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Assessment

Overall I was impressed with the ProBase. I trust this system more than other preformed shower bases because it addresses my concerns about a secondary weeping system and it’s made by a company with a proven track record.

There are some situations that call for a preformed base. On this project, the builder asked for a preformed shower pan because he was concerned about the chance for mold growth in a traditional mortar bed. Also, the shower was on the second floor of a finished home — and not having to carry buckets of mortar through an inhabited house can be a big plus. Another factor to consider is installation speed: Spending less time preparing the pan can shave as much as a day off the overall shower job.

I’m a traditionalist. I tend to do things in certain ways that have worked for years without any problems, so I probably won’t change my methods any time soon. And for the most part, the showers I build are custom shapes and sizes, so preformed kits would not typically fit. Still, the trend seems to be away from the old mud-bed installations and toward preformed pans — and the ProBase is one that I can be comfortable with.

Andrew Fettig is a tile contractor in Burlington, Vt.