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9 shower bases in 4 different materials that could be great for midcentury bathrooms

shower bases midcentury bathroomsShower bases, also called shower pans or shower receptors — whether made from terrazzo, enameled cast iron, or another solid surface — are a popular alternative to tiled shower floors for midcentury homes. In this story, I’ve rounded up a collection of shower bases you can find new today in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials and price points. These could work well in a restoration, remodel or built-from-scratch midcentury style bathroom.

Terrazzo shower bases

terrazzo shower baseAbove: Terrazzo shower bases by Fiat come in 29 shapes and sizes — MSRPin from $434-$1033 depending on size and style.

terrazzo shower basesAbove: Terrazzo shower bases by Stern Williams — are terrific for midcentury homes and also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

terrazzo shower basesHere’s a new one I just discovered: Florestone terrazzo shower bases come in a wide variety of sizes from 30″x30″ to 60″x36″ and have been produced by the California company since 1958.

shower base terrazzoAnother discovery:  Terrazzo-Ware shower bases are available through Grainger and priced from $360-$582, these shower bases come in a few shapes and sizes.

Enameled Cast Iron shower bases

We are fans of cast iron and steel shower bases because these also would have been used back in the day. Kohler makes enameled cast iron shower bases in four different styles with 13 different sizes:

kohler bellwether

Above: Kohler Bellwether seems to have the most sizes. Wethinks folks are liking that, with this design, they don’t have to stand on top of the drain.

cast iron shower baseAbove: The Kohler Kathryn cast iron shower base is simple and sized at 48″x36″ — available in seven neutral colors and starts at $1,067.70.

cast iron shower baseAbove: The Kohler Purist cast iron shower base has a sleek design and is available in a  48″x36″ size. It comes in 14 colors and retails for $1,067.70

cast iron shower baseAbove: The Kohler Salient cast iron shower base comes in two sizes 60″x30″ and 60″x36″ and is available in 14 colors. Prices range from $966.90-$1,11.70.

Porcelain on Steel shower bases

Bootz offers two affordable porcelain-on-steel shower bases starting at just $159 and available through Home Depot.

Custom shower bases

terrazzo look alike dorianCorian shower baseIf you like the look of terrazzo but can’t quite find the right size in a prefab shower base, consider having a custom shower base fabricated for you out of Corian “Silver Birch,” a terrazzo look alike. Thanks for this great tip from super-contributor ineffablespace.

Of course there are alway also fiberglass shower bases or Swanstone shower bases or other such prefab shower bases that can be purchased easily and inexpensively through big box home improvement stores. Pam used Swanstone in her bathroom remodels about 13 years ago. But she says that if she knew then what she knows now she likely would have gone with either the Kohler cast iron.

CategoriesShower bases
  1. Cindy rahn says:

    For us cultured marble shower base, if they recommend Gel-Gloss for cleaning, please use it. I have used Gel-Gloss on my cultured marble vanity top with integrated sink since 1990. The top is stll in near perfect condition. Has one yellowish stain. Gel-Gloss works great! Cindy

  2. Nicole says:

    Just saying, we have an original terrazo shower base, and it is cracked and so grotty I can’t get it clean. Anyone have any cleaning recommendations?

  3. Phyllis Dustin says:

    My fiberglass shower pan 36 X 36 or can be 36 X 39 does not have a lip to set the tile on. Wondering how to begin tiling. I noticed that yours have a flat ridge on three sides, so tile can sit right on lip. Do you make anything that size? If so what will it cost?

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Phyllis, I don’t sell anything here. Contact the companies profiled — the links to their site are in blue.

  4. Lynn says:

    I’d love to get the Kohler Cast Iron pan but my shower can only hold a size 48x 30. I hate tile because of the mildew and it’s hard to clean. What would be the next best option? Thanks!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Lynn, I think the decision is really up to you as to what the “next best option” is.

      In addition to the materials/companies I’ve spotlighted here, you could also consider other solid surface materials…

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