There’s a quick and easy way to waterproof the walls of your shower and bath area: a shower panel. Shower panels are made of fiberglass and protect the walls of your shower and bathroom from water damage and are typically where the shower head is mounted. In addition, shower panels are much less expensive than traditional wall tiles and are much easier to work with. In addition to the manufacturer’s instructions, here are some steps to help you make the process of installing shower panels go a bit more smoothly.
Step 1 - Inspect the Shower
Inspect the walls of the shower area to ensure that there is no water damage present or is not otherwise in need of repair. If the walls do have water damage or need to be repaired, you must do this before installing the shower panels. The wall must be completely dry before you can begin attaching the panels to the walls.
Step 2 - Prepare the Shower
Remove the handles from the faucets or valves as well as the inlet pipe cover and shower head. Before continuing, only the pipes themselves should be exposed and not any handles or coverings. If possible, remove the angled piece of pipe for the shower head – so that a short straight pipe only is exposed.
Step 3 - Measure
Measure the area of the wall in the area where the faucets, inlet pipe, and shower head are located. Measure the distances between the fixtures and the sides of the wall; then sketch a diagram of the pipe layout out on a new sheet of shower panel. Make sure that the distances from the edges of the panels match the measurements from the shower.
Step 4 - Cut the Shower Panel to Fit
After you measure the area of the shower that contains the faucets, handles, and shower head, cut out holes for the inlet pipes. Also, cut or trim the shower panel so that it matches the width of the shower wall. It is really important that your measurements are correct before cutting out the holes for the pipes. Alternatively, you can use a large sheet of cardboard to first create a template for your shower wall, with the pipes, and then use this to indicate where the holes should be drilled or sawed. When using the whole saw to create your holes in the shower panel, start your cuts from the front side of the panel as this will ensure a smoother and cleaner cut.
Step 5 - Attach the Panels
Refer to the manufacturer's instructions, and attach the three shower panels in the order described in the instructions. To attach the panels, apply the adhesive on the back side of each panel and firmly press the panel against the wall. Use your hands or roller to press the panel against the wall and make sure that you press firmly on all areas of each panel.
Depending upon the type of glues supplied by the manufacturer, the adhesive may require time to set up before attaching the panels to the wall. Again, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 6 - Caulk the Shower
Using your caulk gun and silicone caulk, caulk around the shower and make sure to fill all seams and edges with the silicone caulk.
Step 7 - Finish Up
Re-attach the faucet handles, valve handles, and shower head.
Installing shower panels is not a very difficult task, and almost anyone can do it. Using this handy guide will make the task a little easier. However, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s included instructions exactly.