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How to Build a Shower Stall

Marian K May 13, 2019
With the right tools, supplies, and a little bit of dexterity, building a shower stall can be a day's job. If you decide to do it, use these instructions to help you get started.
A good deal of research should be done to find how to build a shower stall. The two primary types of bathroom stalls are the pre-fabricated units, made of fiberglass or acrylic, and the custom-built, tile or stone units, built from scratch. The tiled one has to be constructed on the premises by carpenters and tilers.
A carpenter will construct the basic frame and secure it with a cement-based board. The tiler steps in and does the tiling. If you are doing a relatively minor renovation, like re-tiling the stall, you can do it yourself.
Pre-fabricated units are already built, to be directly installed in your home. Modern shower stalls are no longer boring or dowdy, and now come in a variety of textures, colors, and shapes. If you are good at reading and following instructions from a manual, you can buy a kit and install it yourself.
If your shower unit is old and giving you trouble, you could either do a spot repair job with fiberglass compound, or replace the shower pan liner, instead of replacing the entire unit with a new one.
With the right tools, and clear instructions to follow, building a shower stall in your home need no longer be a dreaded task. Maintaining order and giving yourself sufficient time are key factors to problem-free building.

Materials and Tools Required

  • Pre-fabricated or synthetic shower surround
  • Shower fixtures (shower head and control)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Adhesive
  • Plumb level
  • Hole saw
  • Blue tape
  • Silicone caulk
  • Plumber's tape
  • Electric drill
  • Screws

Steps To Build a Shower Stall

  • First, select a stall to suit your requirements, the one that will optimize the space you have. If you have limited space, a one-piece corner unit might work best for you. However, ample space will be taken up by a stall for two. Measure the location from height, width, length of shower stall according to height of the wall and ceilings and space width.
  • While some may try their hand at plumbing, most people will agree for a licensed reputable plumber. While this may cost a little, you need a plumber for the plumbing, water connections, and drainage before installing the shower stall. Hiring a licensed plumber proves advantageous in the long run, with no hassles of leaks underneath the walls and floors.
  • Prepare the area beforeĀ starting the building procedure. It is best to finish jobsĀ of installing new flooring material, before you start the work.
  • Read and understand installation instructions that come with your synthetic or pre-fabricated kit. Equip yourself with the tools and supplies. Ensure that all the parts are included in the shipment.
  • The first step is to put in the shower pan. It needs to be glued with a shower adhesive over the drain, in the concrete or subfloor.
  • Begin with the first panel. Dot the sides, corners, and center of the back panel (non-shiny side) with shower adhesive, and press it firmly against the wall. Hold it in place for a couple of minutes, or use blue tape.
  • Measure the center of the mixing valve, which you will need to keep in mind while drilling holes. Drill holes on the panel which you will use to cover that wall area, keeping the measurements in mind. Use a hole saw to cut the holes carefully, to avoid cracking or splitting the panel.
  • Glue on the shower panel, that will go over the wall with the plumbing fixtures. Install additional panels in the same way. Then, stick on the corner trims, and apply caulk at each seam when the adhesives dry up.
  • You can now put in the base plate for the glass shower enclosure. Temporarily secure the base plate on the shower pan's perimeter, with the blue tape. Use your pencil to make indicators for where you will drill holes. Hold the base plate in place and drill the holes.
When the base plate is level and straight, screw it in place, using galvanized screws. It is now the turn of the side plates. Hold them in place using caulk first, and then blue tape. Repeat the drilling and screwing, and apply more caulk at the seams.
  • You may need some assistance to put the glass panel enclosures in place. While one person holds the glass, the other can carefully screw it in place. Add rubber piping to keep the enclosure water tight.
  • This leaves the top plates. Add silicone caulking to the glass seams to keep them watertight. The very last item to be attached are the shower fixtures, which should go on once the adhesives and caulking have dried up.
Add some plumber's tape around the shower head to prevent leakage. With everything done, run the shower and check for any leakage.
These instructions should give you a fair idea about constructing a shower enclosure. Building one on your own, will not only save you a significant amount of money, but also leave you with a great sense of accomplishment.