Cast Iron Shower Receptors - worth it?

sable_caFebruary 21, 2012

I am curious if anyone here has experience with a cast iron shower receptor. Am thinking primarily of the Kohler models. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Would this look okay in terms of aesthetics with ceramic tiled shower walls? After swearing that I would never do tile again because of the grout, I caved for the look of some tiles that I love, for the walls, but don't enjoy the thought of cleaning a tiled shower floor. The Kohler receptors are enamel IIRC, and install in one piece.

I know that they're more expensive, but what I like is that they're easy to clean, just about mold free, and are extremely durable. There is also a good color choice. Any opinions?

Thanks in advance!

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cat_mom

We had a Kohler cast iron shower receptor installed in our guest bathroom a few years ago. We had originally ordered what we thought was a fiberglass shower pan, but not only did it turn out to be acrylic, it had no non-slip grips. Back it went, and we got the Kohler cast iron pan instead (had originally read about them here on GW).

It's very solid, looks good, and will hold up well for a very, very long time--definitely durable. Our guest bathroom shower isn't used often, but DH and I used it daily while renovating our upstairs bathrooms two years ago. No complaints.

We think it looks great with our tiled shower walls. Tiled floors look beautiful, but we didn't want to spend what it would have cost to have one in that bathroom. The Kohler cast iron receptor definitely cost less. I don't know how a tile floor would have been with regards to cleaning, but the cast iron pan is very easy to clean.

Only disadvantage to ours is that it is cold when first stepping into the shower (our downstairs is on a slab), but it warms up quickly.

Here's a pic of ours:

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 2:24AM
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sable_ca

Thanks, Cat-mom - for that good report. Is the curb part of the receptor? Your shower is beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:12AM
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mydreamhome

We looked at the Kohler cast iron pans too--DH liked them for the same reasons already stated above about durability. We did notice that it had the same non-slip stuff on the it as the Kohler cast iron tubs. If you have any iron in your water or you get dirty (i.e. working outside, mechanic, etc) the non-slip stuff holds dirt like nobody's business. DH is a mechanic + he likes to work outside in the dirt + when they did some heavy equipment work next door something happened with our well & we ended up with iron in the water. The only thing I found that worked to get it clean was BarKeepers Friend & a nylon scrubby (BKF is hard on your hands, so be sure to wear gloves). Our shower ended up being too large for the Kohler pan, so we had to go tile. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:50AM
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cat_mom

Thanks! We are very happy with the way it turned out. We were walking that fine line between wanting the bathroom to look nice (opens to the FR) and not wanting to spend a fortune on a guest bathroom.

The top edge of the "curb" (the curved part) is the pan, the front part is tile (cut pieces of the shower wall tile).

mydreamhome, I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the shower pan and on our Toto cast iron bathtubs when the no-slip grips start to look grungy. I had called Kohler about using it when we got the receptor and got their okay, and I think I did the same with Toto. Lysol Basin, Tub, and Tile cleaner (in the aerosol can) works pretty well, too for regular cleaning (I only use it in the tubs and the shower pan, not on the walls since we have natural stone border tile in all three bathrooms), but when the grips themselves are dirty, Magic Eraser does a better job (quicker and less elbow grease!).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:32AM
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chrisk327

I have one in my master bath. I think its great. It is strong, feels solid and clean.

bsaically everything everyone says. I don't think it gets any dirtier than anything else. It is the non-skid stuff on the bottom of tubs.

the only downside is the limited sizes. I got a nice bright white one. We tiled the front with the floor tile.

My biggest peeve that this solved was flex, I hate taking a shower and feeling the flex under my feet of a lot of the acrylics, and I for some reason have an aversion to tile pans, although truth be told, I have very little experience with them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:44PM
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sable_ca

Thank you, everyone! I appreciate your responses. Our decision will come down to whether or not we use frameless glass doors from floor to ceiling, or instead have a pony wall. A pony wall would have to be built outside the receptor. If we go with solid frameless, then this is receptor we'll get. I read all of your posts to my GC and he was impressed.

Chrisk327 - I've been using an acrylic base for 24 years and can't wait to have something more solid - tile or cast iron - beneath my feet.

Thanks again,
Sable

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 5:51PM
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busybee3

i have a kohler cast iron shower pan (sea salt color) and love it!!! i have marble tile on the walls and it looks great together.

i struggled with finding something that cleaned the nonslip strips---found that magic erasers worked, but was very slow going... finally tried ZUD which i love for porcelain sinks... and it works really well with a dobie pad--zud has the same stuff in it as BKF except a higher %age i believe, so is more effective.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:07PM
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EnolaEagle

That's a great shower CatMom!!! I like the tile with mosaic and the door really sets it off.

Todd Stull
Enola, PA

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:07PM
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cat_mom

Thanks Todd! We used starfire/starphire glass to preserve the look of the white tile.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 12:14PM
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lisa_a

cat-mom, that's the type of cast iron receptor we want but when I asked about them at a local plumbing supply store, all they showed me from Kohler was something completely different. The actual floor space was quite small, the curb was wide and oval shaped. Does that make any sense? Now that I've seen yours, I'm going to ask again. Thanks for posting a pic of your shower.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:31PM
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cat_mom

That's the power of the GW! Glad to pay it forward since I first learned about them right here!!!

Good luck on your reno!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:42PM
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kmcg

For anyone shopping, the best place I've found to see these in person is the Ferguson's bath showroom. I think they have a lot of locations. Kohler has many receptors; I think the only ones in cast iron are the Kathryn and the Purist.

These cast iron shower receptors are gorgeous! Fergusons has a black one set up in the showroom, and for a moment I had the crazy thought of wanting black. It's so glistening and perfect! If I can make it work I will probably buy white, but BusyBee's sea salt color is wonderful. I got my new kitchen sink in that color, and love it as an alternative to bright white. Busy, do you have pix posted of the combination of sea salt and marble? You've got me thinking...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 4:16PM
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