Tile Redi is one of the most popular brands of tile-ready shower pans. They’re advertised as a quick and easy solution for constructing or upgrading a shower. But do they live up to expectations, or is it all a marketing hoax?
While Tile Redi could save you time and money, these pans are notorious for the following problems:
- Installation issues
- Shower pan flexes or moves
- Drain misalignment
- Drainage problems
- Leaks at threshold
- Insufficient adhesive
- Damaged or wrong shower kit parts
7 Tile Redi Shower Pan Problems And Solutions
As their name suggests, Tile Redi are one-piece, ready-to-tile shower pans intended to be used as quick-to-install and affordable alternatives to the sought-after designer showers with concealed drains.
However, they could turn into a challenging-to-install – and expensive – shower option if you’re not aware of the following problems.
1. Installation Issues
According to the brand, the Tile Redi shower pan installation should be straightforward.
The product comes with easy-to-follow installation instructions and seems seamless to fit in place even when you don’t have access from below.
However, many homeowners complain about installation-related problems, even for pans fitted by professionals. The most common issues are leaks under the pan.
Another frequent mistake is installing the shower pan on a substrate that hasn’t been protected with a vapor barrier.
How To Fix
Proper measurement and fitting are key to solving most installation problems.
Measure the entire shower area, including the curb and depth, and make sure the Tile Redi pan you want fits seamlessly into your space.
Follow the instructions religiously, especially if you don’t have access from below. If the drain connection is not tight, water could leak under the pan and drip from your lower floor ceiling or the basement.
Water soaking into the floor studs – either from leaks or vapors – can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Always install a waterproof or vapor barrier under the cement board to protect the wooden structures.
If you have never installed a shower pan before, hiring a contractor or plumber to do it for you could be the wisest option.
Note: Tile Redi shower pans are designed to be tiled. Most shower tiles are waterproof; however, the grout and adhesive under the tiles are usually porous. This is why you should install a vapor barrier regardless of the tiles you want to use – vapor can pass through the grout and cement board and reach the floor studs. Humidity trapped under the floor can lead to mold, mildew, and rot problems.
2. Shower Pan Flexes Or Moves
There is hardly anything more annoying than stepping in your shower only to feel a wobbly base under your feet.
The main reason your shower pan may flex or move is due to installation errors, such as using too little adhesive or improper adhesive application.
However, Tile Redi shower pan reviews also mention instability due to flimsy materials.
How To Fix
Unfortunately, you can’t fix a shower base that flexes or moves due to cheap construction. If possible, check out the shower pan in-store and bend – or, ideally, walk on – it to test its sturdiness.
If the shower pan feels sturdy, but it moves or flexes after installation, the most likely reason is an adhesion problem.
To avoid this, you must calculate the adhesive thickness based on the type of Tile Redi pan you want to buy. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn the shower pan upside down and measure the height from the bottom of the ribs (that rests on the mortar) to the underside of the pan floor. Make sure you measure at the deepest point.
- 1/2” from the deepest rib if you have a Redi Trench®, WonderFall Trench®, or Redi Free® Trench pan
- 1/4” from the deepest rib if you have a Redi Base®, Redi Free® (Non-Trench), or Wonder Drain® pan with left or right side drain
- 1/8” from the deepest rib if you have a Redi Base®, Redi Free® (Non-Trench), or Wonder Drain® pan with a center drain
- The number resulting after the subtraction is the recommended adhesive thickness. However, keep in mind that the mortar should be at least 1/2” thick if the resulting number is lower than 0.5.
3. Drain Misalignment
More often than not, drain alignment problems arise due to improper measurement of your shower space. You may also write down the wrong drain size or drain position.
Sometimes, though, drain alignment problems are caused by fabrication errors.
How To Fix
Measure your shower space and drain position properly before buying the Tile Redi base.
Draw a blueprint of your shower area on a piece of paper and write the length, width, and depth on it.
Then, measure the distance between the internal edges of the shower and the drain on all four sides. Draw the drain on the shower base blueprint and write down the distances on each side.
Take the paper and a tape measure with you to the store and make sure the drain position on the pan matches the drain position on your floor.
Don’t rely on the product’s specification sheet alone. Some Tile Redi shower pans can have the drain slightly misplaced compared to its specified position.
If you can’t check the drain alignment yourself for one reason or another, and the shower pan you bought doesn’t align properly with the drain, the only fix is to move the floor drain.
4. Drainage Problems
Aside from drain misalignments, you may also notice other drainage issues, such as water pooling on one side of the pan instead of flowing into the drain.
These are due to improper sloping – either because of a poorly sloped floor or due to an improper pan slope.
How To Fix
When preparing the subfloor for a shower pan installation, keep in mind that it must maintain a slope towards the drain of about 1/4th of an inch per linear foot – always check the building code in your area as drain slope requirements may vary.
Check the slope with a level before installing the shower base.
After installing the Tile Redi base, turn on the shower and make sure the stream flows towards the drain. Turn off the water and see if there are any puddles in areas far from the drain.
If there are, and you’re sure the floor is sloped correctly, you’re likely dealing with a fabrication problem.
Contact the manufacturer to have the pan replaced. Otherwise, your only option is to remove the shower base, change the floor slope to correct the pan’s slope, and install the pan again. However, the pan will likely get damaged during removal if the mortar has been cured.
5. Insufficient Adhesive
All Tile Redi shower pans come with a quantity of epoxy adhesive that should be enough to fix the base to the subfloor.
Yet, many Tile Redi reviews mention that the adhesive is rarely sufficient. Thus, you should either buy more epoxy glue or use an epoxy alternative.
How To Fix
Buy more epoxy adhesive or replace it with Type N or Type S mortar. Some contractors may recommend thinset, but thinset is not strong enough to provide proper adhesion and structural support, resulting in a pan that moves or flexes under your weight.
6. Leaks At Threshold
Unlike leaks under the pan that can happen due to fabrication errors, threshold leaks are almost always the result of an improper measurement or improper installation.
How To Fix
Measure the shower subfloor area properly before choosing a shower pan, as explained above.
Follow all instructions in the installation sheet and seal all edges between the shower pan and the floor/walls with a waterproof sealant or silicone caulk.
In case of larger gaps, install waterproofing aluminum guards around the pan edges, then seal with silicone or another waterproof sealant.
7. Damaged Or Wrong Kit Parts
Like KBRS and Kerdi Tile Ready shower pans, Tile Redi often sells its pans in bundles with shower bench or shelf kits.
Sometimes, these kits arrive with damaged parts, such as the paint finish peeling off or broken hardware, or you may find bench parts in the shelf kits and vice versa.
How To Fix
There is little to do when you receive the wrong product or defective parts. Contact the manufacturer to return the kits or ask for replacements.
Are Tile Redi shower pans waterproof?
Tile Redi shower pans are pre-molded, one-piece pans made of PVC, and they are waterproof. The manufacturer also sells pre-formed aluminum guards cut to fit with your shower pan that provide a waterproof barrier around the edges.
Do tiled shower floors leak?
While most shower tiles are waterproof, water can leak into the subfloor through any holes in the liner or seams that are improperly joined. This includes improperly sealed joints between the shower pan and the drain, from where water can leak and soak into the floor studs.
Tile Redi shower pans could be a good investment for your DIY bathroom remodel project. Like anything else, though, they can have problems.
Most issues arise from installation or measurement errors and can be avoided if you complete each pre-installation and installation step carefully.
Fabrication errors are generally covered by the warranty.
We hope this guide can help you fix most issues without fuss. If you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer or hire a professional.