How to Install a Handicap Shower Stall
In most cases you can just install a shower stall and you are good to go, but a handicap shower stall takes more effort. In order to make a handicap shower stall yourself you'll need basic familiarization with plumbing and some tools. A good rule of thumb is that if you can modify an existing shower then you should do that as it would be much cheaper and easier than a full remodeling project. The following article will show you the components that make a shower stall handicap-accessible as well as how to install them.
Step 1 - Shower Pan
The shower pan is where the water will drain from the shower. It is important that when you buy one you make sure it is completely flat, save for a dip in the center for the drain. These shower pans are designed to lay flat on your floor so an individual does not have to step up in order to get inside and so a wheel chair could easily be rolled inside as well.
Mix the mortar according to the packaging instructions and spread onto the floor where the shower pan will be located. Make sure it is centered over the drain. The shower pan can be placed right on top of the mortar after it has dried. Screw the cover of the drain down and caulk the edges that come in contact with the wall and the front edge where it is even with the floor.
Step 2 - Shower Seat
A seat in the shower allows an individual the ability to wash without fear of falling. The shower seat can be placed in a corner or along one of the walls. Use the stud finder to locate the solid support beams in the wall. Line the seat up where you like using the level and tape measure then make marks on the wall. Drill the pilot holes. Squeeze caulk inside the pilot holes, then use the screwdriver to install the hardware and the seat. If you are working on a shower that is tiled you will need a masonry bit.
Step 3 - Shower Rails
Decide how many rails you will need and where they will go. Make marks with a pencil using a level and tape measure to get the proper height. Also use the stud finder so you know where you will be able to install the hardware. Use the drill and drill 1/2 inch pilot holes where you made your marks. Place the toggle bolts in the flange holes and fill them with caulk. You can now attach the rails. Use a screw bit that is slightly larger than the hole you drilled to ensure a tight fit, but fill the holes with caulk first. When the hardware is installed add more caulk before tightening.
Step 4 - Shower Head
Remove the existing shower head. Wrap the threads of the pipe with plumber's tape. Screw the new shower head in place.