Isn't it great to spend some quite time all by yourself in the shower! A dry and clean bathroom can be your own personal space and let you rejuvenate after a long day's work. A good drainage system helps your bathroom stay dry and hygienic. Your shower pan has a role to ensure that waste water is drained out from the shower effectively and your bathroom's left with nothing but a scintillating appearance.
As you know, a shower base is a long-term yet a worthy investment. So you have to make your choice carefully.
To help you with that, we reviewed the most popular models in today's market and listed down the top 10 choices after a thorough testing procedure. We believe you will be able to find the best shower pan from our findings. Read on and make your choice!
Why You Should Trust Us
Before we show you our research findings, first we would like to discuss about our credibility. You may be thinking who gave these guys the authority to review these products. Well, considering you're not already familiar with the Toilets Guide team, we're a bunch of architects, building designers, home renovation consultants, interior designers, plumbers, and homeowners based in the USA.
We're passionate about what we do and we believe our years of experience in the industry can help people upgrade their living standard with the right home decor ideas and products. This is the reason we launched this site around 5 years ago and since then, we've been publishing how-to blogs, product reviews, and buying guides on a regular basis.
Our huge audience is a concrete evidence that our effort didn't go in vain. We believe you too will be benefited if you check out this website. However, it's also crucial to mention that we're not affiliated with any brands and we don't do this for monetary gain alone. As said above, we do this because we love this keeping in mind the benefits of our audience.
How Did We Pick These Products?
We spent more than 72 hours doing proper research on the web which led us to pick top 20 choices in the market. We first had more than that but due to some factors, we left out a few of them. And for every item, we had set criteria to look at. That included the material and durability, size, ease of cleaning and maintenance, installation, design and style, waterproof base, stain and scratch resistance, integration with other systems, versatility, and cost.
We made sure that each of these models matched with our considerations. After that, it was time for us to test them. For quality results, we couldn’t test all of them at once. So we included a team of volunteers that helped us with the testing process. Each unit was tested in a period of 3 months for maximum results.
The reason we had to do it for that period was to see how durable the materials were and how reliable those models really were. With our own findings as well as those from our volunteers, we eventually shortlisted the top 10 choices.
In the last step, we got in touch with other industry experts to get their valuable feedback. As expected, all of them were more or less positive about our findings that ensured us that what we did was 100% reliable to represent to our audience.
Our Top 10 Best Shower Pan List
We have categorized our top picks depending on the type they belong to. Still wondering what is the best shower pan? Let’s get started!
Why Do You Need a Shower Pan?
A shower base is designed to drain the wastewater in the bathroom. It is a great idea if you are planning to remodel or upgrade your home. You’ll need a high-quality shower pan or even build your own pan if necessary for a number of reasons.
First, it needs a longer life. It is a onetime investment that will let you reap a lot of benefits for a very long time. But for the base to last longer, you need to properly maintain it.
Another thing is that they are cost-effective compared to the normal tiles. Remember that you will only invest this for a long time. Tiles need to be changed after some time. But with a shower pan, you can save the costs of getting a new one.
Another reason why you need this is because of its strength. The finest models are made from strong and durable materials like PVC, acrylic, and fiberglass. These materials guarantee a long life plus you don’t need to worry about changing your pan.
Lastly, you can be sure of protecting the floor around your bathroom from leaks. The concrete floor is not strong enough to withstand the water and may need repair after a while. Let’s go on and look at how we picked the top ones.
Shower Floor Pan: Buying Guide
Before referring to our top 10 shower pans, be sure to first understand what you are going for and what to look for. We will show you what to consider before you make up your mind.
1. Size & Shape
The size of your shower pan is the key consideration. It has to fit the space in the bathroom perfectly, without occupying the whole washroom area. Before choosing the right size, make sure that you have confirmed your space carefully. Do not worry if your bathroom is too large or too small.
The shape will also have a role here. Yo'll find find different shapes like curved, curbless, stepless, tiling around, triangle, barrier free, raised/elevated, pebble, walk in, and pre sloped.
The durability of your shower pan will depend on the quality of its material. They're made from a number of materials, such as acrylic, polymarble, granite, quartz, ceramic, copper, Styrofoam, polyurethane foam, plastic, metal, vinyl, fiberglass, rubber, timber, resin, terrazzo, and engineered stones like cultured marble.
Consider going for the most common ones like acrylic, ceramic, or steel materials. These are certain to last you for a very long time but remember that not all such materials are safe. Here is a comparison of the major materials.
- Acrylic shower base is the most preferred material since it is easier to clean and lasts longer. Another good thing about it is that you don’t need to worry about maintaining it because it takes less money and effort.
- Steel is the right choice when it comes to stain resistance. Make sure you confirm if it is stainless steel before you buy shower base.
