Why Replace Shower Pan?


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Old 02-19-08, 04:03 AM
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Why Replace Shower Pan?

I'm in the middle of an (almost) complete remodel of the master bath, including expanding it into what used to be the laundry room in order to install a soaking tub in that area. All new fixtures also, and new floor and wall tile throughout. Everything is being affected EXCEPT the shower pan, which seems to be in good condition. On another thread, someone stated that these should be checked over and possibly replaced. As long as they are in decent shape, and can be cleaned up, is there any reason to replace them (this is original construction in a 30 y.o. house). As long as the drain still works, there's nothing to wear out under there, like a wax ring under a toilet is there? Just hoping to avoid any unnecessary work!
 
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Old 02-19-08, 06:11 AM
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Hi Poncho

On the surface, the pan may look good but shower pans definitely have a useful life and if yours is 30 years old or so I'd replace it. You really cant tell from the tile surface if the pan is in good shape or not. You really dont know if you will get another 5 years 10 years or what out of it. Its not that much more work and gives you the peace of mind to know that it will last long enough to be someone elses headache next time around. Other than that it looks good on the surface, what else do you know about it. Waterproofing in a shower pan happens below the surface of the tile where you cant see. Tile and grout are not waterproof. Here's a link to how shower pans are built. It may give you some additional insight. That said, who knows your shower pan could last another 100 years, who knows?

http://www.ontariotile.com/preslope.html
 
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Old 02-19-08, 07:00 AM
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I should have explained that the "pan" I mentioned is plastic, not tile/grout. Does that make any difference? No signs of any cracking or existing damage underneath or around it (even though the old shower tiles were installed right over drywall, with mastic BTW, i.e. everything that isn't in tune with the recs on here.....there was a little bit of leakage through tiles outside the shower into the wall, but no serious damage noted).

Anyway, it is a plastic pan/tray and seems to be in good shape, from what I've read about how they're installed, it would seem like a PITA to replace it if not actually necessary.
 
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Old 02-19-08, 08:18 AM
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Poncho

Only you can assess the actual condition of the pan and make that call. If you like what you have and think that it will last a long time then go with it. Removing a tiled surround and replacing it will be a much harder task then replacing the pan. If the 30 year old pan fails, you will be tearing out some of the new work to get the pan out. Usually, the hardest thing about replacing those pans is finding a new one that will fit. If you can find one that will fit there really isnt much to do.
 
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Old 02-19-08, 10:56 AM
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From what I've read, it appears that the plastic needs to be installed over a mortar bed, which means I would have to remove both the existing pan and all the mortar then find a new one the same size and put it back the same way. I've already installed the new cement board (over a vapor barrier) in the shower walls, right over the old shower pan; obviously it could still be changed out but my wife is pushing me to "get R done" since this project has already taken over a month and it will probably be a few weeks before its done.

Anyway, the pan is in good shape, it doesn't seem that the risk is very high that anything will happen to change that in the foreseeable future, so I'm inclined to let it go, take the risk of having to take out the lowest row of tiles sometime in the future to replace it if it become necessary. (If I hadn't already progressed that far already, I would probably bite the bullet and rip it out)
 
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Old 02-19-08, 11:17 AM
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What looks fine and in good shape compared to the rest of the 30 year old installation will likely stand out like a sore thumb when surrounded by all new materials.
 
 

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