Shower base - one piece or tiled?

oceanbeachroseOctober 26, 2013

Hi, I'm replacing an old jacuzzi tub and shower with a new tiled shower. I've gotten different recommendations on what to use for the shower base. The floor outside the shower will be basket weave marble and the walls of the shower will be subway tile. I'd like to use the basket weave on the shower floor - looks better and affords good traction. My contractor recommends a swanstone or max acrylicbase. They look kind of cheesy to me. But after scouring this forum before posting the stories of incorrectly installed tile scares me.

What do you recommend and, if tiled what method, and if base, what kind?


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Our bathroom is in progress but we opted to continue the carrara basket weave from the floor right into the shower.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 9:17PM
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This is a great question. We remodeled our home 4 years ago and I insisted on a custom tile shower complete with marble mosaic tiles on the shower floor. The contractor tried to convince me to use a one piece shower "pan" for maintenance purposes and I looked down on that suggestion. Well, four years later we are building a new home and I am seriously considering the shower marble mosaics are insanely hard to keep clean. In fact, I hate my "custom tile shower". It is so hard to keep looking clean and mildew/mold free. Some of the cream colored marble tiles are starting to discolor. I NEVER had this problem before. At least with a shower pan you can easily remove it and put it a new one if it starts looking gross....

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 9:40PM
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I have never had a tiled floor for a shower base. I hate cleaning grout, and find that any tiled floor I have seen or used does not look clean or new for very long. We had a custom cultured marble base made for both our guest bath and our Master. The guest bath was done 4 1/2 years ago, and looks like brand new. We receive compliments from everyone that uses it. It is comfortable and secure underfoot, and when I scooch on to the floor to shave my legs, is very comfy...don't think I'd want to do that on a tile floor with tons of edges against my bare behind..LOL!

Haven't used our Master yet, but one advantage of custom, is that I got him to make it in the exact colour I wanted based on a BM paint chip!

So, keep in mind I don't have a tile shower floor, but I am very happy with our cultured marble one. It was quite expensive, so there was no cost savings, but we have peace of mind that there will be no leaking, it is comfortable, and we think it looks great!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 10:22PM
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raehelen-Would you mind posting a pic or two of either your guest or master shower base?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Have not had a tiled shower floor, so can't comment on maintenance at all, but I do love the look. :)

If you decide to go the solid base route, another option to consider is a cast iron shower receptor (pan). We installed a Kohler cast iron receptor in our guest bathroom shower after reading about them here on the Bathroom Forum. It might not give as "high-end" a look as a tile floor, but still looks pretty nice. Ours is solid, sturdy, has no-slip grips (not rough or uncomfortable in the least), and is very easy to clean. If the grips do happen look a bit grungy (rarely happens, but when it does, I use a Magic Eraser on them, and they look like new).

Here's a pic of ours:


    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:12PM
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I have a swanstone base and it love it. Easy to clean and looks fine.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:13PM
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i love our 36X60 kohler cast iron pan too... never again do i want a tiled shower floor-- i've had several and didn't like any of them- none of them looked that good after a couple of years-too much grout!!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:59PM
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I have a 36x60 Kohler cast iron shower pan. Didn't even consider anything else. I love cast iron. I haven't got the bathroom done yet. My shower pan is in the color Ice Gray. There are many color options, but of course not as many as a custom cultured marble like Raehelen used. I love the depth of enamel in cast iron.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:45PM
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