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jhholladay 03-25-2010 10:31 AM

Can you recommend a shower stall?
We’re looking to install a single-piece, 48” shower stall. We need something with a base that does not flex (or flexes minimally) under 250 lbs. We are not interested in any type of tile.
Based on your experience:
• Which material is best: fiberglass, acrylic, gel-coated, other?
• Is there a particular brand that is better than the rest?
• Should we pour a concrete pad?
• I’d like to keep the price under $600 (excluding the door) if possible.

frozenstar 04-05-2010 12:59 AM

Well the one that we have in the house is a pure acrylic type of shower stall. And I think it really works good and strong. I am just not sure how much it costs.

Bud Cline 04-05-2010 07:27 PM

Doesn't matter which base you choose (in most cases), they will all flex if not installed properly. They should be installed with fresh concrete underneath to support your weight and conform to the shape of the the receptor.:) Sitting the base on the floor is not the way to do it if the underside isn't supported properly.

jhholladay 04-06-2010 08:36 AM

Thanks, Bud. I'm dealing with someone who's convinced the concrete is unnecessary, but I'm not so sure, hence the question. I presume you'd install the plumbing, build the frame and pour the concrete, then set the shower in place before the concrete sets so it will take the form of the shower base. Is that right? (BTW, I like your motto. Sometimes I'm like...just stop the world and let me off. :)

Bud Cline 04-06-2010 04:08 PM


Build the concrete platform if that's the way you want to do it, let it set up. Then later when it is time to install the pan mix a bag of sand mix and pile it on the first slab. Place the pan so that it compresses the sand mix to conform to the underside of the pan.

DO NOT try to place the pan into the first slab.:)

Keep in mind you plumbing has to be connected all at the same time when you do this this way, so you will need to have your thoughts together and organized. It is best to "block-out" about a one foot square for the plumbing and then fill it when you add the sandbox.:)

jhholladay 04-07-2010 06:27 AM

See...that's what I'm talkin' about. The devil's in the details, and this is the kind of information I'm looking for. Makes perfect sense now that you mention it. Thanks, Bud.

Bud Cline 04-07-2010 09:40 AM

Something else to keep in mind now that you mention "The devil is in the details". Truer words were never spoken!:)

Here's the thing...

Assuming you are using PVC drain pipe and "slip fittings". Once you apply the adhesive (don't forget the primer) to the pipe and socket of the next fitting you are committed. You can not un-fry the egg at this point.

In assembling the pipe critters you only have about three seconds to get your act together before the assembly seizes and there is no going back. You must have already mixed and placed the sandmix, and heaped it high enough to effectively receive the pan while at the same time not having too much mix so as to resist the proper positioning of the pan in what is to be its final resting place. You need to be able to apply the adhesive then lift and properly stab the drain onto the drain pipe then push the pan into the fresh mud at the same time. Loose mud is much better than tight mud in this case.

Once the pan is stabbed DO NOT get on the pan for any reason. If you do, this will likely compress the sandmix under the pan more than you want it compressed and if that happens you have defeated the purpose of having the cement there to begin with.

This is all very do-able but the devil is indeed in the details.:D

handyguys 04-07-2010 01:51 PM

Yep, sand mix, sometimes people use mortar mix. The key is not to use concrete which has aggregate stone in it.

When I did this I used an acrylic pan but the connection was made to the drain with a rubber gasket after the pan was set. It just needs to be centered over the drain. Then, once the mortar has set, you force the gasket in between the pan and the drain pipe. Its a very tight fit. Never leaked.

many manufactures will tell you that the mortar is not necessary. That may be true if you dont mind some flex. The mortar will add a much more solid feel under foot.

When I did a drop in tub like this I built a dam out of cardboard to contain my lake of mortar mix. That statement made it sound like a wet mix, it wasn't, but it was woried it would slump out of place, the cardboard walls kept it where I wanted it.

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