Bathroom Remodel: Step 3 – TileRedi Shower Pan
The shower pan dictated much of the work ahead of us. Getting the walls ready for tile meant installing Hardiebacker cement board on the walls and also on the floors where tiling was required. The pan needed to be installed to finish up plumbing, cement board, and seams where the shower curb would hit the floor, and where the wall shower tile would hit the regular drywall outside the shower.
In the past, we’ve fabricated custom concrete shower pans. I must say, after doing this once, I would never try to do it again. TileRedi.com had a shower pan in stock as a direct replacement for a 3ox60 inch tub opening – pretty common in these 70′s tract homes.
Despite the hundreds of bad reviews on the Internet for this product, I opted to go for it and figure out how to make it work and prove many of these people wrong – many of whom were 35 year veterans of remodeling. In the end it worked out, and I was eager to share all the tips for this pan.
Tip #1: Prelevel the pan – lay the pan down and get a feel for what you will need to do in order to level it. In our case, we knew the curb side needed to be higher, and also higher on the right side.
The pan, itself, is molded from a composite that is lightweight, strong, yet somewhat flexible.
The underside has ribs that won’t stick to cheapo mortar. The manufacturer recommends a 3/4″ bed of mortar.
Tip #2: Use VersaBond mortar from Home Depot, and use a lot of it. The most common complaint I read was that after the recommended amount of mortar dried under the pan, it was still flexing and cracking tiles, so I knew we needed a mortar that would bond (hence the choice of VersaBond), and also that people weren’t getting all the ribs to adhere to the cement. We had so much that we framed the bed of mortar w/ a 2×4 to keep it from oozing out the sides. It was probably more like 1-1.5″ of this soupy mess to drown the ribs.
Tip #3: Lay down the pan, then take it off to inspect contact points. We initially put it down and realized we needed more mortar to get it level, so we lifted the pan up. In doing so, we also discovered there were 2 points that never touched mortar.
Just before it completely dried, I removed the 2×4 and used a spackle knife to clean up the edges. It was rock solid. We ended up mixing up the entire bag in 2 batches.
STEP 1 – DEMOLITION
STEP 2 – REPAIR
STEP 3 – SHOWER PAN
STEP 4 – FINISH CEMENT BOARD & FLASHING
STEP 5 – TILING & GROUTING
STEP 6 – SINK VANITY
STEP 7 – SHOWER DOOR