Shower Pans

Old 09-08-14, 07:17 AM
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Shower Pans

We are getting a master bath remodel. Mostly its installing a new larger shower. The contractor we chose wants to use a cast iron shower pan. I really did not want a tile shower floor. I don't like to clean the grout and since I'm replacing a leaky shower, I want to be SURE I don't have leaks. I was expecting a nice heavy duty solid surface pan.

My question is what is the best material given my situation? I'm concerned cast iron, I'm assuming enamel coated, will be like a kitchen sink. Nice and heavy, but subject to chips, scratches and stains. Another contractor showed me the Onyx Collection shower pan which seemed pretty nice.

Any suggestions here?
Old 09-08-14, 02:34 PM
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I've never seen a cast iron pan, and don't think I'd want one either. For the reasons you mentioned. I don't even like steel tubs, though the old heavy CI soaking type can be pretty nice.
Old 09-10-14, 02:43 PM
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Kohler makes a cast iron shower pan. It's kinda pricey (~$800 or so) compared to the cheaper fiberglass and acrylic shower pans. I've also heard that the little anti-slip things on the Kohler Salient cast iron pans are very difficult to clean. I was in Dome Depot a few weeks ago and also saw a steel shower pan in a white color made by a company called Bootz. The price was quite reasonable at about $180-$200. The other suggestion about Onyx may be a good one, but Onyx shower pans are ultra expensive at around $1800 or so!

I think one of the big advantages of the cast iron or steel shower pans is that, unlike fiberglass or acrylic shower pans, cast iron and steel are so stiff and heavy, they won't flex when you stand in the shower. Of course, a builder could always pour a bed of mortar before setting a fiberglass or acrylic shower pan to alleviate some of the flexing issue. If I am not mistaken, flex in the shower pan is not a good thing because over time, wall tile and grout may crack which would lead to leaks.

There is always the custom mortar tile bed shower pan, but that also comes with a cost. And each and every step is critical for a leak free shower. It's easy even for pros not to do a step or two appropriately. And then after a few years, your shower starts to leak. And then, you'd possibly have to rip it all out and start over.

So, in my mind this leads us back to a custom mortar tile shower bed, or an acrylic shower pan set in mortar for added stability/stiffness. I'm in the same boat as the original poster, and am kinda leaning towards doing a custom mortar tile shower bed, but if there is a decent acrylic shower base out there then I might do that and just tile the walls.

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