10 Best Shower Bases of 2019 Shower Pan Reviews & Buying Guide

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10 Best Shower Bases of 2019 Shower Pan Reviews & Buying Guide

So, you’re ready to upgrade your bathroom with a new shower. That’s great! Have you thought about what base you want? We can help. Bathrooms are our thing. We want you to have the best, so we looked at all of the hundreds of bases out there and started weeding out the bad ones.

We were left with the best shower pans. But that’s not good enough for us. We want to offer you the best rated shower bases for your consideration. So we went further and scrutinized the materials, warranties, available sizes, and colors, designs, safety, and prices, to name a few things.

Now we present to you the best shower bases on the market today. Check out our reviews of the best shower pans we could find. Read about how to install them. Peruse our shopping tips. All the information you need to make a choice you’ll be happy with is here. Are ya ready? So are we. Let’s go!

Let’s start at the beginning and look at our picks.

Our Top Recommended Shower Bases

best bathroom wall heater
  • Dreamline Slimline Single Threshold Shower Pan
  • 32"x32"x2 ¾"
  • Acrylic reinforced with fiberglass
  • Price: See Here!
best bathroom wall heater
  • Dreamline Slimline Rectangular Shower Pan
  • 34″x60″x2 ¾”
  • Acrylic reinforced with fiberglass
  • Price: See Here!
best bathroom exhaust fans with light and heater
  • ProFlow Shower Pan With Strainer
  • 32″x32″x6″
  • Composite material
  • Price: See Here!

List of 10 Best Shower Pans on the Market Today:

Features
    • 32″x32″x2 ¾”
    • White, black or biscuit
    • Acrylic reinforced with fiberglass
    • Center drain
    • Limited lifetime workmanship and material warranty

 

acrylic shower base reviewsThis pan is made of acrylic with a fiberglass backing. That makes it light, but strong. It's square with a center drain, so it would be easy to install in new construction as well as a remodel.

There have been a couple of instances of customers receiving their base with small cracks in it. It's unclear whether the cracks came from the manufacturing process, shipping or the customers themselves.

But the cracks have been covered by the limited lifetime warranty.

What Customers Are Saying

People who have installed this pan like its rigidity. They also love the biscuit color! Those who went with white are impressed with how bright it is.
Acrylic shower base reviews are alight with praise for this pan!

Pros and Cons
  • Highly rigid and stable
  • Textured
  • Strong
  • There have been a couple complaints about receiving pans with small cracks, so you’ll have to do a careful inspection when you buy. But workmanship is covered by the warranty

Summary

This is a nice, solid square shower pan that's easy to install. Just be careful to inspect it for damage when you get it. Overall, we think this is the best bath shower base for anyone who wants a square unit.

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Features
    • 34″x60″x2 ¾”
    • White, black or biscuit
    • Acrylic reinforced with fiberglass
    • Left, right or center drain
    • Limited lifetime workmanship and material warranty

 

Here's another pan from Dreamline, the best shower base company, but this one is rectangular. It's made of the same sturdy reinforced acrylic. It shouldn't be much trouble to install, as long as you have a bit of experience in remodeling and make careful measurements.

What Customers Are Saying

Those who prefer rectangular showers really like this one because it gives them options of left, center or right drains. That makes this a versatile pan that can go in just about any remodel. It comes in classic white, contemporary black or Dreamline's signature hue, biscuit.

Pros and Cons
  • Three options for drain placement
  • Tough material
  • Textured
  • With the increase in size comes an increase in price, but it’s still a good value

Summary

You don't have to worry about orientation too much if you consider this shower pan. It's available in three drain positions. It's strong and people are generally happy with it. We like how easy it is to install and how sturdy it feels, even on not-quite-even flooring.

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Features
    • 32″x32″x6″
    • White
    • Composite material
    • Center drain
    • Limited 5-year warranty

 

This square base's composite material is resistant to staining. That's nice because it would be awful to spend money and time on a shower remodel only to have to scrub stains from it. It's deep. That prevents water from getting out onto the floor if it happens to leak between the base and shower door or curtain.

The built-in strainer is a nice touch too. It can't get lost as drop-in strainers can.

What Customers Are Saying

People say that it's a bit difficult to install the drain pipe due to the built-in strainer. But they love the strainer! That's a big plus! Everyone seems very happy with their purchase.

There's not many reports of buyers having to make a warranty claim, but ProFlo has a great customer service reputation.

Pros and Cons
  • Textured
  • Stain resistant
  • Good price
  • Only comes in white
  • Strainer makes installation a little more difficult

Summary

This is a nice affordable square shower pan. It's great for anyone who wants a cheap, but high-quality, base. Too bad it only comes in white.

