Best Shower Bases: Acrylic Pans & Other Materials Reviewed

Updated by Lynda Stevens

Best Shower BasesAre you considering buying shower pans? It can be a cost-effective way to remodel your shower. There are a lot of good and durable shower pans out there and we are here to help you find the best one. We can help you chose based on durability, efficient drain system, style and price. Check out our top recommendations below.

Best Shower Pans Reviews

You should set your sights on these shower pans:

Get to know what these products can offer:

1. Schluter Kerdi Shower Pan

Schluter Kerdi

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The innovative Kerdi line of Schluter features built-in waterproofing. The laminated membrane provides protection to the main shower pan material against all sorts of damages brought about by the formation of mildew and molds. It also ensures a better fit in order to prevent leaks.  With its expanded polystyrene material, you can be assured that the waterproofing functionality of this shower pain is light enough to be handled and installed with ease.

This shower tray has an off-center drain. Get the entire Kerdi line for added capacity and to ensure excellent waterproofing functionality.

Pros:

It drains seamlessly. It doesn’t pool at the bottom, so there is no annoying standing water that refuses to drain and can cause molds and mildew to grow.

You can save a lot of time with this. It installs easily, great for those who are not very handy when it comes to remodeling or for those doing remodeling work for the first time.

The quality is excellent. It has a nice durability to it, and it can accommodate heavier loads.

The manufacturer backs it up with comprehensive information on how to install it as well.

Cons:

Some said they found this a bit more expensive but for all its features, it is worth the price.

2. DreamLine SlimLine Center Drain Shower Base

DreamLine SlimLine Center

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This is a single threshold shower pan that is suitable for an alcove type of shower. Alcove showers are those that have three walls. It comes in 3 different colors: white, biscuit and black, so you can easily choose the one that suits your specific needs. The low profile design of this product also makes it easier to install and use. There are no parts that protrude.

Construction-wise, it is well-made and durable. Hardly any flexing is experienced when you use this. Its cUPC certification is also an added proof of its capability. Safety is paramount with this shower pan as well. It has been incorporated with a SlipGrip feature that provides better traction. The surface also has a high gloss coating, thereby allowing users to maintain its beauty for a long time.

Pros:

The direct-to-stud installation of this shower pan makes this easier to install. You will have to install a mortar bed underneath it but aside from that, it is a product that even novice DIY-ers will find easy to install.

It has excellent durability. It doesn’t flex even when subjected to a heavy load. It also has excellent construction. It can resist common damages such as scratches. This product is made from high quality acrylic capped ABS material but has a fiberglass material as reinforcement.

The SlipGrip feature is true. It really does a good job in preventing slipping.

It doesn’t stain easily. You can also get the black one if you want one that won’t look dirty easily.

This is backed by a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.

There are no leaks. The square edges fit perfectly.

Cons:

There was a customer who said it is too flat. There were some areas that prevented water from draining completely.

3. Proflo Shower Pan with Strainer

Proflo

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Made from a heavy-duty composite material, this shower pan is virtually indestructible. It is a one-piece molded pan as well, so no separate parts that could eventually come off and get damaged. The one-piece molding process provides better support to the structure of the pan. Moreover, the manufacturer incorporated additional reinforcement to it.

Pros:

The pan’s surface has a nice traction to it that prevents slipping. It also doesn’t develop stains as easily as others.

This is one of the most durable free standing shower pans out there.

The size is just right for the needs of average families. There were also those who were able to successfully add this to their camper van.

It features a center drain that actually does a great job in drain out water completely.

Cons:

There aren’t a lot of information about this product out there, so it is hard to tell if there are negative reviews.

4. Kohler Shower Base

Kohler 1938-0

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Kohler is one of the best shower bases out there for a variety of reasons. The first reason is that installation has been made simpler for the average homeowner. Even without professional help, this shower pan can be installed with ease.

The low-threshold design allows for more effective entry and exit from the shower. This also makes it a kid-friendly shower pan. It requires alcove installation. This shower pan is created from heavy-duty acrylic material. The core has a resin concrete material, allowing it to withstand a good amount of abuse.

Pros:

It has a solid feel to it. It doesn’t flex or buckle when you step on it, thanks to its resin concrete core.

This shower pan is one of the easiest to install. It features alcove installation, which most showers already have. It doesn’t require mortar for installation.

The durable acrylic material is not just resistant to scratches, it is also resistant to staining.

The center drain works in eliminating water.

It has a nice weight to it. It doesn’t feel flimsy. Some people even said it is as heavy-duty as cast iron. One amazing addon to this stainless steel shower base is to get a matching shower speaker. So make sure to choose a good shower speaker

Cons:

The low-threshold design might not work well for others who are looking for a raised front.

