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Tile Shower Base Installation

Sheetal Mandora Jan 8, 2019
With a few basic tile skills and proper tools to install a custom shower, you can easily get the job done yourself. Here are some step-by-step guidelines for the same.
When in shower, have you ever thought about the time and work hours someone had spent installing the tile base? Typically, a tile shower base is called the shower pan which has 2 layers of sloped cement. Between these 2 layers, there is a plastic liner that catches and diverts the water which might get through the floor.
For proper and accurate installation, anyone who has never had any carpentry experience before, should not attempt to this. For any type of home improvement project, know that it takes a lot of patience, knowledge, and understanding of how particular tools work.

The Installation Process

Materials Required

  • Tile saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Tin snips
  • Screw gun
  • Razor knife
  • Chicken wire
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Cement (your choice)
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Cement trowel
  • Grout trowel
  • Staple gun
  • Thinset mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Pre-mixed grout
  • Shower floor tile
  • 1-inch drywall screws
  • Shower floor drain assembly
  • Shower floor liner w/liner glue
  • ½ inch cement board
  • ¼ inch cement board
  • Grout sealer with sponge-bottle applicator

Step 1

With a tape, measure and cut ½ inch piece of cement board to cover the floor of the framed-in shower stall. With a razor knife, cut that piece to size and snap it at the line. With a jigsaw, cut a hole for the drain to the similar size that's in the floor of the stall.

Step 2

Spread the carpenter's glue all over the board and place drywall screws at each square foot intervals. Install the board now. Take the staple gun and chicken wire to wire it to the board. Cut around the edges and near the drain hole with tin snips. The shower floor drain assembly will go inside the drain hole; leave it as it is so we can adjust it later on.

Step 3

Get the wheelbarrow to mix the cement according to the directions written on the packaging. Pour the cement mix directly on top of the chicken wire and with a trowel, work it in properly. But make sure you keep the layer at least ½ inch thick near the drain hole and slope it upwards as you go closer to the walls (increase about ¼ inch per 1 foot).
For example the wall is about 3 feet away from the drain, the cement surface will increase by ¾ inches. So the ½ inch thick near the drain hole will come close to 1¼ inches thick near the wall.

Step 4

Day 1 is over. You will leave everything as it is and let the cement set through the night. The second day, come back to lay the shower floor line over the slope. Going up the wall, staple it about 1 foot high and cut it around the drain. Glue the borders around the drain hole.

Step 5

Get the ¼ inch cement board as we will use it to screw it to the wall with drywall screws. Place the cement board directly over the shower floor lines which are halfway above the wall. With the thinset mortar, fill in the seams between both cement boards. Spread it properly and make sure to smooth it with a trowel.

Step 6

Again mix a thick batch of cement to spread it directly over the shower floor liner. Now we will see how the installation is done. Use the trowel to spread it around the liner and place the shower drain flange in the newly laid cement. Make it as smooth as you can and leave it to dry through the night.

Step 7

On the third day, you will divide the floor in 4 equal squares. Use a level and pencil for this. Start laying the tiles from the center, near the lines. Use the tile saw to cut the edges of tiles near the drain hole.
Use thinset mortar and a notched trowel to secure the tiles with the cement base. Leave about ⅛ inch of space between them. Cut pieces as per requirement and let the new tiles set through the night.

Step 8

On the 4th and last day of installation, spread pre-mixed grout directly over the tiles, press it between the lines and wipe out the excess grout left with a wet sponge. Leave this to set for 2 more days and then take some on the sponge and spread it all over.