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What is the difference between a shower pan and a shower base?

The Difference Between a Shower Pan and a Base


Most people interchange the terms “shower pan” and “shower base,” but there is a significant difference between the two. A shower pan is the actual shower floor that you step on, whereas a shower base is the structure beneath the shower itself. It’s important to understand the difference between the two before you begin shopping for a new shower for your bathroom renovation. 


The Shower Base


The shower base is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. It supports the weight of the shower pan and directs water to the drain. It also acts as a barrier between the shower’s wet area and the rest of the bathroom. The base is an important part of the shower, but it is not usually visible once the shower pan is installed. 


The Shower Pan


The shower pan is typically made of tile, stone, or another waterproof material. It sits on top of the base and provides a finished showering surface. When choosing a new shower pan, it is important to consider both function and style. A granite shower base, for example, is more stylish than a plastic one. However, a plastic shower base may be more affordable and easier to install. 


When shopping for a new shower, it is important to understand the difference between a shower pan and a base. The base is responsible for supporting the weight of the pan and directing water to the drain. The pan provides a finished surface for showering. Both function and style should be considered when choosing a new shower pan or base.