Shower Pan and Enclosure Choices? Please Help Me Choose

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Hi,

We are still planning our bathroom remodel, and I am trying to decide what to use for our showers.

I will be installing a 32 x 32 shower in the bath upstairs, and a 36" Neo Angle shower in the bath in the basement. I cannot make either shower larger due to bathroom size constraints, so I'm stuck with those dimensions.....

I had considered one of the fiberglass 2 piece (base and the surround) kits, or a kit that consists of a base and three piece sidewalls for the upstairs 32 x 32 shower.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Aquatic-...-in-Shower-Stall-in-White-3232CS-AW/204330589

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Aquatic-...e-Shower-Stall-in-White-13232PPC-WH/100208797

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MUSTEE-D...to-Stud-Shower-Wall-in-White-732WHT/202041505

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MUSTEE-D...reshold-Shower-Floor-in-White-3232M/202041480

For the basement, I was considering a 36" angle base with a two piece sidewall kit.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/DreamLin...eo-Shower-Base-in-White-DLT-2036360/204045719

I have read about pans, tile, Vikrell vs acrylic vs fiberglass etc. and thought that someone here might have some suggestions or could steer me in the direction of a good quality, durable product or solution for my needs. I'm not stuck with the above bases or kits, they are just some that I have considered and have included them as examples. I'm definitely open to just about anything that is good quality and affordable. (Home is 1967 rambler in modest neighborhood - not a McMansion, and my budget is similar.....).

I really don't want to go through all the work to install this and have cracks at the drain or other problems due to low quality, etc.

Thanks very much in advance for any help.

Bluegrass Picker
 

Jadnashua

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The magic key to maximizing the life of something like a fiberglass shower pan (it'll never last as long as a properly installed tiled one) is to ensure that it has full support underneath it. Depending on the design, some won't work long at all if you don't add something like mortar underneath to keep it from flexing. Some have significant ribbing to help support things. But, if the floor isn't perfectly flat and level, the pan can still flex and with flex, the end result is failure. for those packaged units to work reliably, the floor must be leveled (or you bed it in something like mortar) AND your walls to floor must be square (i.e., plumb). Easier to overcome with a tiled installation.
 

Terry

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If you are going with 32", then you may as well pick up a pan and then tile the walls.
Normally the kits take up more room, and you really don't have it to spare.
32" is smaller than code. It's pretty tough if you drop something in there.
 
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Thanks to both of you for your replies.

If I use a pan and then tile the walls, what kind of pan should I look for?

Acrylic, fiberglass, steel with enamel, etc. etc.?

Could someone recommend brand names that I can look for or other ways to identify a quality item?

I'll certainly bed the pan in a healthy layer of mortar. Should I just grab a bag of mortar mix at HD, heap it up where the pan will go and then let the excess ooze out?

Thanks again, the help is sincerely appreciated.

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Terry

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If you use a fiberglass pan like a Florestone, you may be able to just set it down. It depends on how level your floor is. Some of the Sterling units come with a felt pad to set it on. A little bit of mortar or something like that is mainly if things are out of level.
 

Jadnashua

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Enameled steel is a bad choice. Drop something on it, crack the enamel, rust city. Cast iron, FG, or acrylic with probably FG being my last choice. Well, I'd prefer tile, but that's a different ballgame.
 
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