framing for new shower


Old 02-26-17, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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framing for new shower

Morning all! I'm adding a new bathroom to my basement and will have a 48" x 35" fiberglass shower in one corner. Since it's in the corner, two of the three shower walls will just attach directly to the wall studs. What's the best way to frame in the third 35" wall? Does it need to be a 2x4 + 2 drywall widths? I'd like to keep it as thin as possible to avoid taking up a lot of space - it's not a very big bathroom to start with. And primary purpose is just to hold up the fiberglass.

Related to this, I'm not sure yet which side of the shower I'll put the faucet and controls on. If they were to go in the third small wall, does it need to be wider to accommodate the plumbing? And if so, how wide? (Standard 2x4?).
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Old 02-26-17, 12:37 PM
czizzi's Avatar
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You still need the wall to be structurally sound. Every stand alone shower wall that abuts to say a toilet area was a 2x4 with drywall on both sides. Particularly if you will be hanging a shower door from the wall, it needs stiffness that laying 2x4's flat can not handle. 2x4 depth is fine for plumbing and access to that plumbing later on if needed.
Old 02-26-17, 12:46 PM
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Now is a good time to pick that shower out so that you will know where the plumbing should go, and wall sizes.

There have been a few posts recently from folks who have installed tub/showers and did not set on a mortar bed and have regretted, something to consider!!
Old 02-28-17, 09:08 AM
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There have been a few posts recently from folks who have installed tub/showers and did not set on a mortar bed and have regretted, something to consider!!
I didn't use a mortar bed and I have no regrets. Although, that just said, if this was common place here in my part of the world I would given it a try. I like the idea. But, we have millions of tubs around here that didn't get set in mortar, and no one is really complaining.

Since I just did this, here is what I learned:
  • If you have not already purchased the unit, try to find product from manufactures that make their installation guides easily available online. That way you can review all your requirements before you have bought the unit. Dimensions, weight loads, and plumbing are key points.
  • If you have already bought the unit, take your time if you can. Size up the various requirements, follow the directions to a 'T', and make sure your framing is darn near exact of what is required.
  • Review the list of materials required by the manufacture and local codes. Mold resistant (gypsum) drywall for example? Mold resistant silicon compound for the various shower enclosure seams?
  • Yours sounds different, but my 3-piece tub shower unit required to be assembled outside of the shower enclave and then slid into place.
  • I don't need to say it, but for the benefit of others someday, make sure your flooring is adequate, as level and flat as you can get it, and make sure the framing structure is darn near perfect plumb, level, and square. Any amount of "being off a bit" all adds up later to make your job tougher.

I know I didn't directly answer some of your questions, but I did want to put that out there, having just done something similar myself.

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