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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Cast Iron Shower Pan?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

One way to upgrade a shower is to change the look of its floor, which often is called a shower pan. Cast iron is just one option for the pan material, and it is known for being durable. Another benefit of a cast iron shower pan is its elegance, especially according to those who appreciate antiques, because this material often is seen in bathrooms that pull their decor from the past. On the other hand, cast iron is known for being an expensive material. Some also assume it is slippery and only comes in one color, though these potential drawbacks may be eliminated by requesting some adjustments to the cast iron shower pan.

Among the most appealing features of cast iron typically is its durability. It is known for being stronger than materials such as acrylic or tile, which make up the average shower pan. Unlike the latter material, cast iron does not tend to crack, which means it often lasts for years. This also may mean that water leaks from the shower are unlikely, because the cast iron should be able to prevent this issue.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Aside from being quite durable, a cast iron shower pan often is considered elegant. This is partly because this material is not standard in most showers and, because people frequently have to pay for such an upgrade, it usually is considered unique. An additional reason for its reputation as an elegant addition is the popularity of cast iron bathtubs, which usually are seen in older homes and, therefore, often are considered traditional.

Some people would not consider adding a cast iron shower pan to their house, at least in part because it is one of the most expensive materials on the market as of 2012. They may instead prefer more conventional tile or materials that are closer to plastic than metal. This home upgrade, despite its cost, is not known for adding a lot of value to a home, so it may not be seen as a good investment for those interested in increasing the home's resale value when remodeling the bathroom.

An additional drawback of buying a cast iron shower pan is that it can be slippery for bare feet, because metal tends to be slick when wet. Those who are worried about this risk usually can get nonslip texture added to the metal so tiny bumps keep feet from slipping in the shower. While many assume cast iron colors also are limited to the grayish black of their grandmother's frying pan, it often is possible to get a shower pan in a range of colors, so the shower floor can match the rest of the bathroom.

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