More modern homes are being designed with a shower enclosure in place. However, motivated homeowners without are taking up the challenge of installing a shower enclosure either as an addition or a tub replacement. Tackling this project is not an impossible task as long as you have some knowledge of construction and can follow instructions.
•A PVC shower pan liner
•Lumber – 2 X 4s
•Cement and trowel
•Tile for the walls and floor
Step 1 – Take Measurements
Determine the shower enclosure size and then measure out the floor space needed. Locate the new shower where two walls meet. Screw the 2 X 4s directly into the floor where the walls will go. To prevent hole drilling later, never position any plumbing over a support beam. Screw in studs framing the wall from the floor to the ceiling.
Step 2 - Prepare for Waterproofing
Lay down three 2 X 4s on top of one another at the front entry to the enclosure screwing these into the floor. Repeat this along the base of the enclosure box on the other walls between each stud so the framing is ready for waterproofing.
Step 3 – Pan Liner
Install the pan liner with enough room to come up at least a half foot on each side. Staple the backside to the upper edge along the wall, Make sure to follow any additional instructions accompanying the pan liner package.
Step 4 – Drainage
Mark where the drain assembly will position cutting small holes in the enclosure membrane for the bolts to be placed. Once the drain assembly top is screwed on, cut the opening through the membrane. Make sure to caulk both top and bottom of the assembly. Make sure the membrane is secured around all the walls but be careful not to puncture it.
Step 5 – The Concrete
Use small pieces of gravel to keep the drain assembly weep holes open when laying the concrete. Slope the flooring at a rate of one-quarter inch per foot toward the drain hole. Move at a deliberate pace to ensure that every side is sloped properly without clogging up the threads or drain weep holes. Pay particular attention toward smoothing the surface as much as possible. Once completed, cover the drain with duct tape to keep out any debris while the floor dries for 24 hours or more.
Step 6 – The Backboard
Install the backboard carefully not to puncture the enclosure membrane allowing at least one inch of space up from the flooring. Make sure the backboard is at least six feet tall or all the way up to the ceiling. Now drill holes for all piping and install the necessary plumbing.
Step 7 -The Finishing Tile
Begin with the floor using the tile thinset following the appropriate methods used when laying tile. Make sure all your plumbing pipes are in place in the enclosure before laying the tile.
Keep in mind two simple tips to complete this project successfully always take your time and measure at least two times so you will only make one cut.