Shower Bases and Walls
Adding a new shower or upgrading an old one is a smart investment that can add value to your home as well as convenience and visual appeal. With a wide variety of attractive styling, materials and comfort features to choose from, shower walls and bases are a great solution for cost-effective bath remodels that deliver the elegance, sparkle and updated look you want. The Home Depot offers a wide selection of single- and multi-piece shower wall surrounds and bases designed to fit easily in almost any bathroom. This buying guide tells you about the materials, installation methods and features available, so you can feel confident you’re getting the shower enclosure that best meets your needs.
Shower walls may be single or multi-piece units and come in a variety of designs and shelving configurations. They may be purchased separately or as part of a complete shower kit, which provide all the coordinated elements you need to add a separate shower to a master bath, enhance the functionality of a second bathroom or include a shower as part of a basement remodel.
• One-piece units may be too large to maneuver into an existing bathroom, but can be ideal for new
• Two- and three-piece walls are ideal for existing bathrooms because they’re easier to maneuver and
• Four-and five-piece units are also available for maximum adjustability.
• Sizes can vary, but look for a unit that's at least 36" wide for comfort and safety.
• Configurations include rectangular, angled, round and square.
Whether single or multi-piece, shower wall surrounds accommodate common widths of 32”, 36”, 48” or 60” and heights of 59”, 72” or 96”.
Shower kits are ideal for renovations and remodels because they come as streamlined multi-piece units that can be maneuvered through doorways and up staircases, then fit together to form a watertight seal. Available in several standard designs, they share the common feature of fitting comfortably into existing spaces, such as corners and along walls, with various options for door configurations, including pivot, bi-fold and sliding. When making your selection, consider the shower base configuration and be sure it will fit in the allotted space.
Shower Wall Materials
Shower walls may be installed as a single U-shaped unit or as separate panels that fit together to provide a near seamless watertight surface in your shower alcove and require no grout. Most often made of sturdy composite materials finished with acrylic or a polyester coat, these attractive surfaces are easy to clean and maintain and resistant to chipping, cracking and peeling. You’ll find a wide variety of styling, textures and finishes to match virtually any décor requirements.
Shower bases, also known as pans or trays, protect the floor from moisture under your shower. The first step in selecting a shower base is knowing the size you need. Sizes are standardized for traditional showers ranging from 32”–48” and may be used with virtually any surround. They are available in rectangular, square or corner configurations with a pre-drilled hole for the drain.
|For a more decorative look, select a Tile Redi® shower base. Create a designer look in your bath by setting tile, marble or stone in Tile Redi one-piece leakproof shower pans.|
• Shower bases may be composed of plastic, cast polymer, a concrete/stone mixture called terrazzo and
other solid-surface materials.
• Low-level bases are ideal for open, Roman-style shower alcoves or alcoves that require little or no
threshold for easy walk- or roll-in entry for individuals with special needs.
• Base features to look for include non-slip patterns for greater safety and molded seats for ease of use by
the elderly or those with disabilities.
• Designs include rectangle, neo-angle and square .
Avoid the need to replumb by selecting a shower base with a drain hole that matches the location of the existing drain in your bath or shower. The drain hole may be located in the center of the base or in a corner, providing fast and easy alignment with existing drains.
Measuring Your Space
Before making your selection, you should measure the dimensions of the space to ensure the walls or base you select will fit the space.
• Accurate measuring is essential to ensure a proper fit—always measure twice for accuracy.
• Measure only when the space for installation has been completed, and not before.
• If you are installing shower walls direct-to-stud, wait until after wall demolition, then measure from stud to stud.
• If you are measuring for a corner shower, measure along the walls and make sure the radius connecting the
two points on the wall is clear of any obstruction
Follow these steps to properly measure for your shower wall surrounds. Measure twice for accuracy.
Measure the width in two places from wall to wall at the top and bottom of the opening. If the
measurements differ slightly, use the larger of the two.
Measure the height in two places from the base to the top of the wall unit or tile wall.
Measure the depth from the back wall to the front of the enclosure area along both side walls.
If the measurements differ slightly, use the larger of the two.
• If you are installing a shower pan in a pre-existing shower stall, the stall is likely a standard size.
• Take into account the position of the drain and select a pan that fits that configuration.
• Measure only after the floor has been prepped and leveled.
Follow these steps to determine the dimensions for a shower pan. Measure twice for accuracy.
Measure the inside length and width dimensions of the shower floor in the unfinished space
from wall stud to wall stud.
Measure the length and width from the wall studs to the drain hole.
Shower wall panels may be installed in one of two ways. Some panels adhere to a prepared wall surface in a bath or shower area while others are designed to be attached directly to the studs behind the wall. Adhesive applied walls can help you achieve quick results while direct-to-stud shower walls have a more secure fit.
• Direct-to-stud installation can be easily accomplished without drywall or greenboard installed behind the
• Glue-up walls should be installed over greenboard or cement board.
• If you are replacing an old shower with a new one, the degree of demolition determines which installation
method is most appropriate.
Shower pans are installed directly to wall studs prior to greenboard installation on the walls.