Sunrise Specialty » Shower Pan Liner: Things You Need to Know before Installing

Shower Pan Liner: Things You Need to Know before Installing

For all of us who have homes in urban or suburban areas, a shower cubicle is something that we visit daily. Sometimes, more than once a day as well.

What most of us know is that we turn on the faucet and the water flows through the shower head and we go about doing our business of getting cleaned and refreshed.

What many of us also know is that there are many more important components that work in conjunction with each other to give us the wholesome and energizing experience.

The drainage system is without a doubt the most important part of a modern bathroom or a shower cubicle. If you are still skeptical about why we are saying this, read on further.

What exactly Is a Shower Pan Liner

What exactly Is a Shower Pan Liner

It is under the hood accessory which is a critical component of the entire bathroom system.

One of the reasons why most of us are not even aware of something called a Shower Pan Liner is because we never get to see them in any professional and complete shower or bathroom set up.

It is something that goes below the tiles and the mortar that forms the floor of the shower pan.

It is an additional means to waterproof the bathroom floor and prevent leakages and seepage into the floor and subsequently to the floor beneath the bathroom.

It is one of the must-have components of any modern bathroom and shower cubicle.

Why should it be there and is it safe?

Why should it be there and is it safe

We tend to enjoy our hot or cold shower and let the water run for long minutes while we unwind or think and get a grip on our day.

Always remember, where there is water, there is a risk of seepage and leakage. The job of a shower pan liner is to prevent the water from going anywhere else other than it is supposed to – i.e. down the drain pipe 🙂

And yes, it is safe to have it. In fact, the absence of a liner can be riskier than having a one under the tiles.

Installing a shower pan liner is a must and it can be the difference between an enriching experience every day to a leaky bathroom.

The costs of fixing the leaks and dealing with health issues that may arise from mold, grit or water logging can be extremely high.

What is a shower pan liner made of?

What is a shower pan liner made of

Since they need to be waterproof, most shower pan liners are made from PVC or Poly Vinyl Chloride which is nothing but a type of plastic sheet in simple language.

Ply can be 30 mm or 40 mm thick. The liners usually come in 4, 5 or 6-foot wide sheets and can be selected depending on the size of the shower cubicle.

Can I Install a Shower Pan Liner On My Own?

Can I Install a Shower Pan Liner On My Own

Yes, depending on the expertise level you have in masonry work, DIY installation of a shower pan liner is possible with the help of tools and the right design and know-how.

The key thing is to ensure that the liner goes under the reinforced mortar that forms the floor base of the bathroom but it is above the sub-level and the base floor mortar.

If the floor is wooden, then a shower liner must be above anything that is wooden on the floor. With the right set of tools, nails and drills to secure the liner, a professionally designed and leakage proof bathroom is possible.

You can check out some more details of what tools are needed and which material is used as accessories in the YouTube video at the end of this article. A visit to the store selling these items may result in some confusion as to which one is suitable for your bathroom.

Always remember, the floor area of your shower cubicle must be smaller than the total area of the liner you purchase. A thumb rule is to have it extended up to 8 inches on all sides.

Should I Just Install One On My Own?

Should I Just Install One On My Own

If you are thinking of going for DIY installation, make sure you have read this article and also watched the videos and links that we have shared below.

There could be some other references as well that you might find relevant to your particular case and it is definitely recommended that you get information from as many sources as physically possible before you get your hands dirty.

In case you would like to post your experiences of completing your own remodeling or even video shooting your way to a successful installation of a shower pan liner, shower speaker, or something else, you are more than welcome.

We would love to hear from you or see you do it. After all, sharing is caring and it will show your friends and other people how to do it the right way.

In case you do not wish to dirty your hands, calling in a professional agency that has some experience in designing and remodeling or rebuilding a bathroom is suggested.

Call in the experts, provide them the required resources (aka money and time) and enjoy your bathroom shower once it is done.

Besides installing a shower pan liner, you can also give a chic and organized look to your bathroom by installing a cool shower caddy and other related accessories.

Can A Shower Pan Liner Be Repaired?

Can A Shower Pan Liner Be Repaired

It is totally dependent on the material that was used for the liner. If a CPE or a PVC liner was used and it broke somewhere or developed a hole or a crack, it can be patched.

Think of it as a similar process to fix a flat tire. The mechanic identifies the hole and puts a patch with a heat treatment to create one whole tube again.

Similarly, the crack or hole in the shower liner can be patched with the right set of tools. In case some other material like hard plastic or fiber is used and that has developed a crack, fixing or patching it may not be possible.

Even in the case of the PVC liner, the exact location of the hole and the extent of damage can require a complete rehaul and replacement. Your case may need to be seen by an expert to decide on the further course of action.

Some Key Precautions

Some Key Precautions

It is important to make sure that the liner is laid on the floor base mortar and there are no air pockets in the form of bubbles between the floor and the liner. Use a small masonry spade to flatten any air bubbles and remove extra air trapped in between.

Always remember, the liner should be at least 4 inches wider than the shower cubicle floor as it has to be turned up and nailed to the walls. This has to be done neatly as seen in the reference links and videos.

Once you have laid out the liner and secured it at all corners and walls, then you can lay the next layer or reinforced mortar. Let it dry completely – a process called curation.

And then lay the softer thin-set or tile base cement which will hold your tile firmly in place.

Again, while laying the tiles, make sure they are aligned properly and do not protrude up or above the general floor level. Ensure an adequate amount of thin plain cement is used to fix each tile and that the corners are properly covered.

Pro tip:

Do not forget to make sure you slope the floor to the drain outlet. Otherwise, there will always be water on the floor which won’t drain away on its own.

The essential steps to be followed when installing a shower pan liner are simple if followed to the point and the outcomes can be quite disastrous if any of the steps or important accessories are missing.

It has become easier to be familiar with the avoidance of leakage and seepage problems associated with incorrect installation of shower pan liners.

We need not stress more on the fact that cost-cutting measures to use incorrect tools or accessories and ignorance to proper design can lead to extreme costs when the damage starts to show and dirt, mold and grit form on the floor or just below the tiles.

Implementing your next DIY project of installing the Shower Pan Liner will be more convenient and easier if you follow the below YouTube videos.

How to install a vinyl shower pan liner


A relaxing shower at the end of the day or a pepping up cold shower to begin the day, this is a part of our daily routine that many of us cherish and look forward to.

And why not, there are many things that we can think of while in the shower. Without a doubt, it can be a good or bad experience depending on how well the cubicle was designed, what material was used and whether the entire area was made properly waterproof or not.

2 thoughts on “Shower Pan Liner: Things You Need to Know before Installing”

  1. I like the information that you offer beginng home owners, thank you ever so much.

  2. In almost every how to, about shower pans I have watched or read about does what every qualified professional would never think of. That would be wrapping a pan liner over a 2 x 4 curb. You need to eliminate the wood and make a concrete curb that will not leak.


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