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Features
    • 34″x54″x5 ½”
    • White, bone or bisque
    • Made of veritek, a proprietary material
    • Center drain
    • Limited lifetime warranty

 

Swanstone R-3454-010 Veritek Center Drain Shower Base, 34-Inch by 54-Inch by 5-1/2-Inch, WhiteHere's an awesome, albeit expensive, shower base that would be right at home in a mansion. It's made of veritek, a compression-molded material that requires no coating.

We like that because it means there's nothing to peel or chip. Since the drain is molded as part of the pan, there is no need for caulking.

Not only does that make installation easier, but there isn't any caulk to discolor or mildew.

What Customers Are Saying

Buyers are impressed with the veritek material. They also feel like the molded drain will never leak. Shower pan reviews by those who've had one for a while confirm this base's mildew resistance.

Pros and Cons
  • Molded drain
  • Mildew resistant
  • No coating to deteriorate
  • High priced

Summary

This high-end shower pan will last for years without mildewing, peeling or leaking. It's well-made and designed to last for a lifetime.

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Features
    • 32″x32″x5 ½”
    • Veritek
    • White, bone or bisque
    • Center drain
    • Limited lifetime warranty

 

We're glad that Swanstone makes this square pan just as it does the rectangular ones. This one's just as strong and has the same mildew resistance.

What Customers Are Saying

Everyone who owns one of Swanstone's Veritek bases is happy with it years after installation. People are pleased that they're available as square pans!

Pros and Cons
  • Made of same Veritek material as the rectangular base
  • Will not mildew
  • Tight tolerances
  • Expensive

Summary

This square pan has the quality you'd expect from Swanstone. It also has the price you would expect. But it's a very high-quality pan that will last for many years without discoloring or peeling.

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Features
    • 30″x30″x6″
    • White
    • Gel-coated fiberglass
    • Center drain
    • 30-year limited warranty

 

This is the best shower base for tile walls. There's a flange going around the entire top edge of the pan to accept the tile. This makes installing the tile easy. It also means that you'll use less caulk and grout.

The gel-coated fiberglass construction is very strong and stands up to abuse. It would take a lot to crack or chip it. It's also easy to clean.

What Customers Are Saying

DIYers love how this base is made to make installation with tiles easy. Everyone else is happy that it's designed to prevent water from building up and sitting where the tile meets the pan.

Pros and Cons
  • Built specifically for tile walls
  • Very durable
  • Resists mildew
  • A bit pricey for a square pan

Summary

If you plan on putting tile up on your shower walls, the aggravation you'll be spared during the tile installation will more than make up for the bit of extra money you'll spend on this base.

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Features
    • 36″x36″x5 ½”
    • White, bone or bisque
    • Veritek material
    • Center drain
    • Limited lifetime warranty

 

Swanstone R-3636-010 Veritek Center Drain Shower Base, 36-Inch by 36-Inch by 5-1/2-Inch, WhiteAt 16 square inches bigger than the other Swanstone Veritek base, this one will give you the extra room you need. Just be sure you have enough room for installation.

It has a built-in tile flange. That's great if you plan on a tile shower wall and want to do it yourself.

All other Veritek benefits apply here, so you can be assured of durability and beauty in any bathroom.

What Customers Are Saying

People who have Swanstone Veritek pans in their bathrooms are satisfied customers, and that holds true with this particular base as well. Everyone likes the extra room. DIYers appreciate the built-in tile flange as well.

Pros and Cons
  • Strong and durable
  • Stands up to mildew and mold
  • Too big for some square installations – measure carefully!

Summary

This base has the great combination of Swanstone quality and an integral tile flange. It has all the same great features as other bases in the Veritek line. This may be a good choice for you if you want legendary quality, good looks and easy installation with tile.

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Features
    • 32″x48″x6″
    • Black with brushed nickle drain plate
    • Stainless steel
    • Center drain
    • 3-year limited warranty

 

WoodBridge SBR4834 Tileable, 48"W x 34"DThis black stainless steel base is ready to be tiled. The flashing and tile adhesive is even included with purchase. We like the steel brushed Nickle finish of the square drain plate.

It goes well with any color or style of tile you may choose.

You won't have to do any extensive floor prep. It installs just like any other shower base, except you'll have to install the aluminum flashing to prevent leaks.

It's truly the best shower base for tile, especially if you're going to do the tile work yourself.

What Customers Are Saying

Buyers like being able to save up to $900 on the professional installation of their tiled shower.
They're impressed with the quality as well. Most pans are made of acrylic, fiberglass or composite, but this one is steel. People really love that!

