Best Way To Shim Shower Pan

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by heybeats, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. heybeats

    heybeats New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2021
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Folks,
    I got a Dreamline 32x60 shower pan. I know my subfloor is slightly not level. Some spots may be off by about 1/8". I have dropped a level on the floor and tried to prelevel with shims in advance. When I put the pan down, I can feel some soft spots in the middle where it flexes. And if I step on one side it teeter totters. I just want to get this right before setting it on a bed of mortar as I am not interested in pulling the pan out and redoing it.

    Just wondering what successes you folks had with leveling the shower pan? Any tips or ideas that could be beneficial. My coworker suggested I put some clay or wet towel to see how far down it compresses and that way I can determine what size shim to use.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
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  4. heybeats

    heybeats New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2021
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thank you. It wasn't quite what I was looking for. I ended up getting a hold of composite shims that has little break away tabs and I started marking the area of the stabilizers and transferring to the subfloor so that I had a better idea where to place the shim. I was able to slip the shims in the major area and after some dance dance revolution I was able to fine tune it and get the spots that still felt soft.

    I tried to pre level without the pan, but it didn't quite work out.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Good that you got the shims for the edge. Still, rethink "mortar bed", which brings up the picture of a flat surface to me.
     
  6. heybeats

    heybeats New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2021
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Not sure if I am following you regarding "rethink "mortar bed", which brings up the picture of a flat surface to me"? I was going to lay some down as per the manufacture recommendation. I just didn't want to entirely rely on that to make things right. Its my first rodeo so I really don't have plans to spend more time redoing this.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you are done, fine.

    If not yet done, I suggest that you use the search box above for mortar p1les , except replace the 1 with an i. This is to address the flex in the floor.

    The point is that you cannot shape the mortar to the size and shape you need. The mortar can only shape itself to the ideal height if it can expand sideways when squished.
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Like Reach4 mentions, there is no way to perfectly lay a bed out that matches the bottom of a pan, or the angle of the existing floor.
    You can use a tile blade with groves to lay some mortar down, allowing the mortar to squish out to conform to the pan and floor.
    Shims are set in place first so that you know how far the pan sets down and lines marked on walls.

    You want the pan level so that the tile ups up level with the first row.
    The flooring can cover the gap at the bottom of the pan.
     
  9. heybeats

    heybeats New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2021
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thank you. Good call on the tile leveling on the first row. Ill triple check with my laser level so I don't run into an issue I did think of.
     
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