Commonly referred to as ‘shower floors, bathroom shower pans are designed to do much more than simply support their occupants. Just ask anyone who has experienced leaking bathroom shower pans. It’s a rare occurrence – but it happens.
A Brief Introduction to Replacment
Most shower pans are designed so that moisture leaks are prevented. However that’s not to say that leaky bathroom shower pans don’t occur from things like inappropriate construction materials, a lack of proper sloping beneath them, failure to meet industry standards, blocked drainage, or missing reinforcing wires.
Aside from giving us something comfortable and familiar to stand on while we ‘suds up’ in the early morning or late night, bathroom shower pans prevent water from leaking to other parts of the house and causing mold growth, rotted wood, or otherwise, worse damage.
This article will introduce the basic steps of replacing damaged bathroom shower pans should it be determined that leaks (and other suspicious problems) are not the result of faulty plumbing. Faulty plumbing should always be investigated before attempting to replace these things not only because faulty pluming is usually the cause of most bathroom water damage – but also because plumbing repair costs less than it costs to replace the other culprit.
Figuring Out Where To Start Removal
If you’re familiar with grouting, you’re going to first remove the damaged bathroom shower pan from what’s called a grout joint. A grout joint is basically an area where the tops of these floors meet the walls that surround them, but this isn’t just any area. You can’t just start ‘digging them out’ at their dams (bases). Industry standards require that installed pans extend at least three inches from its dam. And this means that you need to begin removal at the place where new ones will rise to and fit inside of. That’s about a three to six inch border above the actual shower foundation.
Take Your Time
Speaking of which, you can probably tell by now that this is a project that demands your time and patience – especially when you’re working in the removal stage. You’ve got to be extremely careful not to remove any of the material above this border especially if the material that you’re working with is something as fragile and prone to cracking like tile. Otherwise you’ll find yourself replacing more than just bathroom shower pans!
Simple, Yet Effective Tools
If you’re wondering what the proper tools to remove bathroom shower pans are, you right if you guessed a good old hammer and pry bar. With these simple tools, you’ll bang and tug and hammer and pull these short basins from their original setting. But don’t let these destructive tools fool you – the use of them requires as much care as if you were refinishing delicate wood.
Replacing the Old with the New
After you’ve carefully removed these bathroom shower pans, you can begin to repair what caused the damage in the first place (see above). Insert your new bathroom shower pans and test their ability to hold water for a period of 24 hours. If all is dry beneath and around them, you can drain them and secure them into place by attaching the to the shower wall’s studs with reinforcing wire.
Next, apply the appropriate adhesive (such as thinset mortar for tiled showers) and then seal them in instead of grouting them in.