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How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Easy Guide)



Are you planning to upgrade your bathroom and add a touch of modernity to it?


A DIY walk-in shower might be the perfect solution for you! With its level base and glass walls, a walk-in shower can give the illusion of more space and transform your bathroom into a sleek, contemporary oasis.


Whether you're remodeling your bathroom or building one from scratch, building your own shower offers numerous benefits, including personalizing the design and choosing your preferred materials.


In this easy guide, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of building your own DIY walk-in shower, from selecting the right shower kit to laying the tiles.


So, let's get started!


Prepare your tools and supplies


Before you start building your walk-in shower, ensure you have all the essential tools and supplies. These may include the following.

  • Circular Saw

  • Drill

  • Utility Knife

  • Pencil

  • Reciprocating Saw

  • Diablo Demo Blade

  • Level

  • Trowel

  • Hammer

  • Super Bar

  • Pry Bar

  • Tile cutter

  • Shower Faucet

  • Shower Pans

  • Cement Board and tile (this depends on if your DIY walk-in shower includes an updated shower wall)

  • Waterproofing materials.

  • Screws

  • Nails

  • Tile adhesive

  • Grout

  • Caulk

  • Silicone sealant

  • Shower kit

  • Shower tray

  • Cement board

  • Tile

  • Showerhead and faucet set

You may also need wood studs, insulation, and a vapor barrier.

Finally, ensure you have the proper safety equipment, such as hand gloves, goggles, and a dust mask.


By ensuring you have everything you need in advance, you can avoid delays or interruptions and achieve a successful installation.


Choose the right shower kit and shower tray


Having the right walk-in shower installation kit on hand can be a game changer when building a walk-in shower. These kits include all of the tools and materials needed for the installation process.


These kits provide you with all the necessary tools and materials for the installation process.


Consider the dimensions and shape of your bathroom and the style of shower you want, as shower kits come in various shapes and sizes, including square, rectangular, and neo-angle.


Make sure the shower tray is level and secure before proceeding.


Clean the area


If it is remodeling work, you must remove any old shower or bathtub and clean the area where the new walk-in shower will be installed.


This includes removing old tiles, grout, and caulk and cleaning the subfloor and walls.


Prepare the shower floor


To prepare the shower floor for your DIY walk in shower, remove the existing flooring, apply a screed (a layer of mortar applied to the floor), and dig a hole deeper than your bathroom floor to accommodate the shower drain and the shower tray.


Install the drainage system and pour the concrete foundation next.


Install the shower floor

You have different options when it comes to installing a shower tray for your do-it-yourself walk-in shower. You might be able to find a pre-cut tray that fits the size of your current drain hole in some cases.


If you can't find one, you can make one yourself. You'll need an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and a good measuring tape to make sure the new hole is in the right place.


Drop the shower tray into the walk-in shower floor once you have the correct measurements. Before screwing the plywood on top to form the base, make sure the board is flat.


Install the drain


After laying the shower floor, connect the drain to the waste pipe and seal it properly. You may need a primer and sealant or a plumber's putty to ensure no leaks before pushing the drain into place.


Finally, fasten the nuts and apply pressure for a few seconds to ensure a secure fit.


Properly clean the area before proceeding


Begin by checking for any primer or sealant that may have leaked onto the bathroom floor during the previous steps. If you notice any, be sure to wipe them up immediately to prevent them from drying and causing an uneven surface for your shower tray.


Next, sweep up any dust or debris near the drain cover of your walk-in shower floor. Once the area is free of debris or leftover materials, place some heavy items on the floor to weigh them down and let them dry for at least one hour.


Install the shower walls


If you're installing a walk-in shower with a DIY shower kit, it will possibly have a cleft in the shower tray where you can position the walls.


Depending on the shower do-it-yourself kit, you may probably need to drill the walls into place. You may also need to mount them to the wall studs. If you're putting up new drywall, you'll have to screw it into the wall studs of your DIY walk in shower.


Before putting up each wall, measuring and cutting a hole for each DIY shower fixture is a good idea. Plan for any extras, such as a shower dish or your showerhead. Make sure to measure for plumbing and line up all the holes in your DIY walk-in shower.


Set up the shower curb


The shower curb is a small lip that separates the bathroom floor from the walk-in shower and keeps water from leaking into the room.


One critical decision to make when designing your walk-in shower is deciding whether or not to include it. You'll also have to decide how tall you want it to be.

