How to Do a Build-Up Pan for a Shower


One of the first steps in installing a new shower is to install the base for the shower. This is a process that involves constructing a form around the base of the shower walls and creating a base made of mortar. This base is used to support the tile or shower pan that will be used for the shower floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood, 3/4-inch
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Boards, 2-by-10-inch
  • Boards, 2-by-4-inch
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Roofing felt
  • Mesh
  • Hammer stapler
  • Staples
  • Utility knife
  • Drain assembly
  • Duct tape
  • Mortar
  • Measure the dimensions of the shower floor. Cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to fit.

  • Measure and mark the location of the drain hole in the shower floor. Cut a corresponding hole into the plywood with a jigsaw.

  • Place the plywood on the floor, aligning the hole in the plywood with the drain hole.

  • Stand a 2-by-10-inch board on edge against the bottom of the wall framing on each of the three sides where the shower walls will be. Nail the boards to the wall studs.

  • Lie three two-by-fours stacked on top of one another on the floor where the shower door is being placed. Nail them to the floor.

  • Cover the plywood with roofing felt, then staple it to the floor with a hammer stapler. Lie mesh over the roofing felt, then staple it to the floor.

  • Use a utility knife to cut through the roofing felt and mesh to expose the drain hole.

  • Slide the bottom flange of the drain assembly into the drain hole. Place duct tape over the bottom flange to prevent mortar from entering.

  • Mix mortar for the shower floor, following the instructions on the package.

  • Place the mortar onto the shower floor, using more mortar around the edges of the shower and less near the drain hole.

  • Smooth the surface of the mortar with a two-by-four. Slope the mortar so it's about 1 1/2 inches lower near the drain hole than it is around the perimeter of the shower floor.

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