Ever get tired of trying to scrub that ‘white’ (it started life as white, anyway) acrylic or fiberglass shower base? Ever try to take one out? It’s stuck, isn’t it? Ever get tired of rhetorical questions?
In order to create a shower floor for tile you must first remove that big, ugly base which seemingly attracts dirt from some unknown aspect of the magnetic force of the universe. It’s not really the magnetic force – it just feels like it. It’s actually the rubber force – as in the rubber gasket around the drain pipe.
Rather than attempting to pry the base out of there until you’re almost ready to fire up the propane torch and see if it will actually melt (it will), you can simply pry the ring from around the drain pipe and lift it out. Really.
This, of course, is assuming you have already removed the screws or fasteners attaching the flange to the studs. Almost all pre-formed shower pans have a vertical flange, about 1″ high, around the perimeter which may or may not be visible without removing the wall substrate. There is normally one or two screws or nails directly above or through this flange on each wall which hold it to the studs. You need to remove these first.
I’m assuming this because if you are trying to pry your shower base up and have not removed the perimeter screws first – you should probably request some assistance from someone. Just sayin’…
This is gonna be quick and easy. Just grab your 5-in-1 tool (don’t have one? Why not – everyone should have one! If you signed up for TileTips you’d already know that) or a screwdriver or something similar. Anything pointy will work. (Did I just type ‘pointy’??? I need a beer…)
Remove your drain cover – it’s likely just a plastic
piece of crap cover over your drain pipe like in photo 1.
You should see a big rubber gasket around your drain pipe (the 2 inch pipe in the middle) and your shower base. It’s the big black ring in photo 2.
Just stick your pointy tool (that totally didn’t sound right) between the gasket and the shower base. NOT between the gasket and drain pipe – you may damage the drain pipe.
Then pry it up. It’ll only come up a little bit at a time. You need to work your way around the perimeter of the gasket a little at a time staying between the gasket and base.
Photo’s 3 – 6 show working around the drain gradually prying it up a bit at a time.
Once you work the entire gasket out you’ll feel the final portion of it break the seal. That’s the best way I can describe it – you’ll simply feel when it no longer is sealed between the pipe and base.
When it does that you can simply grab it and lift it out. That’s it. That little three inch thick gasket was driving you crazy. Once it’s out the base will nearly levitate out of there.
Okay, it won’t levitate – but you can simply lift it up out of there and build a real shower floor.
One that can be cleaned without a sandblaster.