Can You Use Type S Mortar for Shower Pan? (Explained!)

The ideal mortar for shower pans usually comprises standard cement sand and Portland cement, which is Sakrete Sand Mix or Type S Mortar. It helps in installing the best water-resistant barrier and greatly supports the shower or bathtub unit. 

What do you know about shower pans? A shower pan, the piece that helps form the bottom of your bathtub or shower, has to install on a concrete layer to support the bottom piece. When it is installed accurately, a water-resistant barrier between the shower bottom and underlying layers is created. 

Do you know what mortar is? It is made up of concrete that works effectively for the installation of shower pans since it includes no vex, allowing it to work without hassles and dry with the desired shape. What’s more? Mortar mixes for shower pans are mixed with sand and Portland cement, which hardens to become.

Factually, a mortar mix offers a great user experience, as it is shapeable. This way, homeowners can install whatever kind of shower pan into the base for support. There are multiple types of mortar we can consider using when building a shower pan, for instance: 

Kinds of MortarIngredients Used in Making
 Sakrete Sand Mix Made up of concrete sand, Portland cement
 Quikrete Floor MudMade up of top branded sand, other components, Portland cement
 Quikrete Sand/Topping MixMade up of commercial-grade sand, other ingredients, Portland cement
 DIY Shower Pan Mortar Bed                  Made up of fine sand, of Portland cement
Type S Mortar for Shower Pan

What Is Type S Mortar Used For?

The type S mortar is one of the best types and is pre-blended. The pre-blended mixture includes lime, sand, and Portland cement, so it works great. Type S mortar is generally used to build chimneys, tuck-pointing, planters, and walls. Besides that, it is useful for repairing existing mortar joints and for laying blocks bricks in the load-bearing walls.

Benefits of S type Mortar

  • Its consistency of the blend makes it ideal for building a structured wall
  • It is an affordable option
  • It is extremely moldable
  • It allows more flexing, helps in preventing cracks in masonry units
  • It is the strongest mortar, having a compressive strength of 1800 PSI.
  • It is best for exterior walls
  • It has the best strength and bonding properties compared to other mortar options

What Kind Of Mortar Do You Need For The Shower Pan?

Other than S-type mortar, there are other kinds of mortar we can use in the installation of the shower pan. Wondering why mortar is used more often than cement or concrete? It is because; mortar bonds to surfaces better and is moldable. You can use it as you want or need. Here we have a list of other mortar listed below; let’s have a look:

Quikrete Floor Mud

It is one of the best kinds of concrete mix mortar by Quikrete. Quickrete floor mud is used to build surfaces for the installation of shower pans, floor tiles, slates, and travertine. When mixed with water, it makes a water-resistant surface, which is ideal for the installation of shower pans.

Benefits of Quickrete Floor Mud

  • It is utilized for both indoor and outdoor surfaces
  • It can bear weight
  • It offers quality results, having compressive strength once fully dried
  • It forms any shape easily, is moldable
  • It can be bought at market-competitive rates
  • It can be fixed in the thickest places

Quickrete Sand/Topping Mix

It is one of the best mixtures used for the installation of shower pans and was introduced by Quickrete. Quickrete made this product with sand, Portland cement, and other ingredients beneficial for making a strong bond. Compared to Type S mortar and Quickrte Floor Mud (they have steady ingredients), the amount of water used in mixing depends upon the mechanism used to install shower pans or tiles.

Benefits of Quickrete Sand/Topping Mix

  • It can be used to fill masonry blocks
  • It can be used in patching
  • It is easily available in the market at reasonable prices

DIY Shower Pan Mortar Bed

For a DIY shower pan mortar bed, you can prepare your mix of concrete using cement, sand, and water. You can take one part cement with about five parts fine sand and then add water as per consistency requirements.

Tip: *4 quarts of water for every 80lbs is ideal

Benefits of DIY Shower Pan Mortar Bed

  • It is the cheapest option one can take
  • The products used in it are easily available in the market
  • You can make as much as you can
  • You can set the thickness consistency as per your requirements

What Materials Are Used in the Shower Pan?

Now that you know about the types of mortar and materials used in mixing let’s talk about the materials used in shower pans.


The acrylic shower pan is made from plastic, which is modified under pressure and heated to form a single piece. It is made according to the size of the bathroom floor.


While tile is pretty to use, it requires polished skills and extra attention when it comes to caring. That is if you want to ensure that it offers a water-resistant seal. Moreover, it needs regular care for durability. When fitting up the tiles as the shower pan, make sure it has a mortar bed with a thickness of 2 inches on the outer side of the floor.


These shower pans are made from polymer resin, which is fortified with woven glass fibers. While it’s cheaper than other materials, it’s more likely to get stains, scratches, and tears easily.

Combination of Materials

The composite materials are suitable to develop a shower pan with qualities that are similar to other materials. It combines multiple qualities in one place.

How Thick Should the Mortar be in the Shower Pan’s Installation?

The ideal thickness for shower pan installation is around ½ to 1 inch. However, you need to apply a base mortar layer with even thickness on the shower floor area in case the floor has a pre-slope.

Can You Use Thinset for a Shower Base?

Yes! You can, and it offers different benefits. You can use it to level uneven surfaces, and this is one of its biggest advantages. It’s resistant to moisture and is great for tiles or marble flooring. It is used to make ceilings, shower walls, floors, and tub surroundings.

What Is Dry Pack Mortar?

It is used as floor mud, or deck mud is, a mixture of cement, water, and sand, which is used to thicken bed mortar for brick placement and shower installation. This blend offers a compressive pressure and strength of 21MPa.

What Is the Variation Between Mortar and Concrete?

Mortar is a mixture comprising water, sand, and cement, with a high water-cement ratio compared to concrete. It has a great thickness that helps form the strongest bond. Compared to concrete, mortar can easily bond tiles and bricks.

Final Words

There are different types of mortar, but the best one to install a shower pan is type S. Why only the Type S? That’s because it’s water-resistant and offers a bunch of benefits that other types don’t. However, you can use other mortars like Quickrete Sand/Topping Mix, DIY Shower Pan Mortar Bed, and Quikrete Floor Mud to install a shower pan. Your choice of mortar also depends on requirements, including a budget, flexibility, and usage. Before picking up a mortar for the installation of your shower pans, select the right type of shower pan whether you’re settling for acrylic or tile, choose one that works best for you.