Q: We’re planning a bathroom remodel to include a tile shower stall. Our contractor suggested that in place of a tile shower floor we install a cast-iron shower base. Can you please give us a little more information?
A: In place of a tile floor with a water containment pan or membrane, many contractors may choose a shower base. Basically it’s a pre-made shower floor, complete with a drain hole and wall flanges.
Since shower bases are usually made from acrylic, vikrell and enameled cast iron, many colors, styles and sizes are available.
As far as installation, because they are one-piece units, labor costs can be reduced compared to building a shower base from scratch. Many bases can accept different types of wall systems including tile, so if you are looking for a tile shower stall you can still have tile walls.
An enameled cast-iron base can be a strong choice – it’s a material that has survived the test of time, and you can wash away any doubts about using it for your new shower floor.
Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.