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I decided a few months back to remodel a guest bathroom, and went with a fiberglass/acrylic shower pan. The pan was put in place on top of a mortar base, and then sealed to it with liquid nails. At this stage there is now tile on top of shower pan as well, so removing the shower pan would require taking out that row of tile, and likely cutting it out. The rest of the bathroom however is unfinished.

Unfortunately the pan creaks, and I know if that isn't fixed it will drive me crazy. It's a brand new bathroom, the tiled wall looks beautiful, and everything else will look like a million dollars, but a creaking acrylic shower pan is going to ruin it aesthetically for me.

What are my options at this point? Try to salvage the pan with techniques to stop it from creaking (I've read about foam, etc.) or just take it on the chin and rip it out and go with a tiled base? It'll definitely add to the cost of the project and time, but if I'm not going to enjoy the end product, the money is beside the point.

Thoughts and advice are welcome.

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I have never set a shower pan in a mud base, in glue, yes. Whirlpool tubs go in a mud base with building paper first, reinforcing wire on top of that, nailed or stapled in place, then a stiff layer of high strength sand mix cement or mortar piled high and the tub "settled into" the mud so the bottom of the tub carries the weight, not the edges.

If you did all that with your shower pan so the mud base did not crack, it would not need glue under it. Typically shower pans do not have that much room under them to allow enough mud under them to keep it from dying out too quickly and therefore weakening the mix, that is why glue has been the only thing used that I know of.

In my opinion, without knowing more of the situation, as in not able to hear the type of sound it is making, you will need to pop the pan and reset it. I think the mud base may have been your own idea?

  • The mortar base wasn't my idea, no, I am having a DIYer that's done this type of work in the past do it. We're currently discussing foam and also anchoring the outside edge down with screws that will go through the slab to give extra downward pressure on the outside edge. It's that outside edge that has some give upwards. I'm loathe to pop the pan up but it may come to that, I'll know in a couple of weeks (it's been a slow pace) and report back. – Joe Jan 1 '18 at 21:09
  • I will clarify the comment, if the instructions for the install do no mention anything about a mud base, then it wasn't needed. Whether somebody else's or your idea, if it is not included in the instruction manual, the mud bed should go, again, in my humble opinion.... – Jack Jan 1 '18 at 21:21
  • bathauthority.com/pdf_files/manuals/trays.pdf, it did call for mortar/plaster, but I do appreciate the feedback! – Joe Jan 1 '18 at 21:23
  • That is the first one i seen with a mud bed, learning something there. Where exactly was the Liquid Nails used in the install? – Jack Jan 1 '18 at 22:02
  • On the bottom of the pan are rings spaced throughout, ostensibly to support the interior. They were "caulked" around those rings, and onto the sides, so when the pan went back into the mortar bed it had something to adhere it down. – Joe Jan 1 '18 at 22:17

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