Replace Shower Pan Without Removing Tile? (Explained!)

Do you want to have a bit of bathroom remodeling, you might need to remove the shower pan. Replacing your shower pan is not hard if you have the right plumbing instruments at home and follow due process.

When you perceive water getting under the shower pan, it shows that it is high time you got the pan changed so that the water does not fill in the tiles and cause bacterial growth.

In this article, we will see how you can replace your shower pan and if it’s possible to do this without removing your tiles.

Shower Pan without removing tile

Can You Replace A Shower Pan Without Removing Tile?

No, you cannot replace a shower pan without removing the surrounding tiles. The shower pan is held in a firm position with screws and nuts that are hidden below the tiles. The tiles around it serve to keep it in place. So, to remove the shower pan, you will need to tamper with the tiles.

Can You Replace Just The Shower Pan?

A shower pan, in simple terms, is a part of the floor of your shower room. It is usually designed to be a bit shallow in the middle just so the water you use during a shower runs to the drain and flows out to your house’s main drainage system. That is how the shower pan works.

You might question if you can replace just the shower pan without needing to replace the whole shower.

Yes, you can replace just your shower pan alongside other stuff in your bathroom. It is separated from the shower, so you can easily remove it.

The manufacturer, most likely, had you in mind and designed it to be removed easily. Also, there is a chance that the shower pan might break or start to leak water into the tiles. This is not a good situation. It can cause your tiles to be pushed out of shape, build up mucus and bacteria that loves damp places, or even cause the area to start to smell. Inevitably, you would need to change your shower pan.

With a little bit of guide and plumbing equipment, you can remove and replace your shower pan. However, be prepared to do some remodeling work. If you are certain that you want to do this, pick out a convenient time so you can be focused and get the job done in good time.

Now, to change your shower pan, you need to:

  1. Remove the surrounding wall tiles.

You will need to carefully remove the tiles surrounding the shower pan when you start. You can do this with a hammer and a chisel. Place the chisel at the thin cemented line between the tiles and hit with the hammer.

This would create a crack in the cement that holds the tiles in place. You can then gently pull the tiles, so it doesn’t break into pieces.

You have to be careful with this process if you still have the plan of fixing the same tile back in place after changing the shower pan.

  1. Remove the screws and nuts holding the pan in place.

There are usually screws used to keep the shower pan in place. You have to remove this first, so you can have a chance to pull out the actual pan.

  1. Pull out the shower pan.

At this stage, you can now pull the damaged shower pan out of its place. This has to be done carefully because of the drain pipes attached to the pan underneath the ground. Be careful of the pipes, so you do not damage them and incur more costs.

  1. Put in the new shower pan.

Having removed the damaged pan, you can place the new pan in its place. Ensure to fix the drain pipes and the drain sieve into the new shower pan when setting it.

You do not want to revisit the pan after completing the work and notice that you didn’t fix the drain pipe correctly. That would mean starting all over again; you don’t want that.

So, screw the pipe back in place with the drain pipe and ensure it is firm.

  1. Replace the tiles earlier removed

Once the pan is fixed, you can now make a move to replace the removed tiles, provided it is still in good condition. If some are broken, you will need to get new ones.

To fix the tile back in place, get a bit of tiling cement and mix it with gravel and water. Plaster it at the back of the tile and between the next tile.

You have successfully completed the process of replacing your shower pan without having to dismantle your whole shower.

Can You Install A Shower Pan Over Tile?

Remodeling your bathroom can require you to make some additional changes in the structure. Installing a shower pan is a nice move, but the question is, can it be installed over tiles?

You can do this if you have checked the base of your shower pan and it has a tile over design. There is a special base put in the shower pan in a case when you want to install it over a tile.

The base of a shower pan is supposed to be mortar. It provides an uneven layer and ridges that hold the installed pan tight and waterproof. If the floor is made of tiles, you have to pay extra care to ensure that the pan is firmly held.

You can scratch the surface of the tile and ensure that it is rough enough to hold another surface firmly. The irregular pattern helps the shower pan adhere perfectly to the underlying surface and prevents water from seeping through cracks and gaps.

However, you do not need to risk it if you have the chance. Pull the tiles out and follow the normal process of applying mortar beneath the pan.


Bathroom work requires you to be patient and think through every decision. Your shower pan is important both for the beautiful view of your shower and for draining out water effectively.

So, when changing your shower pan, you have to be very conscious of a couple of things.

You have to note the tiles used and how to remove them without breaking them. Also, you have to be conscious of your drainpipe, so you don’t fix it wrongly or damage them.

Remember, more damage leads to more cost, so do it right.