5. Mustee Durabase Fiberglass

Mustee Fiberglass

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This is the most unique shower pan in this list. Unlike the others, this one is made from fiberglass materials molded in one piece. This gives this shower piece additional strength that will enable it to withstand some abuse due to daily use.

It features a unique starburst surface that isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but is also slip resistant. The semi-gloss surface also prevents unwanted molds and mildew from developing. Maintenance is not a major issue with this. Since molds do not grow easily, you won’t have a hard time cleaning it. Even if you have to then use a strong shower cleaner

Pros:

This shower pan has a nice design. The starburst design sets it apart from the others and gives it a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Quality-wise, you won’t have an issue with this. It seems quite well-made.

It is easier to maintain because of its molds-resistant properties.

The price is just right for the features that it has.

Installation should not be a problem as well. This base would fit perfectly to a shower wow

Cons:

Some said they had issues with the packaging when it was delivered.

The Verdict: Which Shower Pan Should You Get?

Value for Your Money: Schluter Kerdi Shower Pan. This ticks off all the right boxes in most people’s list. Not only is it easy to install, it is also well-made. It comes with excellent waterproofing functions and also works well in preventing leaks. You can rely on this for a long time, especially if it is installed properly. It doesn’t hurt that this product is inexpensive. If you are on a budget, you should find this a great product to buy.

Most Heavy-Duty Option: DreamLine SlimLine Center Drain Shower Base. It is hard to go wrong with this shower pan because of how well-made it is. It is made from fiberglass material that is resistant to impact and accommodate heavier loads with ease. It also doesn’t get stained easily and is impervious to scratches as well. The size is just right. Some people even used this for their tiny house. Overall, this has a good functionality and durability that can’t be beaten by other shower pans.

Ideal Size for Most Showers: Proflo Shower Pan with Strainer. This shower pan has an ideal size that works for different sizes of showers. It can work in bigger bathrooms and can also work in more compact spaces like a camper van. People also did not have problems installing it.

Easiest to Install: Kohler Shower Base. The thing about shower pans is that they are typically easier to install. But this one from Kohler takes that up a notch with its mortar-less installation. Buyers can basically install it themselves even without the need for additional tools.

Resistant to Molds: Mustee Durabase Fiberglass. If you are looking for a low-maintenance shower pan, this should be it. The surface is stain-resistant, so it should be perfect for people who do not want to spend all day scrubbing their shower. You can use a quality shower curtain to divert from the mold. 

Types of Shower Pans to Look For

As you might have surmised, shower pans come in different materials and types. When buying, you would want to know what your options are and determine the benefits of each type so you can figure out which material will work best for your specific needs.

Acrylic. This is arguably the most popular option when it comes to the shower base. It is the same material used in other bathroom fixtures such as a bathtub. What makes acrylic a good material for the shower and the bathroom as a whole is how durable it is. It is resistant to staining and also does not get scratched up easily. Maintenance is easier if you opt for this kind of shower pan. A typical acrylic shower pan can last you for decades, which is something that can’t be said with tiled showers.

Steel. This material has a modern look to it, which is why some people opt for this. It gives the bathroom that contemporary look that can’t be achieved by other materials such as acrylic. But while it is sturdy and can accommodate heavier loads, it might not be as easy to maintain as the acrylic one. Water stains also tend to form easily.

Ceramic. It is the same material used for sinks and toilets.  Like the acrylic one, this is also easy to maintain because of its glossy surface. It has a heavy and thick base as well, so it should be a good choice for people who are looking for a shower pan that is easy to maintain.

Is It Better to Install a Shower Pan Rather Than Tile Your Shower?

If you are expecting durability, shower pans are better. They hold up well against daily usage and can be cleaned easily. Of course, it still depends on the kind of shower pan material you are getting but in general, shower pans last for a long time.

Tiled shower pan, on the other hand, can be difficult to maintain and can also be prone to damages. Grout can easily get dirty and will require rigorous cleaning in order to keep it in great shape.  

Shower pans are also generally more cost-effective. Most homeowners also are able to install them all by themselves. With tiles, you will need to hire a professional tiler to get the job done. Tiling will also require preparing the subfloor and making sure the foundation is even. If there are uneven spots, you could end up with spaces in between the subfloor and the tile, which can then weaken that part and make the tiles prone to breakage. You can also get a matching shower shampoo holder to perfectly fit the shower. 

At the end of day, which one you should opt for will depend on your needs. If you are doing home improvement all by yourself and you want to simplify the process without a hiring a professional, a shower pan definitely works. But you need to make sure you are getting a good quality one so you can reap the benefits mentioned earlier.

Conclusion

Get the best fixtures for your bathroom and your entire home. We can help you out with our product tips and reviews. Visit our homepage for more information.

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