A new shower can be an exciting proposition because there are so many different styles and options to consider. Once you choose the shower design of your dreams, it’s time to install it in your bathroom so you can begin enjoying it.
As you’re exploring the different shower styles you might install, check out the NC State University website for information about curbless showers. Curbless showers do not have the standard tub and shower unit – instead offering a walk-in design that may appeal to a variety of people.
Once you’ve chosen the shower you want and you’re ready to put it in, keep a shower installation guide nearby to help you out if you run into problems.
While the prospect of installing the plumbing, drain and shower base may seem difficult, even a novice do-it-yourselfer can probably tackle this project in a few days with standard plumbing tools and materials. As long as you know the basics of joining pipes together, you can install a shower successfully.
The floor drain of the tub enables tubs and shower stalls to enter the stack at or below floor level. You can position fixtures on branch drains because they have a low rating. In order to install the shower faucet and showerhead, you will have to open the wall to access the pipes. Due to the extreme weight of a bathtub, make sure you have adequate wood framing to support the weight – check applicable building codes as well before you proceed. A shower stall requires a minimum of 1,024 square inches of floor space as well as two additional feet surrounding the stall between other fixtures.
Tools for this project include basic plumbing tools as well as a right angle drill and a hole saw. You will need both hot and cold supply lines for your shower installation. You will also need to install a pipe that connects the showerhead as well as a mixing valve for the showerhead. Consider installing air chambers as well. An air chamber absorbs pressure surges, which may reduce knocking sounds in the plumbing.
Begin the installation process with all pipes before proceeding to the tub and showerhead. After you have the pipes in place, install the tub and anchor the flange to surrounding studs. Connect the drain with the tub overflow and tub drain.
Connect the hot and cold water lines through the mixing valve and then up to the showerhead. The tub spout will also require a pipe extension. Your local municipality will probably require a plumbing inspection at some point in your project, so comply with these local ordinances. Before you replace the wall, turn on the water pressure and assess the pipes for leaks at all connections. Use moisture resistance drywall for best results and seal all joints with silicone caulk to prevent damage from leaks.
The final part of the shower installation involves placing the tub spout, faucet handles and showerhead in place. Use pipe joint compound and thread seal tape at all connection points to eliminate leaks in your shower plumbing.
If you run into trouble with your installation, connect with a professional plumber to provide assistance. The damage that can occur from faulty pipe installation or leaks can be extensive and it’s not worth the risk if you detect problems.
Once you finish the shower installation, you can enjoy your new shower for many years. The style and elegance of the new shower can improve your own experience as well as improve the value of your home.
Sometimes unfortunate accidents can happen in the bathroom that can break a new shower. If such an accident happens to you, check out our Shower Repair Guide to make any quick fixes and save money.
Curbless showers do not have the standard tub and shower unit – instead offering a walk-in design that may appeal to a variety of people.