A curbless walk-in shower is also an option if you prefer a modern, open design. These designs, however, can be more difficult to install.


To achieve a curbless look, adjust the shower pan to level with the shower floor and account for a drainage slope.


If you decide to include a shower curb in your design, ensure it matches your walls' length. Measure and mark the curb line with chalk, then adhere it to the shower floor with thin-set glue. Remove any excess sealant from the curb and ensure that getting in and out of the shower area is simple.


Apply thin-set and position your shower pan


Place the shower pan or prefabricated shower base on a thin layer of thin-set on the shower floor. The thin-set aids in the retention of the shower pan or prefabricated shower base. Before proceeding, ensure that the shower pan is level and secure.


Waterproof the walls, edges, and corners

Waterproofing is one of the most crucial steps to prevent water infiltration when designing a shower. A poorly waterproofed shower can seriously damage your bathroom walls, floors, and your home's structure.


Here are a few key elements to consider when waterproofing your shower:


Waterproof fiber cement or gypsum board


These materials are water-resistant and, therefore, ideal for your shower walls. They are readily available in most home renovation stores and can be easily cut to fit the shower's dimensions.


Make sure to use cement or gypsum board specially designed for use in wet areas, such as bathrooms.


Waterproofing membrane


Install a waterproofing membrane over the fiber cement or gypsum panels to act as a barricade between the shower walls and the surrounding areas.


The membrane should also be installed on the concrete floor for a handmade shower tray.


Epoxy grout


Apply epoxy grout over the ceramic tiles to waterproof the gaps.

Take note of the shower's edges and corners. Make sure it is sealed with waterproofing tape.


A generous amount of waterproofing membrane should be applied as well so as to ensure it remains watertight. This is vital because these areas are the most vulnerable to water infiltration.


Install the showerhead and faucets

You can keep the same element or replace them with new showerheads and faucets. Changing the elements will add to the feel of the new bathroom look.

Once installed, test them to make sure they work and that the water in your walk-in shower flows freely.


Install the shower tiles


The tiles you choose for your DIY walk-in shower installation can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic and design of your bathroom.


With a wide range of tiles available, you can create a look that matches your style and complements the rest of your bathroom.


Here are a few pointers to help you lay shower tiles like a pro:


Choose the right tile design


Consider both the overall design of your bathroom and the size of the tile you intend to use. Make sure you buy a thin set made for the size of the tile you intend to use.


You should also keep in mind the location of the shower head and controls when measuring and cutting the tile to fit around these areas.


Lay the tiles


Apply a thin-set - an adhesive that helps to adhere the tile to the wall of your walk-in shower. Then place the tiles carefully to create the desired design.


Make sure that every tile is level and evenly spaced. To keep thin-set from drying on the surface, wipe away any that seeps through the tile with a damp cloth.


Grout the tiles


Allow the tile to dry for at least 24 hours after installation before grouting. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions and use a grout float to apply it to the tiles.


Clean excess grout with a wet sponge and smooth the surface of the grout lines. Allow the grout to dry thoroughly before proceeding.


Apply caulk and sealant


Once the grout is dry, apply caulk to the joints between the shower walls and floor. This will prevent water from seeping under the tiles and causing damage to the subfloor. Apply silicone sealant around the edges of the shower to seal it against water.


Install the glass enclosure


This is the last step in the whole installation process. When you add a glass enclosure to your bathroom, it gives it a more upscale appearance and also prevents water from splashing onto the surrounding floor.


To add it, first, measure the area to ensure the glass enclosure fits perfectly.

Then test the functionality of your DIY walk-in shower after it has been installed. This includes turning on the water supply and checking that the showerhead and drain are working properly.


Don't forget to check for any leaks, which can be fixed by adding more thin-set or adjusting the showerhead or drain.


Takeaway - Build your dream walk-in shower


Although they can be challenging to build, walk-in showers are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. They are fashionable and luxurious, but they also provide accessibility and convenience to people of all ages and abilities.


To build yours, follow the steps outlined in this simple guide. Ensure you follow each step as stated in order to have a successful outcome.


But if you find it overwhelming or you simply want to ensure that your shower is properly installed, consider contacting a professional renovation and remodeling service company.


Westward Renovation is a reputable and experienced home renovation and remodeling service provider ready to assist you with your walk-in shower installation. From design to completion, our team of experts can guide you through the entire process.


Contact us today to learn more about our services so we can help bring your dream walk-in shower to life!

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