. Most tiles are also very good at retaining heat, so they will warm your legs when you shower. Their texture can be different, but you can use tiles to create no-slip surfaces for increased grip.
Tiles also come at vastly different prices. Ceramic tiles are cheaper, while stone, marble, and onyx tiles can be very expensive. Even though they might be more expensive, the latter materials are better looking, so they would be the better choice for elegant bathrooms.
- Composite – Shower bases can be made out of different composite materials. These composites can be specially developed for a shower pan, or they can be used for multiple purposes. Some of them are used to produce all kind of bathroom related products, from shower bases to shower walls, doors, or stands.
Each composite material has its own characteristics, but most of them are lightweight, durable, and easy to maintain. They are usually mold and mildew repellent, so you won’t have problems with stains. They are usually white, but their texture will mask the stains caused by hard water, sometimes even those caused by soap scum.
Their price varies, but they’re usually priced similar to acrylic shower bases, sometimes even cheaper.
- Fiberglass – Don’t be fooled by the name. Fiberglass in a versatile material used in many products, but it’s not a great material for shower bases.
Fiberglass shower bases are coated. This coating is usually thin, and it’s easy to scratch, fade, or crack. As soon as the coating wears off or is damaged, the shower base starts looking old.
Shower pans made out of fiberglass are also difficult to clean and maintain. The coating is usually easy to stain, so you will need to clean it frequently to keep it looking brand new.
However, there are some advantages for using fiberglass shower bases. Probably the main advantage is their low price. They are usually the cheapest models available on the market, so people still buy them.
Another advantage is the weight. They are lightweight, so installing them won’t be too difficult.
What Should I Look For In a Shower Base?
It’s not easy to find a good shower pan, especially if you don’t have any previous experience with buying one. Here is a list of features you should look for.
- Integrated Tile Flanges – They might not seem like much, but the integrated tile flanges are very important in a shower base. They role is to offer a nice and smooth transition between the edge of the shower base and the surrounding walls. These tile flanges are usually covered with grout so the water will not leak between them and the wall to reach the floor.
- Stain Resistance – All the materials used for shower bases can get stained eventually, no matter how resistant they are. But there is a difference between cleaning the shower once every week and having to clean it after each shower. The more stain resistance a surface has, the less frequent it will develop stains, so you’ll have to clean it less often.
- Mold And Mildew Resistance – Many materials used for producing shower pans are resistant to mold and mildew development. This is a great feature because the bacteria that develop mold and mildew are a heath risk. If you spend time in a moldy room you can develop allergies and breathing problems.
- Warranty – You should always look for a shower base with an extended warranty period. The longer the period, the better. Keep in mind that the warranty won’t cover all the nicks and scratches you make, but it will cover the malfunction of the unit.
Should I Set a Price Limit When Buying a Shower Base?
There is no certain answer to this question, but most home decorators agree that you should not be cheap when buying a shower base. You should be willing to spend as much as you need to find the best product you can find for your bathroom.
The best unit for your bathroom can mean a lot of different things for different people. Some people are better off buying a fiberglass or an acrylic shower base, while for other people it would be better to buy a shower base with a marble floor.
You should always buy the shower pan that will fit your bathroom better, no matter how much it costs.
How To Clean And Maintain Your Shower Base
Cleaning and maintaining your shower base is done differently depending on the material it’s made of.
Fiberglass shower bases are harder to clean and maintain, and it would be better if you cleaned them twice a week. If you let a stain develop on this surface, you might need to employ some elbow grease to get rid of it.
Acrylic and steel shower bases are easy to clean and maintain. You can use almost every cleaning product on them, and you don’t need to do it very often. Once every week should be enough, but you can do it even rarer if you don’t use the shower every day.
Tile shower bases are more difficult to clean and maintain because mold and mildew can develop on and between them. You will need to buy a cleaning solution capable of removing and stopping mold and mildew from developing.
Should I Choose a Shower Pan Or Should I Go With Tiling?
Both the shower pan and the floor tiling have advantages and disadvantages.
One of the advantages of using a shower pan is the quick installation process. You put the pan into position, rig up the plumbing, and that’s it.
Another advantage is the easy cleaning and maintaining. You can wash most shower pans with a simple cleaning product and get rid of all the stains.
A tile floor has the advantage of looking great. There are a lot of tile models and designs, so you can build a unique shower floor with a little inspiration.
Tiling the floor is more difficult than installing a shower pan, but the process can actually be fun if you’re a handy person and you develop your own design.
Cleaning and maintaining the tile floor is more difficult than cleaning a shower base. Mold and mildew can grow on the tiles and on the grout between them. You might need a special solution to clean the mold. There are substances that will inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, and using them will make the cleaning process easier.
Best Shower Pans and Bases Comparison Chart
|DreamLine Slimline 36 x 48 Shower Base||$||36 x 48 x 2.8 inches||White||Single Threshold Shower Base||Acrylic capped ABS||40 pounds|
|Kohler Shower Receptor With Seat||$$$$||32 x 60 x 21.1 inches||White||Neo-traditional design||Acrylic||95 pounds|
|Barrier Free Living Shower Pan||$$$||60 x 43 x 36 inches||White||Step-in design||Fiberglass||78 pounds|
|Dreamline 36 x 60 Shower Base||$$||36 x 60 x 2.8 inches||White||Single Threshold Shower Base||Acrylic capped ABS||46 pounds|
|Tile Redi 37 x 72 Shower Pan||$$$$$||37 x 72 x 6.5 inches||Black||Contemporary||Polyurethane||29 pounds|
|Swanstone Shower Floor||$$||32 x 60 x 4.3 inches||White||Single Threshold Shower Floor||Compression-molded materials||56 pounds|
Now that you know all there is about showers, it won’t be difficult to find the best shower pan for your bathroom. Unlike building a shower from scratch, installing a shower pan is easy. They are also easier to clean and maintain.
Finding the best shower base is not difficult if you know what to look for. Our comprehensive buying guide will help you decide on the material used for the base, the features a good shower tray should have, and the advantages of using one instead of a tile shower.
Most people think that buying a shower base is more expensive that building one, but that’s far from the truth. The variety of materials, sellers, and manufacturers have brought the prices down, so now everyone can afford to buy one.
After reading our buying guide you will be able to make an informed decision on the type of shower base you need.