How to Rough-in PEX Plumbing for a Shower


PEX is a type of plastic commonly used in residential and commercial plumbing. In the bathroom, PEX may be used to connect the sink, the supply line for the toilet or the supply lines for the shower. Roughing-in plumbing is the process of laying out the pipes prior to installing the tub surround, shower head and other fixtures. Roughing-in with PEX pipe requires you to make a few basic connections that will supply hot and cold water to your shower.

Things You'll Need

  • PEX clamps
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Identify the area of the wall where the shower controls and shower head are to be installed.

  • Place two 1/2-inch PEX lines parallel to one another against the wall where the shower controls will be located.

  • Secure the PEX against the nearest wall stud by tapping two nails through one PEX pipe clamp for each pipe. This will hold the lines in place when you install the controls later.

  • Cut the pipes off at the level where you want the controls installed using a hacksaw or PEX cutting tool. This is a rough cut, so it only needs to be at the approximate level of the controls. The base of the pipes should touch or be near the floor of the bathroom for later connection.

  • Cut another single piece of PEX pipe so that it reaches from the top of the shower controls to the approximate level of the shower head. Secure the pipe against the nearest stud using two nails and a PEX pipe clamp. The pipes are now in rough position and ready for installation of valves, controls and shower head connections.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always purchase about 20 feet more of pipe than you think is needed to complete the job. You'll find that not every cut pipe fits the way you thought it would, so having a backup pipe is handy.

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