Installing a Shower


I'd regret The special love I have for you, my baby blue
                      Baby Blue Badfinger (1972)  play it

Dominic Vautier

dominic vautier has a new showerI have installed several showers in my day but the one in the basement by my sonís room took quite a lot of extra work.  It involved so many changes.  We had  a claw-foot cast iron tub there before but it was kind of ugly and not very useful. We decided to get a square corner glass door shower and selected a good kit from Home Depot.  My main interest was getting a strong solid base and flat glass for ease of cleaning.  The shower was a roomy 34 inches square.  The base was heavy fiberglass.

plumbing for the shower

The two corner walls needed to be 38 inches so the left hand faucet wall had to be extended out about 8 inches to accommodate the unit.  The plumbing had to be rearranged because both the shower valve and nozzle were in the wrong place because they were used for a tub.  I had a lot of work to do.

First of all we removed the tub and tore out the wall to see what kind of plumbing had to be done.  Before I did any plumbing work I did some serious planning on how to best get all the solder joints hooked up.  All went well and we had no leaks.  My son helped me check all the soldering.

dominic vautier has a new shower plumbing the back wall


Then there were the walls.  One wall had to be extended and the other wall had to be fitted with wood backing at the 34 inch line so that the enclosure could be solidly mounted.  The electrical fixtures had to be relocated as well.

shower wall extension


The drain had to be moved over about 10 inches so this is where I got an opportunity to use my rotary hammer.  I cut out a channel in the cement just enough to accommodate the PCV pipe.

shower drain


Here I am with my trusty roto-hammer

I had to do a lot of rehearsing when I installed the shower base because it has to be set in mortar whereas the drain line uses a quick drying PVC cement.  So I had about 3 minutes to get it right.  I first dry fitted the PVC drain and marked each pipe before laying the mortar.  This had to be done while making sure the base was flat.  It was then left for 24 hours with a bunch of weights so the mortar could set.

bracing for wall shower surround


Next I installed the two surrounds.  Working with flexible plastic surrounds is awful. Itís like working with a dead limp body. There is no glue in existence strong enough or quick setting enough to hold those wiggly surrounds in place long enough to stay.  I had to get the strongest Gorilla construction adhesive on the market and brace each surround for 24 hours so they could dry. In fact the extra strong Gorilla adhesive is so strong it wonít come out of a calking gun.


instaiiling the surround for a shower using braces

finished shower

I had to test mount the two glass panels before I secured the profiles.  The profiles are the wall rails that attach the glass to the walls.  They have to be plumb to fit. There was about a half inch allowance on the profiles.  I rebuilt one wall plumb.  The other wall was off one-fourth inch.

With one of my sonís help I was able to easily fit the glass panels.

finished shower