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Last updated: August 12, 2021
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There is a massive disparity between what is shown in shower base marketing campaigns and what is installed in your house. For this reason, some buyers can’t comprehend how what they thought was the best shower base could end up disappointing them so much.
A select group of people never have to experience this kind of disappointment. They are realistic in their search, take into account shower base features, and are thus successful in their purchase. To join them, you simply have to take a similar course of action. Concerning the shape and dimensions, you should want something that not only blends with the shape of your bathroom but also the size. In addition, you should opt for better bathroom aesthetics by adding the color of the shower base here. Also, your shower base has to bear the weight of different people. This is where thinking about material construction comes in. The drain as well tells you the base’s efficiency in getting rid of water that trickles down from the shower. Our team has been through the trouble of looking for the best shower base in the market. The result is the list of options below.
If you have designated a corner in your bathroom for your shower, then you can probably fit the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-2036360 shower base in there. Those with a black theme in their bathroom can get the same color to match it. There is a biscuit and white option available as well.
The shower base is made mainly from acrylic with various measures taken by the manufacturer to ensure longevity. One example is the gloss used to cover the surface of the product. You should know that this prevents potential decay and water damage from eating at the acrylic shower base.
Partly responsible for the durability of the shower base are the 4” diameter PVC rings on the underside of the shower base. Also, back on the upper side of this purchase, the surface is textured. As such, even though a soap and water mixture can be quite slippery, your feet will remain stable as you shower.
If this shower base is to your liking, you should budget for a 2” compression fitted drain in addition to professional installation as well. Also, if you are not a licensed plumber and attempt to do the installation yourself, things may go awry.
Lastly, a licensed plumber will know how to navigate the positioning of the drainage pipe, so it meshes with the design of the shower base.
What do we love it for?
Features a SlipGrip floor surface
The corner fitting is ideal for most bathroom designs
Relatively easy maintenance due to the high gloss non-porous surface
Three color finishes available
What were we disappointed with?
DIY installation is out of the question for most people
Doesn’t come with a drainage pipe hence one needs to be purchased separately
With the Kohler K-9026-95, you can use tile-in or drop-in installation to fit it into the bathroom. Also, as mentioned above, the tile-ready shower base is made of enameled cast iron. As such, if you had durability as one of the considerations for your purchase, you can check it off.
Additionally, the construction comes with extra benefits, including being scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and impact resistant. Consequently, the outlook of the shower base is a timeless one that you will have to wait for years before you see visible signs of use.
The manufacturer is also adamant about providing you with multiple color options that total 11. If you are contemplating rebuilding your bathroom with a specific color scheme in mind, you can check out the colors available to see if they would match.
Further, for your safety, you get a slip-resistant finish. Finally, ensure you plan for the center drain in your installation as well.
What makes it special?
The product is available in 11 colors
The enameled cast iron construction is quite durable
Another DreamLine SlimLine is presented on our list. Like the editor’s choice, this modern shower base is made of acrylic. As such, it would be a fair-minded assumption that a lot of the construction benefits provided for the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-2036360 are present for the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1032320 as well.
The color options are also similar. Since this product is a double threshold product, it will need to be positioned in a two-wall corner. With the services of a professional, installation should be a quick, eventless affair. That you have to pay something extra is, however, an inconvenience you have to deal with.
Nonetheless, this shower base is an affordable option. As you are shopping for a drain to complement this base, look for the 2” compression fitted drains. Moreover, a mortar bed is required under the shower base.
Do remember that a textured surface is provided and necessary so you don’t slip and fall while taking your shower.
Why is it special?
A textured non-slip surface is provided, so you don’t slip and fall while showering
Getting the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1136540 for those who want a rectangular shower base is also a good choice. Looking at the dimensions, you can tell that it is a relatively large acrylic shower base. As such, you need a lot of space in your bathroom to complete the installation.
One other difference between this and the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1032320 is that this is a single threshold shower. Of course, its smaller square predecessor on the list was a double threshold option, and thus installation was different.