Pros and Cons
  • Steel construction
  • Includes the adhesive and flashing you need
  • Lets you save a lot of money on installation
  • Must be tiled – can’t be used as a finished base

Summary

Gone are the days when having a tiled shower floor meant paying a professional almost $1000. This base takes a lot of the work out of doing it yourself by removing the floor preparation aspect of the job.

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Features
    • 36″x60″x3″
    • Polished chrome color
    • Center drain
    • Polyurethane
    • 1-year limited warranty

 

Tile Redi USA - Base’N Bench P3648C-RB36-KIT Tileable Shower Pan & Seat - Flashing & Epoxy Included 60 Inches x 36 Inches Polished ChromeThis is a rectangular shower base with a seat. It's made of thin polyurethane. To install it, you first have to prepare the subfloor and spread mortar as a base.

Then you place the pan. After you set the pan in the mortar, you have to build the seat with the included kit. Finally, you install the flashing and tile the pan and seat. It takes time and some experience.

Plan on this being a weekend project. You can't get it done in one day.

What Customers Are Saying

People are generally happy with their purchase, but they often comment that installation was much more work than they thought. On the bright side, they are pleased that this pan is available in several sizes and drain orientations.

Pros and Cons
  • Tile adhesive and flashing included
  • Ready to tile
  • Available in several sizes
  • Installation is difficult
  • Expensive

Summary

It's easier to create a shower with a seat if you have this base and kit. But be careful. It's not as easy as installing any of the other pans that we've reviewed here. It takes some skill with mortar. If you have the necessary skills, this product should make you happy.

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Features
    • 48″x36″x5 ½”
    • Almond, white, basalt, biscuit or thunder grey
    • Cast iron
    • Center drain
    • Limited lifetime warranty

 

Kohler K-9026-47 Purist Shower Receptor, 48" X 36", AlmondHere's the most durable shower base. It's solid cast iron. The enamel may chip one day, but there are repair kits available. It's easier to fix chipped enamel than it is to replace a chipped tile.

It's so much easier to keep clean as well. There's nothing to mildew. A good sponge mop and some bathroom cleaner are all you should ever need for cleaning. This thing weighs 180 pounds, so installation is a two-person job.

Most enamel is slippery, but this base has a special no-slip texture in a unique pattern. A steam generator is available from Kohler and is compatible with this base, as long as it is installed as part of a totally enclosed shower stall.

What Customers Are Saying

Everyone who bought and installed this base is wowed by the sheer weight. People rave about how solid it feels.
Those who have had theirs for a while say that it has held up fine, as you would expect from iron.

Pros and Cons
  • Super strong and durable
  • Several colors available

Summary

This shower base will last forever. In fact, it will probably last as long as your house. It's strong, thick and heavy. It feels like an old-timey shower under your feet with no bounce at all. If you've got nearly a thousand dollars to spend on a great base and want the most durable, this may be for you.

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Tips on Choosing the Best Shower Base

Keep these tips in mind when deciding on which base to choose.

Look for a Warranty

Even if you pick a tough base from a reputable manufacturer, you may notice a flaw or even a defect when you install it or shortly thereafter. This is why you should get a pan with at least a material and workmanship warranty. You don't need a very long one. 30 days is good, but a year is excellent.

Check the Exchange Policy

What if you finally get your new shower base, but you decide you don't like it when you finally see it in your bathroom? It's best to get a pan from a seller that allows you to exchange the product if you change your mind.

DreamLine SlimLine 34 in. D x 60 in. W x 2 3/4 in. H Right Drain Single Threshold Shower Base in WhiteBe Careful of the Drain Position

Some drains are in the center of the base. Others are off to the side. If the drain hole and the drainpipe don't like up when you go to install the base, you're in for some extra plumbing work!

You may be OK with this. But if you want to avoid extra work, be sure that the drain placement jives with your plumbing situation.

Think About Depth Beforehand

This is something that many people never think about until it's too late. Shower bases come in several depths. Some even double as bathtubs. You can get any depth you like. This factor doesn't affect installation all that much.

But you should know what depth you want before deciding on everything else.

DreamLine SlimLine 34 in. D x 60 in. W x 2 3/4 in. H Right Drain Single Threshold Shower Base in WhiteTexturing is a Plus

One common regret after purchasing a shower pan is not getting one that's textured. Even if you get a pan made of the best shower base material, you should make sure there's some safety texture on the floor.

The texture is what gives your feet traction so you don't fall.

Sure, you can buy adhesive textured appliques, but they sometimes look out of place. Use them if you prefer, but know what you're getting when you place your order.

What to Consider When Choosing a Shower Pan

Shower bases last for a long time. Therefore, you have to choose carefully. You don't want to live for years with a regret, and you don't want to start the entire project over again because you changed your mind.
Think about the following shower pan features while considering all the options out there.

