Prefabricated shower stalls revolutionized the way showers are installed because they can be put together in two or three pieces or installed as one full shower/tub. They now come in many different types and, in some cases, even with a tiled finish.
There are many advantages to installing one of these in your home because they provide an almost instant solution to a problem and, in many instances, is a perfect do-it-yourself project.
The type of shower depends on where the bathroom is located and the main purpose of the unit. For example, an ensuite may have a shower/tub unit whereas a guest bathroom may suit a shower stall. This project details how to install a modular shower stall.
Before starting make sure that the basic plumbing is up to code. If replacing an old shower stall then this is made easier because the drains and water inlets pipes will already be there. If starting from scratch hiring a licensed plumber to get the utilities in order or the installation may not be legal.
A one-piece shower is moulded from fibreglass or acrylic must be installed in a framed opening. Before purchasing, make sure you can get it through the doorways and into the bathroom.
A modular shower unit has two to three pieces and can be fitted into areas where a single unit could not be brought in.
If renovating studs that held the old shower unit may be adequate for the new installation however check the information included with the shower unit to see if additional studs need to be inserted.
Build the walls for the shower using 2" x 4" framing, with studs placed 16" on centre. Install the supply pipes and the drain, using the measurements included in the manufacturer's instructions to mark the locations.
If installing a 1-piece shower, leave off the 2 outer studs on the wall until the unit is in position. This gives you room to manoeuvre the unit.
Many units come with clips that are installed on the studs and made to hold the unit secure.
The minimum height for the shower controls should be 38" above the floor while maximum height should be 48". This is included in the building codes in many areas.
There is no minimum or maximum for showerheads in the building code but the standard is usually 72".
Make sure the subfloor is level. If the base cannot be shim, install a bed of mortar cement to level.
For a renovation project, make sure to select proper shower material according to the space available and position of the drain.
For a new construction, build a plumb stud structure according to the shower stall specification measurements.
Install the rough plumbing.
1.1. Dry fit the shower pan by sliding it into the opening. Test the leveling and make sure there is less than 1/8" surrounding the pan with each studs. Shim later if needed. Remove the receptor.
1.2. Install the drain on the receptor as per manufacturer’s instructions.
1.3. Apply 1" to 2" leveling compound to the subfloor or a under pad if provided with the shower installation kit.
1.4. Position the shower pan and level as required. Use shim under the support feet as needed.
1.5. Hook up the receptor drain to the pipe drain.
1.6. Plug drain to prevent construction materials from getting into the drain pipes.
1.7. Protect the pan with protective liner.
1.8. Slide and anchor plastic attachment clips at all stud location with galvanized screws. Depending on the manufacturer, simply nail the pan into the studs. Shim if needed.
2.1. Install the back panel. Make sure to insert the tab into the slots on the receptor according to the manufacturer.
2.2. Measure and test fit the shower panel on the wall containing the plumbing.
2.3. Mark the position of the faucet, shower head as well as the spout if needed. Use a large piece of cardboard to match the measurements of the panel and place on the wall containing the plumbing. Press against the wall and the fixtures will put indentations in the cardboard. Take down.
2.4. Place the cardboard on the panel and mark the spots where the plumbing fixtures will go.
2.5. Determine the hole size according to the faucet requirement. Make sure the cover plate will be large enough to cover the hole.
2.6. Drill the valve hole with a hole saw.
2.7. Position the panel top first then slide down into position. Snap in place.Make sure the faucet and valve hole are position correctly.
2.8. Position the last side panel, top first then pivot in place.
2.9. Make sure the end walls are flush with the top edges of the receptor leaving a gap of no more than 1/32".
2.10. Fasten the front of the end panels to the studs. Start at the bottom moving up.
2.11. Make sure the walls are plumb. Secure the top panels to the studs with galvanized screws and use shims if needed.
3.1. Cover the top framing of the panels with water-resistant board.
3.2. Install the faucet trim and accessories
3.3. Seal the seams between the top of the shower surround and the wall with silicone.
3.4. Seal around the faucet trim as well.
Instructions may vary depending on the shower door type. We propose a simple pivot door installation.
4.1. Determine the side of the opening of the door The pivot should be install opposite to the shower head.
4.2. Measure the shower base threshold and cut the base track to length.
4.3. Centre the piece on the threshold anchor in place with either glue or nails according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4.4. Install pivot supports at both end of the pivot jamb.
4.5. Position on the wall or surround and level it so it is perfectly vertical.
4.6. Mark at the location of the screw holes and drill holes with a 3/16" bit.
4.7. Insert wall anchors (plugs) in the holes and firmly attach the jamb into position with screws.
4.8. Install each door jamb over the bottom track using wall anchors.
4.9. Install the door into the bottom of the pivot support.
4.10. Slide the top pivot support over the door and screw top pivot support.
4.11. Slide and adjust the magnetic track over the facing jamb. Secure in place.
4.12. Close and open the door making sure the magnetic track aligns correctly.
4.13. Slide the vinyl strip under the door.
4.14. Apply plastic finishing cap onto the screws and caulk the inside of the jambs and threshold with bathroom silicone.