Shower pan install - over plywood or tile?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by ddininio, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. ddininio

    ddininio New Member

    Sep 12, 2008

    I am installing a pre-fab shower pan and need some advice. I have laid a 5/8" plywood over the subfloor for a clean, level tiling surface. The manufacturer says I can install the base directly on the unfinished floor and tile around it. However, there are some opinions that I should install over a finished tile floor. Which should I do?

    One other question: should I lay some thinset mortar under the pan for stability?

    Thanks, Dave in Toronto!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    It will work fine over the plywood. As to putting something underneath, often that is a good idea, but it depends. If you're tiling around it, the walls and floor will lock it in place. But, if the thing doesn't sit flat or has voids underneath, You probably want to put more than thinset under it. Often, they recommend deckmud (a mostly sand and cement mix). The goal is a fully supported (not necessarily adhered) pan that is both level and not able to rock or deflect. If you ever decide to remodel, having it adhered might give you or the remodeler unnecessary fits.
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  4. ddininio

    ddininio New Member

    Sep 12, 2008

    Thank you for the advice. Instead of trusting the plywood to support the base fully, I will use deckmud as an added precaution. Thanks, again.

    Dave in Toronto
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