The fiberglass shower pan on the 2nd floor of my 20 year old house has leaked (its now sealed with silicon around the drain gasket & this stops the leak) and I want to replace it.

From what I can see in the shower, it looks like this unit was installed with a glued-in pvc pipe connection.

The shower walls are ceramic tile and I plan to remove these tile and the wallboard underneath. Then replace the wall board with cement backer board and finally use 12x12 ceramic tile for the shower walls.

My questions are:

1) will I have to open up the drywall ceiling on the first floor below this shower pan to safely cut the old pvc pipe when removing the existing shower pan?

2) I plan to carefully use a Sawzall to slice up and remove the old pan. Is this the bed method or is there another.

This old fiberglass pan has given good service except for the leak. However, the fiberglass floor surface has picked some porosity over the years and stains easily from foot oil, soap deposits etc (it's white in color)

The home centers have both fiberglass and acrylic pans available. And can order in more substantial cast iron, or poured concrete pans.

One supplier suggested that an acrylic pan could be bedded into compound to provide a substantial heavy feel, prevent shifting under weight and generally give a more luxurious feel.

He felt that the acrylic resists staining better than fiberglass & maintains a better appearance over time but feels less substantial under foot than a fiberglass pan.

My questions are:

3) Was this good advice? Is an acrylic shower floor plan my best choice?

4)If not, what are the pluses/minuses of other floor plan materials?

This same store clerk showed me two types of floor drain connections. One type was glued into place similar to my existing floor pan. The other one used a rubber compression fitting. He stated that this type compression fitting could be pulled apart if/when the gasket material failed to be easily replace with new gasket material.

5) Is this advice correct?

I watched the TOH video on replacing floor pans and the same type of rubber gasket compression drain connection is used. But it seems as if to seat the connection by hitting it, someone must support the pvc pipe from below. That is, if you just hit it with no support underneath, you would probably crack or split your drain pipe.

Thanks for your help. I want to this job right and not have any leaks or problems to redo later.