Shower pans are also known as shower bases and shower trays. They provide a waterproof barrier for the subfloor and wall base materials. Shower pans are either installed underneath a tiled shower floor or they actually serve as the base of the shower.
Shower pans perform an important job, so they need to be repaired as soon as possible if a leak has developed. Even tile can leak through chips or aging grout and then affect the mortar bed or subfloor, so pay close attention to the base of your shower no matter what type of shower pan you have.
Shower pans are made of:
How to inspect your shower pan
There are certain things you can do to inspect your shower pan for leaks, but leaks are not always easy to detect.
Check for broken grout or tiles at the base of the shower walls and floor. While the shower pan may still be protecting the subfloor, you still want to repair the damaged tile or the water can seep into other areas.
- Check the other side of common walls and floors for stains or wet spots.
- Check the subfloor underneath shower pans in the crawlspace if you have one or at the ceiling of the living space below.
- Check to shower pan for weakness as you stand on it.
- Call a local plumber for a shower pan inspection.
How Long Shower Pans Last
Unfortunately, even new shower pans can need repair. Pans over 30 years old are definitely coming to the end of the lifetime. Old shower pans do wear out and new shower pans can be installed wrong.
If you at all suspect a shower pan leak, your best option is to get an inspection from a local plumber. Many will have special electronic sound amplification tools to detect leaks in hidden areas, so be sure to ask if they do. Call our professional bathroom remodeling plumbing team today!