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Building A Shower Pan -- Getting Started Right

Following this page are detailed instructions for each step required when building a shower pan using the traditional mortar construction methods. Why is a tile shower pan so important? It's because ceramic shower floors are not waterproof.


The grout between the tiles especially does not stop water. Plus, after a few years most shower floors develop cracks in the grout lines. That's a sure place for water to get below the surface of the floor.


That's where the shower pan becomes important.


The traditional masonry shower floor is built up in layers. One of the layers is a waterproof membrane lining that stops the water and routes it to a special shower drain.


In the past, many materials were used as the waterproof layer including copper, tin, lead, and even tar. Sadly, most all of these linings fail over time leading to water damage below and around the shower. Very expensive...


Now the liner is a rubbery, plastic sheet that's built into the shower floor. That's right. It's built right into the floor!!! These liners look like they will last for decades. Getting the liner installed properly is the key to a leak proof shower floor.


Read on for more on building a shower pan...


What comes next is framing the ceramic tile shower.