A shower enclosure makes good use of a small space, because it takes up limited floor space in even the smallest bathroom. For the installation to be a success, spend some time upfront planning the project and assessing any groundwork that’s needed.
Laying the groundwork for your shower enclosure
Before you begin installing a shower enclosure, you need to address a couple of points. First, the shower requires a wood framing to support the walls of the shower enclosure (see Figure 1). If the shower is placed in a corner only, fewer walls must be constructed. In either case, the manufacturer will supply a layout plan for the shower enclosure. Follow it carefully. The wall studs are usually placed closer together than on a standard wall.
|Fig 1: Non-bearing partition walls support the shower stall wall panels|
One advantage to installing this type of shower enclosure is that the showers wall panels are mounted directly to the wall studs, so drywall or backerboard isn’t necessary. Before the shower stall is installed, you can plan ahead and install wood backing for grab bars. Consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions to find out the type of backing that is needed to support a grab bar. In most cases, solid backing of 2-x-6 lumber nailed between the wall studs is required.
Second, you’ll want to hire a plumber to install the rough-in plumbing. The shower enclosure requires a 2-inch drain centered in the enclosure. The rough-in dimensions give the exact measurements for its location. Unless you’re experienced with plumbing, this part of the project is best left to a professional plumber. Have the plumber also install the drain fittings in the shower receptor that meet the local plumbing code requirements.
Installing a shower enclosure
To install a shower enclosure, you need these materials:
» 2-x-4s or 2-x-6s
» 2-inch masking tape
» Carpenter’s square
» Electric drill
» Hole saw or jigsaw with fine-tooth blade (32 teeth per inch)
» Measuring tape
» Putty knife
» Safety glasses
» Silicone sealant (for shower door installation)
» Utility knife
» Woodworking tools
Follow these instructions to install a shower enclosure.
1. Open the packaging and identify all the parts and components of the enclosure.
2. Place the shower receptor in the enclosure and check that it’s level and doesn’t rock back and forth.
You may have to install shims under the receptor. Put the necessary shims in place and retest the level of the shower. When the surface is solid, remove the shims one at a time, apply construction adhesive to them, and replace them.
3. Use galvanized roofing nails to secure the receptor to the wall framing (see Figure 2).
Fig 2: The shower receptor is secured to the framing with galvanized nails.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation and drive the nails through the pre-drilled flange holes or place the nail against the top of the flange
4. Position the panels in the enclosure.
Some kits have wall panels that interlock with one another to form watertight seals. In this case, follow the manufacturer’s directions and position the panels in the enclosure in the proper sequence so they can interlock.
5. Check that the panels fit snugly against the wall framing.
The panel at the shower valve end of the enclosure can’t be placed against the studs yet because of the rough-in plumbing.
6. Mark the location of the shower valve and shower riser pipe by making a cardboard template of the location of the valve and shower head pipe.
7. Place the template on the shower enclosure panel and drill a pilot hole at the center of the cutout to guide the hole saw.
Use a hole saw or jigsaw with a fine-tooth saw blade to make the holes for the valve controls and the shower head pipe.
8. Install the shower wall panel on which the shower valve is located.
Check that all panels are properly aligned and square and the shower valve and shower head pipe are properly aligned.
9. Fasten the panels to the wall framing with galvanized roofing nails (see Figure 3).
Whenever there is a gap between the wall stud and the shower wall panel, insert a wood shim before driving the nail.
|Fig 3: Fasten the wall to the wall studs with galvanized nails; shim where necessary.|
10. Apply silicone caulk to all joints in the shower enclosure
Whenever there is a gap between the wall stud and the shower wall panel, insert a wood shim before driving the nail.All information correct at date of post