The material is another key consideration when making your selection. There are several options open to you here, all with different characteristics, appearances, and prices.
Looking for something durable and easy to maintain? => Acrylic
Acrylic pans are molded pieces of plastic. They are a lightweight and cost-effective option and offer the most extensive range of both size and color options of all the materials listed here. They are definitely one of the more popular choices.
These types of pans are easy to install and to look after. Unlike with other materials, the color goes a long way through the material. This makes any scratches less noticeable, and it's even possible to buff light ones out with polish.
One potential disadvantage of this type for some people is these pans have a little give to them, meaning that they can feel a bit flimsy - for some, this is equated with cheapness.
Looking for a low-cost option that is simple to repair? => Fiberglass
Fiberglass bases are another incredibly popular choice. As with acrylic, they are molded around a form. The difference here is that they are then given an outer coating of gel.
This material is inexpensive, and the pans are quick and easy to install. They also have an attractive gloss finish that many people like. A strength over the acrylic ones is that they have a more solid feel; however, they are not available in quite as many sizes and colors.
You also have to be quite careful in maintaining this type of material. The color only runs as deep as the gel finish, this means that deep scratches are going to be very noticeable. Also, they have a tendency to stain.
Looking for something stylish that is going to last a very long time? => Stone
Cultured stone shower pans are often made from a mixture of real ground stone and resin. The stone is usually limestone, granite, or marble. These are more durable than either of the above materials but are also heavier, and so are harder to install.
Stone bases typically look like a piece of real stone, and an attractive appearance is one of its significant features, but it is also resistant to mold and mildew, meaning it is built to last.
These types of pans, however, are usually far more expensive than either of the other two, but with the right care and maintenance are likely to outlast both.