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Install a preformed shower base

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : Week-end Project

Whether you are replacing an existing shower or installing a new one, using a preformed, acrylic shower base is the fastest and easiest way to a new shower. Shower bases can now be purchased in many colors and styles. It can become the focal point for any bathroom renovation colour scheme.

The style of shower base that you install depends on many different considerations such as the location of the bathroom and how much clearance there is underneath.

Because they provide an almost instant solution to a problem, this is a perfect do-it-yourself project. This project details the installation of the base only allowing you to use a variety of wall covering such as ceramic wall tile or marble tile.


Tools and materials required


  • Drill
  • 3/16" bit
  • 6" hole saw bit
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Wrenches
  • Reciprocating saw with 6" blade.
  • 14" X 14" notched trowel
  • 4 ½ gallons pre-mixed mastic or sand-mixed


  • Framing studs
  • 1 ½" stainless screws
  • Pipe, pipe fittings and pipe assembly material
  • Plastic shims
  • Drain components
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Anti-mould silicone caulking compound
  • Construction adhesive.
  • Rock wool insulation

Before Assembly

Before beginning the project:

  • Make sure that the unit is the right model, size and color before installation and check for any signs of damage. Even a hair-line crack could cause problems down the road. Also, check the dimensions of the shower base and the shower doors of the unit to be installed.
  • Make sure that the basic plumbing is up to code. If replacing an old shower stall this is made easier because the drain and water inlets pipes will already be positioned. If starting from scratch hire a licensed plumber to get the utilities into position.
  • Check to see that the framing is up to the specifications required by the manufacturer. For example, some companies suggest 12" spaces between the studs to support their shower stalls rather than the usual 16".
  • Protect the interior surface of the shower base during installation by using thick cardboard or a packing quilt.
  • Having the preformed shower base set in mortar is preferred because the weight of people who use the shower may cause the base to flex and cracks form between the base and wall panels. With a firm foundation there is no chance that the drain or side panel joints will leak because none of the parts will move as they might with just
  • Cement board is the best product for subfloors when the shower base is being set into mortar. It holds the mortar firmly and will not warp, rot, attract mold or deteriorate when wet.


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Helpful Information

A preformed  shower base can be used with ceramic tile shower walls
Install a preformed shower base