Bathroom upgrades are great remodeling investments, particularly installing custom showers. Today the design and features available for showers in term of fixtures, doors, tiling and special features such as steam showers, multiple shower heads and jet sprays are almost endless. Creating a bathing environment that is comfortable and efficient can be accomplished with a little bit of know-how, some tools and materials.
Step 1: Create Your Design
You’re not limited to building a traditional square shower enclosure. Consider such customizable options such as walk-in without a door, a shower room instead of a stall and even a completely sealed shower that doubles as a sauna. Websites and shelter magazines are great resources for stirring the imagination.
Step 2: Draw a Layout
Tape the floor indicating where to install shower walls. Make sure you have enough room for the design considered. If not, take correct and accurate measurements of the space available to draw a better detailed diagram calculating all lengths and heights. Always check your local plumbing codes to make sure your materials and installation meet the necessary codes. Consult with a professional plumber if you are adding or reorienting any of the water sources.
Step 3: Frame the Walls; Install Plumbing and Electric
Construct your shower walls using traditional procedures including placing studs at 16-inch intervals. Make sure to create reinforced foot rails and head rails if your shower walls do not reach the ceiling. Before finishing the walls with drywall, sheetrock or other cover, install all necessary plumbing and electrical wiring. Allow enough room beneath the shower floor to accommodate drainage piping and a drain trap.
Step 4: Prep for Accessories
Your customized shower may include extra features like overhead lighting, multiple shower heads and even placement of radio and, yes, waterproofed television. Custom water delivery systems can also be installed that produce massaging-like streams of water emitted from jet sprays installed throughout the shower space.
Step 5: Form the Base
When using concrete, trowel a shower base with a gentle slope leading from all walls toward the shower drain opening. If you’ve purchase a shower enclosure kit, a preformed base should be one of its components.
Step 6: Tiling
Apply a thin layer of mortar over the waterproof sheetrock hung for wall covering. Once dried, apply a sealing coat before laying tile in whatever pattern you have chosen. If you have the budget, get creative by using natural stone or slate instead of tile. Be sure to follow proper procedures for applying grout to make sure any tile or stone is aid correctly so nothing leaks.
Step 7: Finish the Floor
Finish your bathroom floor with natural material that provides some traction when the surface is wet.
Step 8: Add Final Touches
Once the floor and walls are completed, attach all faucet, hand bars, shower heads, shelves and benches plus any other accessories to complete the project. Inspect all attachments making sure all connections are tight and all shower components function properly.