If you’re not a fan of tiled shower floors for bathroom renovations, shower pans are the next best thing. However unlike tiled showers, shower base sizes are pre-determined by the manufacturers. This probably leaves you wondering what then are the most common sizes among manufacturers.
Standard shower pan sizes range from 32″ to 72″ for their opening widths, with 48″ & 60″ being the most common among the top brands. The front to back measurements range from 32″ up to 48″ long, with 32″ & 36″ being the most popular.
Knowing the most common widths and lengths for shower bases is only half the battle. It’s also important to know which size combinations are the most common as it will help you make better shopping decisions. We’ve researched the top 7 shower pan manufacturers in the industry to get a better understanding of the landscape.
- American Standard
- Delta (Retail line of Home Depot)
- Dreamline (Retail line of Lowe’s)
- Hydro System
What exactly is the Width size?
The width of a shower pan is the measurement of the opening side. It is the primary identifier of any shower base. For example in a 60×32 shower pan, the width size is the first number indicated which is 60″. For showers with multiple openings, the longer side is typically considered the width.
Corner showers are quite common but not as popular as alcove showers. These types of showers can be either Neo Angle, Neo Round or Squared Corner pans. The important measurements for these types of pans are the two sides that are flushed with the wall and they almost always have the same dimensions. As a result, knowing which side is the “width” is a moot point.
The opening side of a neo style shower pan is the area that is not hugging the corner walls. For Neo angle pans, that would be the 3 sided section on on the bottom and right side of the picture above. Neo round showers have a similar opening but that section is rounded instead of angular.
The Most Common Width Sizes
Of all the 9 brands we researched, 60″ was a clear winner. It’s by far the most popular size overall but it’s also the most popular for every single company we have come across.
There are multiple reasons for this. If space is not an issue, most people would prefer to have a sizeable shower. With that said, there is a limit to how large one can go with an average home before infringing into the “mansion” category. The high end bathroom customer, typically opts for a tiled shower floor over a shower base.
Manufacturers understand their market, and have unanimously decided that 60″ is the largest shower base size that the average American homeowner would most likely opt for.
Another reason why 60″ is so popular is that it’s the standard size for a bathtub. It is quite common for homeowners to switch from a bathtub to a walk in shower for their bathroom renovations. Thus it makes sense to replace with a shower base that would fit right in with the existing plumbing.
What exactly is a Length Size of a shower base?
The length size of the shower base is the measurement from back to the front side of an alcove shower. This is assuming that the opening width is the front of the shower since this is where the person walks into it. For corner showers, the length is the measurements perpendicular to the width.
The length can sometimes be called the “depth” by industry folks like contractors and designers. However most manufacturers have decided on “length” to be the standard of these specific dimensions.
The length size is typically the lesser of the two dimensions. This is probably because the showerhead has to be installed on either the right or left hand side when facing the shower. Otherwise, the showerhead would face the entrance side which is literally a recipe for disaster. A longer width give the end user more freedom as to how far they want to position themselves away from the showerhead.
What are the most popular length sizes?
Based on research, 36″ seem to be the most popular length size across all manufacturers. 36″ is especially popular among the 3 brands who produce a lot more skus than the rest: Aquatic, Maax and MTI. 68 of the 97 skus we counted are produced by those three companies. This is telling as these companies produce a variety of shower bases for commercial and residential projects and have determined that 36″ is overall the most desirable length size.
As we mentioned earlier length size tends to be smaller and this is reflected in the data as the numbers get smaller for the longer shower pans. 60″ was the more popular of the width sizes but there is only a total of 3 skus out of the 9 brands that come with a 60″ length.
Most Popular Shower Pan Configurations
Now that we know that 60″ and 36″ are the most common widths and lengths respectively, it’s logical to assume that the most common overall shower pan size would be 60″x36″. However, as you can see in the chart below, it’s not even close. 60×32 is by far the most commons Shower pan size configuration with a total of 57 skus.
The most logical reason for this is that 60×32 is not only a popular size for a walk in shower but it’s the most common bathtub size as well. A common use case for bathroom remodeling is bathtub to shwoer conversion. As a result, there is quite a bit of demand for 60×32 shower bases. You can easily identify a shower base meant to be a tub replacement as the shower drain would be located at either end of the pan as opposed to the center.
60×36 shower pans is tied in second place with 60×30 with a total of 31 skus. This not surprising since 60×30 is another popular size for alcove bathtubs. Besides 60″ shower pans, shower bases with a length of 36″ are the most popular for each width category.
Here are some other noteworthy takeaways from the data above.
- Shower pans with a shorter width compared to length are rare. There is only a total of 8 on our list with 36×42 being the most common.
- Square showers are not common for larger sizes. Only one manufacturer makes a 60″ square pan.
- If you’re looking for a shower pan with the smallest surface area 32×32 is as small as it gets.
Other important Shower Pan measurements
In additions to the length and width, there are other important measurements that you should take into account when purchasing a shower pan. Below we will go over what they are and what the expected standard should be.
The threshold of a shower pan is the front curb of the shower. This is the area where the shower door would sit on when installed. Most shower thresholds fall between 3″ and 5″. However, there are special shower bases made with zero threshold. They are sometimes called “Barrier Free” shower pans and are designed to meet the ADA requirements for wheelchair accessibility.
The threshold width is the thickness of the curb of the shower pan. it’s the dimensions you see when looking down at the threshold from the top view.
Distance to Center of the drain
The distance to the center of the drain is a dimensions used for plumbers and installers. It’s pivotal for during the rough in stage of the construction cycle as it helps the plumber determine where he should install the pipe. Often time, the plumber does not have the shower pan in hand when doing this work, so having accurate measurements is critical and helps prevent issues down the road.