When it comes to the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1136540, it needs a three wall alcove shower installation. Pay attention to the fact that this shower base features a center drain on the SlipGrip floor surface. Also, the non-porous high gloss finish is a plus. Like the other Dreamline products listed, professional installation is recommended.
What are its best features?
Offers ample space for showering
The non-porous high gloss finish makes maintenance easier
The KBRS Tile-Basin TB-3636-N is the second and last neo-angle shower base you will find on this list. Although made mostly with EPS and composite, the base is waterproofed to prevent water damage.
This item will also fit right into your tiling as long as you know how to do the installation right. To ensure that you do, the manufacturer has provided a video tutorial for the same on Amazon. You can as well find similar videos on YouTube.
If you don’t have any plans of including the color green in your bathroom, you may want to avoid this purchase as it is the only cover available. Also, the product is pre-sloped to ensure all the water flows to the middle where the drain is.
Why is it special?
Relatively easy to install with instructional videos provided
The next rectangular-shaped shower base to grace our list is the Swanstone FF03454MD.010. This product is only available in white and, as such, ensure you are okay with that before committing your funds.
The bathroom accessory is made of Veritek. Consequently, you will never see chipping or cracking on the surface of the FF03454MD.010. Also mentioned above is the Fit-Flo center drain. Some users regard it as easy to install as per their experience in the process.
Also worth mentioning is the slip-resistant surface so you can get in your shower without having to worry about a slippery floor.
The Delta Faucet ProCrylic B78615-6030L-WH direct-to-stud installation shower base is one that you can purchase as well. The drain for this particular model is placed on the left side, which is a first on the list.
The manufacturer uses acrylic to make this shower base. Since this is the same material that Dreamline uses for their shower base options, one would assume certain qualities make it fit for the job.
Among the benefits that have previously been mentioned in relation to acrylic, especially with a high-gloss finish is how easy it is to clean.
What do we love it for?
Easy to clean
The acrylic finish is non-porous and thus doesn’t experience water damage.
What were we disappointed with?
The product is a bit slippery when wet
Some people don’t rate the durability of the product highly
The STERLING 72161100-0 is a single threshold center drain option for those who would like such a shower base. The square shape would fit nicely in a three-wall alcove.
If you were hoping for multiple color options, you might be disappointed with this option. You can only get it in white. However, some of you are perfectly okay with a white finish.
Also, this is one easy-to-install product. Finally, there seem to be no complaints about the material used to make the base. After all, it is insoluble in water, which is something the base will come into contact with a lot.
What are its best features?
Easy to install
What could be improved?
The base is only available in white
Relatively pricey for the size
Things to Consider
Picking a random shower base that fits your budget is easy but will likely not get you a product that works for your installation scenario. However, following this guide should almost guarantee you a favorable result.
Why buy a shower base?
Most flooring material, whether tiles or wood, allow water to seep into the house structure. This can lead to water damage, the decay of specific structures as well as the growth of certain microorganisms on your bathroom floor. Since a lot of water gets spilled in the bathroom, you want something that directs the water to the drain, which is what a shower base does.
Shapes of shower bases
The list above shows that not all shower base options are shaped the same. However, the options mentioned don’t represent a comprehensive list of the base shapes that you may encounter on Amazon or any other store. We have provided information below on all shapes available so you are better prepared for your shopping experience.
Quadrant shower bases are meant to be installed in a corner, just like the KBRS Tile-Basin TB-3636-N. However, the TB-3636-N has straight edges, while quadrant options come with a curved edge.
Rectangular shape shower base options are self-explanatory. They include examples like the Kohler K-9026-95 and the Delta Faucet ProCrylic B78615-6030L-WH. However, these two examples show that the drain doesn’t have to be in the same place. The sizes as well are not similar for most models.
Square shower bases have equal length and width measurements as you would expect of any square. The STERLING 72161100-0 provides us with an example of the same. For a lot of rectangular and square options, you may as well find them classified as single or double-threshold shower bases.
You can differentiate between single and double threshold options by looking at the grooves provided to fit glass doors. If the grooves are only on one side, it is a single threshold base and thus needs a triple wall shower alcove to work.
