How To Install a Shower Pan in Ten Easy Steps

How To install a Shower Pan

Setting up your shower pan can be entertaining stuff. But, without a professional guideline, you may ruin your beautiful shower pan. Don’t worry. Today, I am going to share my experience with you and describe how to install a shower pan correctly.

Table of Contents

Section A: Getting Started

Assemble the Accessories

You will need to assemble the required tools and instruments to install a shower pan in your bathroom. The tools required to install shower base are usually standard home repair kits, and few special items are available in the retail market. To install a shower pan, you will need the following items:

  • A tape to measure distances.
  • To adjust the level, carpenter’s leveller and adjustable pliers
  • Screwdrivers to tighten up the nuts
  • Drill machines and hammers.
  • Caulking tools and silicone caulk.
  • Masking tapes
  • To frame the pan need a square.
  • Screws (According to pan patch)
  • Wooden shines
  • Washer
  • The new shower pan

Measuring the Installation Space

It is the most crucial steps on how to install shower pan briefings. Fine measurements can ease the installation process. Firstly, take the measuring tape and measure the installing space of the pan. Noted down the measurements and use them wisely while purchasing a pan. Your plumber or home décor advisor can help you to select the best size pan according to your bathroom size.

There are some standard-sized pans available in the market in different shapes such as square or rectangle. These pans are also available in different colours. You can choose the shape, size and colour according to your availability of bathroom space.

Preparation of Installation Area

You have to clean the surface where you are planning to install the pan. Clear the dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner or broom. Use a blunt knife to peel of old adhesive residues and caulking.

You will get an instruction manual with the pan. Follow the instruction required for pre-installation a pan. You might need to add a fresh adhesive or colour coating before setting up a shower pan. You will get such instructions from the manual of the manufacturer.

Drying the Area

Drying out the targeted pan installation area is another critical factor. It ensures proper attachment of the shower pan with the base. A wet or damp area can be a propagation source for mildew and mould. Moreover, when you seal the pan with the base, persistent moisture’s residual effect can interfere with adhesives and lead to a faulty sea.

Pre-set the Pan

The shower pan’s set-up area is ready. Now, you need to dry-fit it within the selected space. You might wonder what a dry-fit is? Usually, dry-fit means setting up a pan without any fasteners and adhesives. Do not use any adhesives at this stage; you will lose the freedom of adjustments or re-adjustments.  

Check out if the water outlet matches perfectly with the shower pan’s drainage outlet. If you find any mismatch, readjust the settings. You should not force hard to match up these drain lines, and it may damage the shower base and drain channel, half inches you can consider as a tolerance limit. It is the most critical step for installing a shower pan, and you need to take time to do it.

Drain functions and components vary from one manufacturer to another. In that case, properly follow the sketch provided by the manufacturer to place the pan. Now, we are at the end of the pre-installation step, now let’s move to the installation stage.

Section B: Installation of Shower Pan

Place the Shower Pan

After dry-fitting, if you have removed the pan, reposition the shower base according to the earlier position. Also, make sure the drain line is in the exact place. Take instructions from the manufacturer guide and attach outlet accessories.

In some instances, outlet drains need a small coupler to attach to the end of the tunnel hole and the pan. A compression gasket may be required to slip the outlet channel pipe into the floor.

Other types of the drain might need a connecting extension pre-installed into the drainpipe under the floor. The pan kit you will get with the shower pan, it will carry necessary couplers.

Adjust the Pan Level

Now, your shower pan is completely set. You have to use wood shims and carpenter’s level to level up the pan with the shims. Make necessary adjustments to match with the shims. It is imperative cause higher shim gives trouble in the long run. You need to be sure that the pan is fixed on the concrete base. Minimum shimming might be required if install the pan in the subsurface level. Once this is done, mark down the shower base’s apex where it connects with the studs.

Connecting the Pan with Studs

Precisely follow the instruction provided by the manufacturer’s guide. Avoid screws and nails through the face of the shower base. If the manufacturer specifies it, you can do it.  Temporarily attach the pan by a one and half to two inches with a washer. After that, plug in the screw on the shower pan’s face or lip, so the washer overlays it and holds the pan securely. In any case, never overtighten the screw, it may lead to crack in the pan.

At the end of this step, you need to use the carpenter’s level to confirm the fastening process didn’t displace the shower base off.

Base Fix the Pan

Use silicone caulk for sealing the pan. Seal all surrounding areas of the studs shower base.

First, you can utilize a bit of caulk coating and spread all along with the penetrable locations. Use the required amount of caulk and clean up an unwanted drip of caulk before it dries on the pan. Accidently, if the caulk stain is found after drying, use a blunt plastic knife to peel off.

Do not let the caulk run on the face of the shower base. It can hamper the fittings and sealing of the pans.

You will also require caulking the portions where pan joins the floor. To attain perfect sealing, clean the surface before applying the caulk.

Drying and Sealing

Now, let the caulk dry and check all components are adequately sealed.


With these easy and simple steps, you can save money by installing the pan by yourself. If you are entirely new or first time doing it, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions perfectly.  

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