Installing & Leveling a Fiberglass Shower Base

A fiberglass shower base sits on the floor of your bathroom in the shower enclosure. It forms the bottom of the shower. This base is the most important part of the shower, because it acts as a pan and drain area. If not installed correctly, the water will not drain properly. It may pool up at one end causing a slip hazard. To install one properly, use a level and pay close attention to the floorboards where it is installed.

Before you take a shower, level and install your shower base.

Measure the shower base and installation area to make sure the base fits properly in the space.

Slide the shower base into position so the sides are flush against the shower walls. Trace along the sides of the base on the tile or flooring with a marker if the pan overlaps pre-installed flooring. Remove the base. Trim the tile or flooring you marked for a cleaner, level installation. Use a tile saw to cut the tile, and a razor to cut linoleum or vinyl flooring. Pry up the flooring with a pry bar to remove.

Attach the shower drain. Place the top half of the drain into the base drain hole from through the top side of the base. Thread the bottom part of the drain onto the threaded portion of the drain and tighten with a pair of plumbing pliers.

Check the floor for levelness. Place a carpenter's level along the length and width of the floor. Note areas where the floor drops below level. The pan will require shims in these locations. Place a shim in this spot, one that brings the floor to level. Mount the shim to the floor with a sheet rock screw and power driver.

Slide the shower pan back into place. Level the sides and floor of the pan. Slide additional shims under the pan where the base is below a level grade if necessary.

Mount the shower base to the wall frames with sheet rock screws. Drive galvanized screws through the base in the pre-drilled mounting holes and into the wall frames.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's level
  • Wood shims
  • Drain
  • Plumbing pliers
  • Sheet rock screws
  • Galvanized screws

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.

Photo Credits

  • shower series. goofy in the shower image by Alexey Stiop from Fotolia.com