I think we can all agree that having cracks in your bathroom can be a real pain. They create problems, and then you have to deal with the stress of having to fix them. Similarly, having cracks in your shower pan or base is a major issue. Let me explain why that occurs.
Due to instability, the shower pan or base begins to break as it becomes older. Other causes include water damage, a faulty installation that provides poor support, and using harsh cleaning solutions like bleach because they damage the surface and cause cracks.
Let’s go through the shower pan or base in more detail so you can better understand why the cracks appear and what you can do to fix them.
What Is the Difference Between a Shower Pan and a Shower Base?
They both serve the same purpose; the only difference is that a shower pan is a floor you stand on, whilst a shower base is the mortar and cement mixture that gives solidity to the shower pan.
You will be better able to comprehend the information given regarding a shower pan and base further in the article if you keep this difference in mind.
What Is the Purpose of a Shower Pan?
In actual fact, a shower pan’s only purpose is to channel water directly into the drain. The floor of your shower is made up of it. Considering that many people these days like open space, it is also a wonderful substitute for typical bathtubs.
The floor and base are shielded from potential leaks by the waterproof material used to make the shower pan.
How Can You Tell if Your Shower Pan Is Cracked?
There are a few obvious indicators that your shower pan is broken, such as leaks in the floor, mildew growth near the base, or holes where the floor and wall meet. Another option is to watch for any flexing of the shower pan.
The shower pan can also become damaged and develop cracks from a continuous flow of water.
Another possibility is that the shower pan may not have been installed correctly, causing movement and the potential for cracking. A lightweight shower pan is more prone to become weakened and crack if it is made of that material.
How to Fix a Fiberglass Shower Pan?
You can easily repair the cracks in your shower pan by first filling them with a spray; then you can finish the job by using epoxy to bond the cracks completely. Using fiberglass cloth and epoxy for the perfect finish is an option for larger cracks.
Here is a step-by-step guide for mending cracks in your shower pan in detail.
#1 Clean the Area
Clean up the area before you do anything else. Cover the drain to protect it before you begin cleaning. To also cover the showerhead would be even better.
In order to prevent scratches from being made by an abrasive cleaner, clean the shower pan with a non-abrasive cleaner.
#2 Drill Holes
The next step is to drill holes on both sides of the crack. This is done to stop the cracks from getting worse while the repair process is being undertaken. However, make sure, to begin with, the utmost caution.
#3 Use a Spray
You can now use a spray designed for filling up gaps and cracks. The spray will produce foam, which you must fill the holes with to restore the shower pan’s solidity.
#4 Apply Epoxy
It is just as crucial to apply epoxy as it is to use the spray. The epoxy will guarantee that the cracks have successfully closed.
#5 Even the Surface
Finally, level the surface with sandpaper to make it even, and you’re done!
Repeat the same procedures for bigger cracks. However, switch out the spray for a fiberglass cloth. Once the fiberglass cloth has hardened, apply epoxy to the surface, smooth it out, and clean the area to make the cracks disappear.
How to Fix an Acrylic Shower Pan?
Repairing cracks in an acrylic shower pan is quite similar to repairing cracks in a fiberglass pan. You must clean the area, apply a patch to cover the cracks, then finish the process by adding epoxy.
Cleaning the area first will let you concentrate mainly on the cracks because there won’t be any stains there. After you’ve cleaned everything up, give it time to properly dry before moving on to the following step.
#2 Apply the Patch
The same fiberglass cloth can be used as a patch for an acrylic shower pan because it will work and be as effective as on a fiberglass shower pan. The patch should be placed over the crack and left to dry.
#3 Apply Epoxy
Use epoxy to ensure that the cracks are successfully sealed.
#4 Use Sandpaper
At the very end of the process, use sandpaper to smooth out the surface and remove any excess buildup that may have resulted from the patch. And your shower pan is now finally repaired from cracks.
How Do You Fix a Cracked Shower Base?
A damaged shower base might be a challenge to fix. Because the shower base sits beneath the shower pan, you must first remove the shower pan to have access to the shower base. Next, spread extra cement on the area to fix it.
Fixing a cracked shower base is more difficult because when the shower base is broken, it often affects the shower pan as well.
Here are the procedures for an alternative technique to using more cement:
- Remove the shower pan.
- To patch up minor cracks, use flexible sealant.
- Evenly level the base.
However, if your cracks are severe, you will need to apply cement, or you might even need to have it replaced.
Is a Shower Pan or Base Replaceable?
Yes! It is possible for the shower pan or base to be replaced. However, it is recommended that you get a plumber to complete the task for you because faulty installation can lead to other difficulties.
Ask your plumber to check the shower pan or base and get it replaced if there are noticeable cracks, movement of the pan, or major leaks.
You must take care of your shower pan by avoiding placing heavy weight on it since it will not be able to support it and will eventually crack. Even so, you have the instructions to fix it if it does crack easily.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.