Replacing Shower Pans

Dear NH,
I read your suggestion to replace a shower pan with a custom-made Fiberglass one. I have a shower pan that needs to be replaced, and I am interested in exploring this suggestion. If I look through the phone book, what types of businesses do you think would be able to sell me one of these? Can I install it myself?
LS from Portland, OR

You can order custom shower pans from most plumbing supply houses and home stores. You'll hopefully receive installation instructions with the new pan. Generally speaking, the pans do not need anything other than a sound plywood floor underneath them for support, so you will have to remove any special framing that was installed to form the masonry pan.

Is this a do-it-yourself project? Well, it depends on your tolerance for pain (Ha Ha) and your handyman skill level. You will need tile skills to install tileboard around the top of the pan and the new tiles, plumbing skills to relocate the drain to match the new pan, and possibly carpentry skills, too.

If you have no experience in these, it doesn't mean you can't do it. It just means that you will have to be patient, take your time, and get a few good books to help you get started! You can lighten your load by subcontracting part of the work, such as the relocation of the drainpipe.

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