Shape

Tile Redi USA - Base’N Bench P3648C-RB36-KIT Tileable Shower Pan & Seat - Flashing & Epoxy Included 60 Inches x 36 Inches Polished ChromeMost shower pans come in three shapes: rectangular, square and pentangle. Let's look at each one.

If you're just replacing an existing shower base and want it to be a quick and easy job, you'll naturally go with whatever shape of pan you're pulling out.

But if you're doing a remodel, you have options!

Square pans save space. This can make your bathroom feel roomier and more open. That's great for a minimalist style.

But square ones are smaller and give you less room inside the shower.

That's bad if you like bigger, full-sized showers. Rectangular bases offer the most space inside, but they take up at least twice as much bathroom space as square pans.

You have to decide what is more important to you. Do you want more room inside the shower, or do you want a roomier bathroom? Pentangle bases are basically square ones with one corner cut out. They offer all the advantages of a square shape, but they offer a bit more room outside.

The obvious trade-off is slightly less room on the interior.

Material

Stone and marble look and feels great, but it is expensive. Faux stone is cheaper and easier to work with because it's lighter, but it doesn't have the natural feel of real stone. Plastic is cheap and light. It is pretty durable, but it can chip and crack over time.

Fiberglass is tougher than plastic and a little more expensive, but it's just as easy to work with.

Some plastic pans are reinforced with fiberglass or sometimes other types of backings. These types of pans are a step up from regular plastic in terms of durability, but they are just as easy to work with. They're a bit higher in price though.

Ceramic is the traditional shower material. It is expensive and heavy. It can also crack or shatter if impacted. But it's a great choice if you want a compromise between natural material and a traditional look and feel.

Style

This is the fun part. There are countless styles available. Choose a color and texture that matches your bathroom. If you're redoing your whole bathroom, you can start with a shower pan style you like and model the rest of your bathroom after it!

How to Install a Shower Pan

Are you going to install your new shower base yourself?

You can do it, as long as you have intermediate DIY home improvement skills. You'll also need some tools and materials. Every installation is a little different. Here's a set of basic instructions on how to do it, but keep in mind that some skills are required.

It'll be good to have a friend with some experience help of you've never done anything like this before.

Tools and Materials
  • Tape measure
  • Claw hammer
  • Drill and a set of bits
  • Caulk gun
  • Screwdrivers
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Pipe putty
  • Pipe cement
  • Caulk
  • Tub spouts
  • Backer board
  • Shower board
  • Shower board adhesive

Remove Existing Shower Pan

This is obviously unnecessary for new installations. But if you have to remove an existing base, start by prying any nails that hold the base in place away.

Remove the drain and flange.

Then pry the base up. Be sure to scrape away as much of the old adhesive as you can. If you're replacing the shower board as well, pry it off and scrape the glue off the wall.

Make Sure the Floor is Level

Use your carpenter's level. Lay it across the floor where your new pan is going at several angles. If the floor isn't level, you'll have to take care of that before installing the shower pan.

Fit the Pan

Use your tape measure to check the dimensions of your space. Then measure the pan to be sure of a correct fit.
Before doing anything else, place the pan into its future home to be sure of a proper fit. It should be very snug, with less than ¼" gap between each wall.

Test Install Pan and Fittings

Now that you know your base fits, make sure everything else does too. Put the drain flange onto the drain pipe. Place the pan in place so the flange is directly underneath the shower drain. Now place the shower drain through the drain hole and into the drain flange. Everything should fit together well.

If there are any gaps in the plumbing, you may need to install extensions. Now you can reassemble everything using the pipe cement. Be sure the pan is square in place and tighten everything securely. Now be sure that the pan is even in its spot.

All gaps should be equal. Shim the gaps between pan and wall and use galvanized nails to secure the pan to the walls through pre-drilled holes in the pan. Now that your pan is installed, it's time to put up the backer and shower boards!
Now Do it!

You've learned how to install a shower pan.

You've browsed our tips and studied the reviews, so you know what to look for when shopping for the best shower base. There's only one thing left to do. Make a choice and get on your way to an awesomely upgraded bathroom!

You're going to be amazed at how something as seemingly simple as a new shower pan can give your bathroom and your home a brand new, refreshing look and feel.

And just think about how it will boost your home's value. Not to mention how your family and guests will be impressed. And if you install it yourself, you'll have some serious new DIY bragging rights! The feeling of satisfaction you'll have after seeing this project through to its end is almost rewarded enough.

But you can't finish if you don't get started.

Don't procrastinate. Buy your new shower pan today!