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How to Choose the Best Shower Base

5 min read
  • Shower Features

Design Your Dream Shower Request a free consultation or call (800) 704-9847

Selecting the right base for your walk-in shower can help keep your wet space contained, provide stability while you bathe and heighten your shower’s design. Learn how to choose the shower pan that best fits your needs and style!

What Types of Shower Bases Are There to Choose From?

Shower bases come in a range of shapes, sizes and design styles, but they typically fall under three installation categories:

  1. Recessed: These bases have no step-in, lying flush with the bathroom floor beyond the shower base and allowing for a seamless transition from floor tile to shower foundation. 
  2. Tile-ready: Similar to recessed bases, tile-ready bases are designed to be tiled over and lay evenly with the existing bathroom tile.
  3. Raised: These bases sit atop the bathroom floor and have at least a minimal threshold to keep shower water contained.

It’s worth noting that the installation type you select may depend on multiple factors, including space availability and potential drain depth. Recessed shower bases typically require a full bathroom remodel to install.

What is the Best Material for a Shower Base?

white tiled bathroom

It’s most important to select base materials that are durable, slip-resistant and load-bearing. Popular materials include acrylic, fiberglass, stone, heavy metals and tile—each of which has its own benefits and price points. Considering your budget, safety and aesthetic preferences can help you decide on the right material for your shower. 

Acrylic shower bases are long-lasting and stain- and scuff-resistant, all at a reasonable price, especially considering their lifespan. Fiberglass bases may be more affordable, but they ‌show signs of wear earlier than acrylic bases. And stone and metal bases come at a high price and may require specialized maintenance.

Pre-made vs. Custom Shower Bases

Finally, ‌consider the merits of a pre-made shower base or a custom shower base. While a pre-made pan may save you money and be available in many styles and shapes, you may want a custom design instead for a more unique base.

Pre-made Shower Bases

Pre-made (better known as prefab) shower bases arrive at your home ready for installation. Prefab bases can be custom cut to fit your bathroom, and they can be tiled over for additional custom design, but they are manufactured for quick and easy installation. 

Custom Shower Bases

Custom shower bases are designed and built entirely based on your preferences. This custom construction includes building a shower liner to prevent leaks, a mortar base and any tiling necessary. These are typically more expensive and require professional installation.

Other Shower Base Considerations

For the most cohesive shower design, consider your shower’s drain orientation, sizing and wall pattern before selecting a base. Today’s showers may also include built-in seating, textured surfaces and more.

Build your luxury shower from the ground up with a foundation designed for safety and style. With sleek, low-threshold bases from KOHLER® LuxStone®, you can easily step into the shower of your dreams. Choose from a range of shapes, sizes and elegant, on-trend color options to make your luxury shower your own. 

Ready to start designing? Contact us today for your free design consultation!

Request A Free Design Consultation

or call to speak with a KOHLER Authorized Dealer (800) 704-9847