Trouble Picking Shower Pan Material

Superman859February 10, 2013

We are redoing our master shower (having someone redo it, anyways) and are trying to pick what material to use for the shower floor. Originally when we went tile shopping, we loved all the natural stone options (primarily marble), but after some research it sounds like this is high maintenance. Outside of the marble tile floors, we didn't really find anything we loved for tiling the floor of the shower with (we may still tile part of bathroom floor with marble, but not the actual shower floor). Ceramic and porcelain options are limited for small floor tiles needed in shower everywhere I've looked - mostly just white squares, hexagons, circles.

Now I'm thinking I should go with cultured marble for the floor. From what I hear, it is easy to maintain and should last a long time (no grout lines, leaking, etc). However, will cultured marble suffer from discoloring that marble tiles suffer from in shower floor when wet? For example, most people say the cheaper marble tiles have iron deposits which lead to rusting / yellowing of the tiles when they get wet. If this kind of thing may also happen with cultured marble, it sounds like it could still be an issue (just no grout line molding to deal with).

Ideally we would get a marble basketweave tile floor, but I don't think it's practical in the shower. We've only seen one or two basketweave options in porcelain / ceramic and they don't look anywhere near as good (although the ceramic carrara wall tile is a good substitute for the actual carrara). I think next to that, a cultured marble floor can look clean and fairly modern and have low maintenance, as long as it doesnt discolor due to same issues marble tile has.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mongoct

Have you looked at the cast iron pans? I think they go very well with the same types of showers (design-wise) that a marble shower pan would go with.

No seams, no movement or flexing when walked upon, it'll be ridiculously durable, all with what I consider to be an attractive and durable porcelain finish.

If you haven;t already ruled them out I recommend taking a look at Kohler's CI shower receptors.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marys235

Swanstone also makes a nice shower pan, it's less expensive than the cast iron, if you are doing a standard size shower.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swanstone Shower Pans

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Superman859

That photo of the cast iron looks nice, but I don't think we can go that route. I just browsed the Kohler site and it looks like it only comes in certain sizes. Our shower is about 4' by 5' (about a foot wider than standard), and I didn't find a match on the site. This may also eliminate the swanstone option. With the cultured marble, my understanding is they come out and measure and match the size needed.

Will cultured marble be very similar to the cast iron? Is maintenance on cultured marble tiles easy, or is it still high like marble tiles? Will it suffer discoloration that marble tiles inevitably get, or is something different about cultured marble?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zmusashi

I'd suggest taking a look at cultured marble somewhere, like Lowe's, where they deal in that custom shower base material. It is definitely not like real marble; it might be fine and attractive for you but make sure you see it first and like it. It certainly will be easier than installing a mud pan, shower pan, and tiling if you can get one made to fit your space. Dont' know if it yellows but I've pulled a lot of cultured marble vanity tops over the years which don't look so hot.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
xand83

We just went through the same dilemma. We had real marble (12x12s) on the shower floor and they were in terrible shape. Marble is just not cut out for that kind of abuse. And with a weird shower shape, buying a custom iron pan wasn't really affordable.

While you noted that porcelain is limited, it doesn't have to be. The color selections are great. We chose the below penny-rounds. Hopefully they are going down in the next couple of days!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
crl_

I don't know if it expands your size choices, but one contractor suggested we look at silestone for a shower pan. They also make soapstone shower pans, again not sure what that does for you in terms of size.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marys235

You can also get a custom shower pan in any of the solid surface materials, such as Corian. They are fairly expensive though. Custom cultured marble would be less expensive than Corian, but may not hold up as well, although there are people who post on this board who have been very happy with their cultured marble showers. Here's a link to another thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cultured Marble Shower Base - good choice?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
raehelen

Superman,

I will answer your question about whether or not cultured marble has the same maintenance issues that marble does. NO, it does not! We had a cultured marble base custom made for our basement bathroom over 4 years ago, and after heavy use for that time, it still looks just like new. I went with a honed finish (not crazy about shiny cultured marble) and a very subtle white on white pattern. we had the walls done too, and an 8" wide shelf that continues on out of the shower the whole length of the room. It is not cheap, I have a quote right now for my master bath, and the 3' by 5' base will be ~$1100 before taxes, not counting delivery and install. I have never regretted our decision, this is our guest bath (but we use it now instead of our present pre-reno master), and guests have commented on it's being the nicest shower that they've ever been in! So, so easy to clean, no discolouration whatsoever, I squeegee the walls after my shower, and every once in a while wipe with Method cleaner and a microfibre cloth. the squeegeeing may be unnecessary, but I'm doing the glass walls anyways, and I figure less water sitting around in the basement bathroom... is a good thing!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kitchen46

I'm also considering a terrazzo shower pan, having seen one on Houzz. Does anyone have any experience / thoughts on terrazzo shower pans? They seem to have more size options than cast iron or swanstone (NOT Veritek), both of which are also in the running. We have a Swanstone showerpan in the kids' shower and it's been great, very easy to keep clean and looks good. But they don't seem to make it in the size we want, ideally, for the master bath.

Here is a link that might be useful: Terrazzo showerpan on Houzz

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
writersblock

We had terrazzo floors when I was a kid, kitchen46, and one of our favorite things was to run and then slide like crazy on a rug or towel down the hall, and to watch the dog trying to make fast turns, which made him look like a cartoon character as his feet kept going one direction while the rest of him turned. It's very slippery.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
miruca

Superman859 - what did you decide on?

Who makes custom corian pans? I really would like solid surface but Swanstone doesn't have the size.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2poos1baby4me

Related question: I am remodeling master bath and interest in a 72" x 37" shower. Redi Tile makes a preformed one in that size. Contractor doesn't like the idea and says to "hot mop". Does anyone have input. I am a novice at home remodeling. Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2poos1baby4me

Related question: I am remodeling master bath and interest in a 72" x 37" shower. Redi Tile makes a preformed one in that size. Contractor doesn't like the idea and says to "hot mop". Does anyone have input. I am a novice at home remodeling. Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ljp326

Swanstone shower pan vs. anything else? Can't quite visualize how the tile will butt the base? caulking to seal it? which can get "moldy"!
It shows a separation in their website. Hardiboard and Red Guard to waterproof...any thoughts or experiences? Dont want CI...what is experience with fiberglass pans. Thanks

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Trebruchet

Check this out:

Here is a link that might be useful: Grifform

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 6:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need advice. Subway tile on uneven kneewall
So I was kinda pissed off when I walked into my bathroom...
Michael Coates
New Kohler Levity glass shower doors...
Has anyone installed these yet? It's a higher end look...
blondelle
Wall Mural (Photo Wallpaper, Photo Tile or Hire Artist?)
We have one wall in bath that's a hand-painted mural....
stevemac00
Kohler Archer Undermount Sink and Vanity Depth
Has anyone used a Kohler Archer undermount sink in...
Jill Wood
Minimum size for walk-in shower?
What is the minimum recommended size for a walk in...
uscroy
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™