Q: How is a composite marble shower pan made?
A: Composite shower pans fall into several material groups; cultured marble, fiberglass, acrylic and solid surface. Generally all are made by fabrication of flat sheets, thermal-formed from a single piece of material, or molded or cast to form a one-piece unit. The one-piece construction eliminates seams, which in turn eliminates potential leaks. All composite shower pans install on a flat, level floor and do not require the creation of a sloped mud base. Cultured marble is made by spraying a ‘gel-coat’ onto a mold. This coating is about 1/64 inch or less in thickness. The gel-coat is covered with pigmentation and then backed with calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate gives the pan its strength. Also, in the casting process it is infused with air pockets to lower the density and weight. The cultured marble floor is cast separately from the sidewalls. The incorporation of a shower pan liner is essential to ensure a watertight, leak-free installation.