How to Build a Tiled Walk-In Shower Part 1

Lead Image
  • 48-72 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $200-350
What You'll Need
Shower base
Drain assembly
Floor leveling compounds
Rubbing Alcohol
100% Silicone

Among the most popular bathroom renovations is the tiled walk in shower. Walk-in showers have become popular over the more traditional tub and shower surrounds, and they are simple to build. Part 1 of this project is installing the shower base, which acts as the shower floor and prevents water leakage. You can purchase all your materials at any home improvement store. (To skip ahead to Part 2 of this 3 part series, click here.)

Step 1 - Prepare the Subfloor

Place the template included with your shower base on the shower floor. Make sure the existing drainpipe hole matches the drainpipe location on the template. Relocate the drain if the location does not match the template. The drainpipe hole in the subfloor should have a 6-inch diameter, and will be larger than the actual drainpipe to allow for the drain assembly that extends below the shower base. The drainpipe should extend at least 0.5-inches above the subfloor.

Step 2 - Check the Subfloor Levelness

Your subfloor must be level and cleared off. Check your subfloor with a level to make sure it is completely level. This ensures the water will drain evenly from your shower. If the subfloor is not level, pour in floor leveling compounds to fill the uneven areas.

Step 3 - Attach Drain Assembly to Shower Base

Elevate your shower base for access to the top and bottom. Clean the drain opening with rubbing alcohol, then wipe clean the surface and inside of the drain opening. Apply a layer of silicone around the opening of the drain. Insert the drain body into the drain hole, and press into place to secure. Remove the excess silicone using rubbing alcohol on a cloth. Install the drain assembly parts as noted in the instructions provided up until the installation of the shower base. Make sure not to over tighten any of the parts, as this may crack the shower base.

Step 4 - Set the Shower Base in Place

Place the shower base on the subfloor, making sure that 1/8-inch space between the shower base flange and the studs. Mark the location of the threshold. The drainpipe must not extend above the drain body. If necessary, trim the drainpipe down to 0.25-inches below the top of the drain body. Apply silicone to the underside of the shower base, around the sub-floor drain opening, and around the threshold. Lower the shower base back into position, making sure it is level. Remove any excess silicone, and fasten the shower base to the walls using only the factory provided screws.

Step 5 - Connect Drain Pipe to Drain Assembly

Install the remainder of the drain assembly, following the instructions provided. The drainpipe is now connected to the drain assembly, completing your shower base installation.

Step 6 - Allow Silicone to Cure

The silicone used on the shower base will properly cure within 24 to 48 hours. Once cured, move on to Part 2 of building your tiled walk-in shower.