Dual threshold options are for corner showers and thus allow for two sides of the base to be fitted with glass fittings.
Our editor’s choice, the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-2036360, is a prime example of a neo-angle shower base. Another example is the KBRS Tile-Basin TB-3636-N. You can refer to these two examples above to see their unique shape in the images provided. Nevertheless, they work best when installed in a corner.
Features to consider when buying a shower base
Now that you know all about shower base shapes, you ought to know what other features can make or ruin your experience with the bathroom accessory. You can find the information below.
As a prerequisite to your purchase, ensure the shower base you are looking at can hold your weight. Not only that, check if it can go through the rigors of shipping and installation without cracking, breaking, or falling apart. You can make a guess about this by looking at the construction material. One example is the Kohler K-9026-95 will likely not break or crack since it is made of enameled cast iron.
We already mentioned single threshold and double threshold models above. Each of these will dictate the installation system. You, for instance, shouldn’t buy a single threshold option like the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1136540 if you don’t have a three wall alcove for it.
Ideally, most people want their bathrooms and houses to look well put together. Mixing all types of different colors in the bathroom will make it look like everything is out of place. This is why you look at the colors and, if possible, mix and match them with similar and complementary colors in your bathroom.
Having a scratch-resistant shower base like the Kohler K-9026-95 will as well work to your advantage. You can clean and use it without worrying that the product will end up looking old and worn out.
Another box that should feature on your checklist is stain resistance. Remember that you use soaps, shampoos, and other chemicals in your shower. Moreover, you may have spilled something on yourself that you are trying to get rid of by showering.
If the product is not stain-resistant, it may end up looking quite ugly after a period of use. This would make it unappealing to go into.
Ease of cleaning and maintenance
You probably already clean your bathroom regularly. Adding a shower base means something extra for you to clean. You as well shouldn’t want something that makes cleaning harder. That being said, some shower base options will support the growth of certain microorganisms. As such, you will need to work several times harder to ensure the space remains spick and span. You can avoid this by picking an easy to maintain, easy to clean base.
Dimensions and weight
One thing you likely won’t be able to change is the size of the bathroom in your house. However, you can make it so that you purchase a shower base that fits in with the rest of the bathroom installations. For that, you should know the dimensions of your bathroom and those of the product you are buying.
Second, weight is essential as well. Remember that heavier bases will require sturdier installation. Also, caution is needed during the installation, so you don’t damage the modern shower base or hurt yourself.
Some other features need your attention, as well. They include slip-resistant surfaces, warranties, and drains as well. As for the drains, your pick may fit in with what you have already installed in your bathroom.
When getting into a shower, you get off the bathroom floor and step into what is referred to as the shower pan. This pan allows water to flow and trickle into the drain as it is sloped with this in mind. As for the shower base, it consists of the whole structure, including the shower pan, drain, and the materials that make up the underside of the shower pan.
Acrylic is a popular choice, but there are also other options, such as cast iron, composite, and Vikrell. If the installation is handled correctly, all these options will give you excellent service. As such, any one of them can be the best depending on how you treat, install, and use your shower base.
For a more watertight installation of your shower base, install it before tiling. Also, this may help prevent your tiles from being cracked by the flexing of the shower base.
The DreamLine SlimLine DLT-2036360 takes up the top spot for us. You can check various positive boxes with this purchase. Among the benefits are the colors available and affordability. Also, it is small enough to fit in most bathrooms while still giving plenty of shower space. To add to this, it is durably made and easy to maintain.
Next in line in rankings is the Kohler K-9026-95. Aside from the pricing, nothing negative can be said about this shower base. The 11 available colors are a definite plus, as is the cast iron construction. In terms of durability, this sets the bar quite high.
For our third highest-rated shower base, we picked the DreamLine SlimLine DLT-1032320. This option is a compact square option that provides you with tons of value. You can see that in the non-porous slip-resistant design as well as the pricing. It goes without saying that some of you will pick this option if you are trying to save on bathroom space.
That completes our top three rankings. Which options would make it into your top three? Comment below.