Buying Guide

Shower Bases and Walls


Shower walls may be single or multi-piece units that can be purchased separately or as part of a complete shower kit.

  • One-piece units may be too large to maneuver into an existing bathroom. Multi-piece units are easier to assemble and provide maximum adjustability.
  • Shower wall surrounds accommodate common widths of 32”, 36”, 48”, or 60” and heights of 59”, 72” or 96”.
  • Look for a unit that is at least 36” wide for comfort and safety.
  • Configurations include rectangular, angled, round and square.
  • Shower kits are available in several standard designs that fit into existing bathroom corners and walls.
  • Also feature various options for door configurations, including pivot, bi-fold and sliding.
  • When selecting a shower kit 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 unit or as separate panels that fit together to provide a watertight surface that does not require grout.

  • Wide variety of styling, textures and finishes to match almost any décor.
  • Most often made of sturdy composite materials finished with acrylic or a polyester coat that are easy to clean and resistant to chipping, cracking and peeling.
Shower Bases

Shower bases are also known as pans or trays and they protect the floor from moisture under your shower. Sizes are standardized for traditional showers ranging from 32” – 48” and may be used with any surround.

  • Available in rectangular, square or corner configurations with a pre-drilled hole for the drain. Select a base with a drain hole that matches the location of the existing drain to avoid re-plumbing.
  • May be made of plastic, cast polymer, a concrete/stone mixture called terrazzo, and other solid-surface materials.
  • Low-level bases are ideal for open shower alcoves and for easy entry for individuals with special needs.
  • Look for bases that feature non-slip patterns for greater safety.
Measuring Your Space

Accurate measuring is essential to ensure a proper fit. Always measure twice for accuracy.

  • Shower Walls. If you are installing walls direct-to-stud, measure from stud to stud after demolition. If 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. 
    • Step 1: 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. 
    • Step 2: Measure the height in two places from the base to the top of the wall unit or tile wall. 
    • Step 3: 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.
  • Shower Pan. Measure only after the floor has been prepped and leveled. Take into account the position of the drain and select a pan that fits that configuration. 
    • Step 1: Measure the inside length and width dimensions of the shower floor in the unfinished space from wall stud to wall stud. 
    • Step 2: Measure the length and width from the wall studs to the drain hole.

Shower panels ay be installed in one of two ways:

  • Option 1: Adhere to a prepared wall surface in a bath or shower area 
    • Achieve quick results. 
    • Should be installed over greenboard or cement board, a/k/a Backerboard.
  • Option 2: Attach directly to the studs behind the wall. 
    • More secure fit. 
    • Can accomplish without drywall or greenboard installed behind the walls.