Tile floor or fiberglass base?

Blossom26April 7, 2014

Hi all - We are looking to replace a fiberglass shower unit with a tiled shower. A couple of contractors have suggested a fiberglass base with tile walls, another has suggested a tile floor. What are the pros and cons for these options?? This is the first time we will have done a project on this scale in our home, so we need advice!

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As for function, a decent contractor will give you an un-leaky shower either way but will charge more for the extra work of a tile base.

A plastic base requires a more careful drain plumbing layout but that's not a problem if the plumbing isn't in yet. If the plumbing is in and it's in concrete and it's off, then add a day of very expensive floor breaking and repair.

Also a tile floor has a ton more color/texture options but will be a little harder to clean.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Or you could go with a cast iron shower pan. Kohler make several sizes. I put in a 3x5' pan in but the shower isn't finished being tiled. Several here have liked their cast iron shower pans. I believe cat_mom has a 3x4 cast iron Kohler.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Here's my personal order of preference, from first choice to last:

1. Cast iron
2. Swanstone
3. Tile
4. Fiberglass

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 20:15

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Just to throw in another option. It can cost as much or more than tiling, depends on your city/location. But if you have a cultured marble manufacturer, you can have a base made of cultured marble or granite.

We have done this twice. One is nearly 5 years old, and looks like new, and one is just a few months old, and has been used a month or so. We love them. I don't like the feel of a tile floor, or the cleaning chore. I have read so many instances on this forum of problems people have had with the person who laid their shower floor that that alone would scare me off.

One of the advantages of having a custom made shower pan is that you can have any colour you want, you are not limited to white, ivory, etc. Our pan matches our BM painted wall.

I have tiled walls in the shower and tile on my BR floor, just wouldn't want it on my shower floor.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Yes, enduring is correct--we have a cast iron shower "receptor" (pan) in our guest bathroom. DH and I used that bathroom while renovating our MB and hall bath (both were out of commission at the same time). The shower pan felt solid and sturdy underfoot, and looks nice, too.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:14AM
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i also really like cast iron pans... have 3x5 and putting another 3x5 in another bathroom we are redoing... the pan is 3x5, but we are 'customizing the size' with a bench and ledge.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:23PM
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Wow, I didn't realize I had so many options. Thanks for the tips, lots to think about!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:10PM
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