Shower bases, or pans, made of acrylic, fiberglass, or solid-surface material have made shower installation a lot easier, and today they are frequently used instead of custom artistic tile bases, regardless of whether the shower walls are tiled. These pans are available in the scope of stock sizes or can be custom-manufactured to fill a specific space. They are simply set into the spot before walls are finished and are associated with the drain system. Most shower pans are easy to install, and quality versions will offer many years of inconvenience free service if they are installed accurately.
However, usually for some shower pans to flex underfoot, especially if an overwhelming user is in the shower. This may or may not be a problem, contingent upon the design of the shower pan and the level of flexion, but in some cases, severe flexing can cause stress on the drain fittings and may cause a break around the shower drain. In intense cases, a cheap, weak shower pan may even create cracks in its floor surface.
Reasons for Shower Pans Flexing
There are several reasons why a shower pan may flex underfoot:
- Ordinary "give": No prefabricated shower pan will be as shake sold as a tiled shower base. Some small measure of flexing is normal and is not a problem if it causes no leaking.
- Cheap shower pan: All pipe fixtures arrive in the scope of value standards, and shower pans are the same. A cheap prefabricated pan will have a thinner floor and less and less substantial support ribs beneath it, resulting in a base that is significantly more susceptible to flexing. Flexing can be limited or disposed of if a cheap shower pan is installed in a mortar bed, but an insubstantial shower pan that rests specifically on the sub floor is probably going to flex underfoot.
- Substantial users: Kids and smaller adults can probably use most prefabricated shower pans without frequency, but vast, overwhelming adults are another issue. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for data on weight limits for the shower pan. Extremely overwhelming users may want to use other bathing options if they surpass safe weight recommendations for the shower base.
- Wrong Installation: Prefabricated shower pans come in one of two types: those that are installed in a bed of mortar spread over the floor, and those that are designed to rest level on the floor. If a mortar bed isn't installed to a shower pan that needs one, the shower pan won't be sufficiently supported underfoot and will probably flex at whatever point someone showers. Shower pans that don't require a mortar bed usually have support ribs beneath them that transmit out from the drain opening, which is designed to support the shower pan. But if the floor is uneven, those ribs probably won't rest immovably on the floor across their whole length, and this can lead to flexing. Also, if a shower pan has been shined on one side to level it, the ribs may be unevenly supported, with gaps in the center. What's more, cheap shower pans may not have enough support fins to satisfactorily strengthen the pan. Therefore, some plumbers use a mortar bed notwithstanding, when the shower pan manufacturer doesn't specify one.
Solutions for Flexing Shower Pans
Solutions to the flexing can run from doing nothing at all to evacuating the base to re-try the installation:
- Do nothing: If your shower base and drain fitting have been effectively installed, minor flexing will probably cause no problem by any means. The flexing may completely within the normal execution of the shower pan. If the flexing is minor and is causing no leaking, there may be no reason to stress.
- Include shims: A flexing shower pan resting straightforwardly on the floor without a mortar bed may need to be all the more enough supported along the length of the support ribs below it. This can be an extremely difficult thing to do after the pan is as of now installed, but it may be possible to access the base of the shower pan from a room below the shower. However, this may include cutting access holes in the roof.
- Install a Fernco fitting: A decent handyman who anticipates flexing of the shower pan frequently will install a special adaptable drain fitting in the drain pipe below the shower. The fitting is designed to oblige the bowing and flexing that occurs in prefab bases. Called a Fernco fitting, it serves as sort of elastic shock absorber that compresses and springs back when the shower base flexes around the drain hole. This fitting can also be installed retroactively from under the shower if your shower is flexing enough to cause leaking in the drain connections. This may require cutting an access opening in the roof below the shower, which can be patched after the fitting is installed.
- Evacuate as well as supplant the shower pan: In severe cases—and especially if the flexing has caused the shower pan itself to split—the main solution is to expel the base to make whatever fixes are necessary. This can include better for the support ribs beneath the pan or laying a mortar bed to support the pan over its whole surface. This is a significant real project, and if you are setting off to this length, you should want to accept the open door to install a new, better quality shower pan that is increasingly resistant to flexing.