- Ceramic shower bases give your bathroom a contemporary and classic look. They are also good in terms of cleaning and maintenance.
3. Design & Style
Most people prefer a modern and classy look when it comes to their homes. If you are one of them, go for a shower base that compliments all the other bathroom accessories. There are different shapes and colors. Some of the popular designs include corner, single threshold, double threshold, neo angle, zero entry, round, quarter round, stepless, and many others.
Some come with a bench or a seat while few are handicap accessible. If you want an elegant look, go for vibrant colors (unlike grey, for example) that will brighten up your shower area. You can also go for a DIY /custom project to add creativity and make it unique.
The drain also comes in many designs, including center, side, linear, left, and hidden.
4. Ease of Cleaning & Maintenance
When it comes to shower bases, you will be confused by the many fancy ones. But remember no matter how good a base looks like, how easy it is to maintain and to clean it is the key. Confirm first how to clean the unit and if it is rust-and scratch-resistant. The easiness of maintaining the pan will save you costs of repairing or buying another one. It will also save you time and energy.
5. Installation Option
Consider if you can install or replace the shower pan on your own or if you’ll need professional help. A good base should be easy to install so as to avoid breaking or damaging the floor considering it's not precast or prefabricated. You don’t need extra labor or expenses for the installation process.
6. Scratch & Stain Resistance
Go for a model that cannot get scratched easily. Scratches are known to occur if one cleans the pan for a long time with abrasive products. Another thing that can cause scratches is dropping heavy objects on the pan. So, to avoid such issues, go for a base that is strong enough.
Make sure to also look if the pan is stain resistant. We know that the cleaning process is tiresome and you wouldn’t like to spend a lot of time cleaning one part. That’s why it’s important that you get a base that has a stain resistant feature so as to avoid unnecessary marks that will steal the beauty of the whole thing.
7. Waterproof Base
Your preferred model should feature a waterproof base that prevents water from accumulating on the surface after showering. Excess water may lead to watermark buildup, which may be hard to clean. To avoid this, go for a pan that has the waterproof feature.
You can look at versatility in different perspectives but with a shower pan consider its usefulness and adaptability in the bathroom. Make sure you buy one that is compatible with all the bathroom accessories and how flexible you can use it.
9. Integration with Other Systems
Same with versatility but in this case, you’ll look at how well the base can be used with different shower accessories. Confirm if the shower pan is meant to work separately with products from the same manufacturer or if it can combine well with any bathroom items from different manufacturers.
How much do you plan to spend on the bathroom shower base? Your money is the greatest determiner when it comes to purchasing a shower basin. When it comes to budget, consider everything from the location (e.g. inside the RV or the basement) to purchasing to hiring an expert for installation. The good news is cheap, mid-range, and high priced models are available now.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Now that you know all about shower pans and shower bases, it is time we look at the most important part. That is how to properly clean and maintain the base so that it can last you a long time. Follow the steps below for best results.
- Clean the products regularly to avoid them losing their appearance. You can use natural cleaners like vinegar, pine-fresh, rosemary, and lavender essential oil.
- Be careful not to use abrasive soaps as they may cause streaks.
- Always rinse the pan surface with a clean cloth to remove soap residue
- Avoid dropping heavy items on the bases
- To maintain the glossy finish of your base, use an automotive wax or dry it after every use
- You can perform either a light wash or a heavy wash. The light wash is where you use a sponge, soap, and hot water. The heavy wash is when you apply the cleaning solution, then leave it for some few minutes or an hour. Rinse it and then use nail polish in case of stubborn stains.
Finally, we believe that our detailed review and buyer's guide will show you the way to choosing the best shower pan out there.
We picked the top 10 models we thought and we saw were the most exclusive ones. Our experts chose different models but as you have seen, Dreamline stole our hearts away due to its superior features. We all agreed that our top pick was the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1136480-22. Aside from the specific features, the stylish looks make it a perfect fit for any bathroom.
Another product that we loved was Tile Redi USA WF3648R-RB36-KIT Base'N Bench. It offers maximum comfort while at the same time it’s user-friendliness. This makes it easy to use for people with disability.
Aside from these, there are few other brands whose products are also worth your purchase, including Bunnings, Florestone, Fiora, PreFormed, FIAT, Jacuzzi, Acritec, Goof Proof, Silestone USA, Tile EZ, Belstone, KBRS, OVE Decors, Corian®, Mincey Marble, MTI Baths, Mirolin, Flexstone, Reece, Aquatic Bath, and Ferguson. However, their products were not good enough to be placed in our shortlist.
We have done our part. Now it's your task to make a good choice depending on your own preference.
We reviewed some other shower accessories too. Check the following ones and pick the right match for your needs!
- Top Shower Water Filters
- Top Shower Valves
- Top Shower Chairs
- Top Rain Shower Heads
- Top LED Shower Heads