What Are The Standard Sizes For Shower Pans/Bases?

It's not every day that you find yourself thinking about a shower pan or a shower base. The chances are that when you step into a shower, you don't necessarily think about what you are standing on. If you are, then it might be because you have to replace it due to damage or because you are considering transforming your shower into a spa-like retreat. We've pulled together the basic measurements of most shower pans.

The basic dimensions of a shower pan can range from 32" x 32", all the way up to 42" x 60".  For a neo-angle corner shower pan, the average cross measurement can range from 36" to 60". 

If you have more questions, don't fret. In this post, we'll discuss shower pan and base dimensions in more detail. We'll also cover other questions when it comes to shower pans, so be sure to keep reading. 

Interior of a modern contemporary living room with gray tiled walls, glass walled shower area with white shower base, and dark patterned tiles, What Are The Standard Sizes For Shower Pans/Bases?

What is the purpose of a shower pan?

A shower pan is the base of a shower unit when it is not a bathtub.  It has a very slight downward slope to encourage water to flow into the drain from all the shower pan's edges and angles.  It also has a lip around the outside edge that encourages water to stay in the shower pan when the shower is in use.

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What Are the Standard Sizes For Shower Pans/Bases?

The dimensions of a shower pan or shower base are pretty straightforward.  Unless you are looking for a custom shape, your choices are generally square, rectangle, or a neo-angle corner unit.

Shower pans or shower bases are manufactured in even number measurements, starting from 32" x 32", all the way up to 42" x 60".  Neo-angle corner shower pans have an average cross measurement from 36" to 60".   The depth of a shower pan can have a shallow lip measurement of 1," but for the deepest shower pan, they average 5 1/2" to 6".

Shower drains are either a center drain, an off-set drain, or an on-edge drain. Keep the location of your plumbing in mind when choosing a new pan or replacing an old one, so you choose one that works with it. 

Depending on your project, you can find them as an individual pan or an entire shower kit. Usable standing floor space will depend on whether you include any seating or adjustments that need to be included due to a physical disability.

How Do You Measure For A Shower Pan?

You need to take several measurements to ensure that your shower pan will be the proper fit.   

  1. The first measurement should be each side of the shower pan's outer edge that you will be replacing. Make a note of those measurements.
  2. The next measurement should be the depth of your shower pan from the top edge to the pan's inside bottom. Make a note of this measurement. 
  3. Your final measurement should be from the outer shower pan corners to the drain location. This measurement will help to ensure a seamless fit.
  4. Special note: If this is a first-time install of a shower pan, you will want to measure your space according to your wall studs and your drain placement. You will need to match the available shower space (including drain) to a new shower pan (including drain placement).


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What are shower pans made from?

Shower pans have gone through a lot of transitions since they were first introduced in the 1970s.  They are available in various types of materials.  It depends on your budget as to the type and style that you choose.  The four common styles are:


A mixture of synthetic plastics and natural stone. Composite has a high-end quality and price.


A medium price range option that allows for custom fitting for hard-to-fit spaces or custom colors.


These pans are in the lower price range and are readily available at home building stores.

Custom Tile

Generally considered the most luxurious and most expensive, tile shower pans are a beautiful alternative to the standard off-the-shelf options.

Click here to see the Swiss Madison Voltaire shower base on Amazon.

How Long Do Shower Pans Last?

The durability and longevity of a shower pan depend entirely on what the pan is made of. The following four materials are the most common:


Composite shower pans have a very high durability ranking due to the natural stone content. 


Off-the-shelf fiberglass pans are on the lower durability side of the spectrum because the surface is more porous than other choices. A porous surface means that it has a greater chance of staining and cracking if the water's mineral content is higher. 

Custom Tile

Custom tile can have a higher longevity rating and a greater chance of cracking, so durability might be considered lower. 


Acrylic shower pans are widely considered mid-level in durability and longevity, making them a popular choice.


Click here to see the Goodyo acrylic shower pan on Amazon.

Do You Need A Shower Pan On A Concrete Floor?

It is an excellent idea to install a shower pan on a concrete floor. Concrete can absorb water to some extent, especially over long periods of time. There may be a greater risk of damage to the floor when concrete is not treated or prepared to be used as a shower. Water can seep into the concrete, and you will have no idea where it will end up beyond the shower drain. That's not to say that it can't be done. There are concrete sealers on the market that are specifically designed for concrete shower use.   

Click here to see Miracle Sealants sealer on Amazon.

Should You Use A Shower Pan Or tile?

The decision to use tile or a shower pan might be a personal choice. It may come down to the budget you have to work with and your available space. There are a lot of fantastic options to choose from. When you look at cleaning, maintenance, and style, what would fit your needs? Are you looking for spa-type luxury or guest bath functionality?

Tile can be more expensive, but it does have the option of customizing designs into it, such as mosaics. It is also more labor-intensive. Shower pans have the option of built-in molded shower seats and custom colors to blend into your available space. 

Final Thoughts

Shower pans and shower bases have the power to transform a bathroom space completely. This simple update or replacement can turn a generic feeling space into a luxury space with a spa-like feel. Updating a shower base can also make a small shower feel much larger than it is.

If you need to replace your existing base with one that is more durable, that is easily achievable. While it is a relatively simple process, don't worry about reaching out to a licensed contractor for more information. After all, that is what they are there for and will gladly offer their assistance.

Are you looking for some inspiration?  Then check out the following posts:

What Are the Best Shower Tile Adhesives?

11 Walk-In Showers With Seat Designs

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