Going Green: How to Fix a Leaking Shower Pan Liner

What You'll Need
Shower Pan
Shower Pan Liner
Rubber Grout Float
Pry Bar
Nailer or Stapler

A leaking shower pan liner results from the tearing apart of the membrane due to improper shower pan installation or from a long exposure to moisture. A shower pan liner is the membrane that is installed in the shower before the installation of the pan itself. This membrane protects the walls and the sub floor from damage caused by leaks. Even if the pan is broken, the liner will still provide a protective covering that shields the floor and walls from leaking water. Liners are usually made of durable material, but that is not a guarantee that they will not eventually leak. When the suspected cause of a shower leak is damage in the shower pan liner, then the shower pan and liner have to be replaced with new ones. Read on for instructions.

Step 1 – Removing the Old Set

If there are tiles installed on the surface of the pan, make sure to remove them first using the chisel and hammer method. Simply pry each tile until all tiles are removed. Afterwards, loosen the drain from the pan by first removing the rubber gasket. The gasket that is surrounding the drain can be removed by drilling around it. Next, pry the shower pan by inserting the flat edge of the pry bar under the base of the pan and lifting it up. Carefully remove the shower pan to expose the damaged liner. Pull out the pan and the damaged liner and remove any trace of it from the sub floor and walls. Remove nails and fasteners as well.

Step 2 – Installing the New Shower Pan Liner

Allow the sub floor to dry completely before installing the new liner. Use electric fans to facilitate the drying process. If not, simply allow the floor to dry. When the floor is dry and ready, spread and lay the new liner over the floor. Locate the drain and cut a hole on the liner to make an opening. Do make sure to cut an opening that is just about the same size as the diameter of the drain.

Work around the perimeter of the shower to fasten the liner to the wall studs. Use a nailer or a stapler, whichever is available. Fold the liner at the corners before stapling or nailing them. Make sure that the liner is spread flat on the floor and at the sides of the wall. When working with the shower curb, make sure that the liner is wrapped completely around it. Check if the liner is fastened completely and securely to the wall frames and the shower curb before installing the shower pan.

Step 3 – Installing the Shower Pan

After the liner has been laid, drop the shower pan in place and connect it to the drain. Install the shower pan and tiles (if necessary), and grout them. Allow the grout to cure completely before using the shower again.