Can You Replace A Shower Floor Only?

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

In modern residential bathrooms, there are many fixtures. Even still, the shower continues to be one of the most important fixtures. The shower doesn’t utilize dozens and dozens of components like other fixtures do, yet all the components they do utilize are essential.

One of the most important parts of a shower is the floor, and whereas some showers utilize high-quality tile as a flooring material, others utilize what’s known as a shower pan. Either flooring option has benefits and drawbacks, and one should know what these are before selecting either option.

But say you have one kind of shower floor and you want to swap this out for another kind of floor. Is this possible in either case? In other words, can you replace a tile shower floor with a shower pan and vice versa? Such is the main question this article answers.

Yes, you can replace a shower floor by itself, but this course of action is one most professional shower installers advise against. That’s because this is a tedious and expensive process, and even a professional can’t guarantee perfect results. If these downsides don’t bother you, you can replace your shower floor, whether you have a shower pan or a tile floor.

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Can You Replace a Shower Floor Only?

It’s possible to replace just the tile shower floor, and you can replace a shower pan by itself as well. However, most professional shower installers would recommend not pursuing either option, as once either floor material is installed, limited replacement will be hard to execute.

Say, for example, you want to remove a preexisting shower floor. You can’t just remove the tiles on the floor, as you’ll have to remove lower sections of wall tile as well. Everything is connected in the tile configuration, which means replacing just the floor would involve a lot of cutting, sanding, and demolishing.

And if the shower floor is torn up incorrectly, then you may have trouble situating the replacement floor. In such an instance, repairing the damage would be the necessary first step.

In short, while it’s possible to replace both a tile shower floor and a shower pan, there are really only a couple scenarios that warrant doing this, and most homeowners don’t ever face such scenarios.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a New Shower Floor?

The price of a shower floor replacement is most largely influenced by:

  • The kind of shower floor you’re replacing.
  • The kind of shower floor you’re looking to get as a replacement.

On average, a homeowner in the U.S. will spend just over $370 for a new shower floor. And when you add the cost of labor and materials, you can be looking at a total cost between $530 and $890.

Of course, there are other factors that determine the price of installation, including job size, location, and the materials you select. And as far as labor goes, since replacing the shower floor by itself is an uncommon and complicated task, it’s likely you’ll pay more in labor because of this.

Removing an Old Shower Floor Before Installing a New One

If your old shower floor needs to be replaced before the new one can go in, this is going to raise the total cost of replacement. Since removing the shower floor by itself is a complicated job—even for a professional—it’s best to not tackle this kind of replacement on your own.

You should contact a professional shower installer and ask if they can not only remove the preexisting shower floor but handle a replacement as well. With a professional working for you, there won’t be as much risk and it’s likely you’ll get the results you want.

Again, you’ll have to pay more for the labor, but you must measure this cost against what you could’ve spent making this a DIY project. As a DIY project, you may spend thousands in repairs and fixes alone!

Which Shower Floor Is Easiest to Replace?

Of the two main shower floor options, replacing a shower pan is easier. This is because the shower pan is one large component, which means once you’ve managed to cut it out from the rest of the shower, you can remove it without having to do a lot of work to the surrounding area.

To replace a tile shower floor, the floor will have to come up piece by piece. This is a much more demanding process, one that requires skills, patience, and concentration. Again, it’s best to have a professional handle replacement in either case.

Which Shower Floors Are the Cheapest to Replace?

Since replacing a shower pan is the easier of the two options, it’s also the cheapest. Again, you’d only be spending on a shower pan and the labor that’s needed to remove this one item.

If you’re replacing floor tiles, on the other hand, you will have to pay a lot more in labor to get these removed, and then you’ll also have to pay a substantial amount to get these set. Moreover, because the walls will require attention as well, it’ll take longer to set the tiles, which means the work will be costlier.

Is Replacing Just the Shower Floor Worth It?

Generally speaking, replacing the shower floor by itself—whether you’re replacing a shower pan or a tile floor—is not worth it. There are rare instances when shower floor replacement is necessary, such as when there’s an irreparable crack or something else that’s causing a leak. But most of the time, shower floors don’t get so damaged that replacement is the only option.

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Related Questions

Which shower floor material is long-lasting?

A good way to ensure you don’t have to replace a shower floor for many years is to use high-quality material in the first place. Experts say porcelain tile is the most durable and long-lasting option, and this material is easy to clean as well.

Is removing a shower floor a DIY task?

Most homeowners don’t have the tools, know-how, and experience necessary to execute a shower floor removal, whether we’re talking about a shower pan or a tile floor. For these reasons, one should only hire a professional when they need work done on their shower floor.

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

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