How to Install a Shower

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Nothing wakes you up, or relaxes you, or invigorates you more than a good hot shower. It is necessary to have that pleasure, even if your original bathroom design did not allow for it.You can now purchase “complete corner shower kits” that can be used to install a corner shower in a bathroom. These kits come with the base and “walls” of the shower already manufactured, as well as any pipes and fixtures needed. From there, it is only a matter of fitting the shower enclosure where you want it to be. For the purpose of this article, it will be assumed that you are using a “complete corner shower kit”.

Things You'll Need

  • Complete corner shower kit
  • Wood
  • Hammer, Nail gun, or electric drill
  • Nails or screws
  • Power Saws (for cutting holes and pieces of wood)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat-head or Phillip’s-head screwdriver
  • Caulking

How to install a corner shower

  • Check to determine what, if any, building codes may apply to the installation of a shower. Obtain necessary permits, if required.

  • Turn off the water supply. Open any existing faucets and allow the water to drain from the pipes. This will allow you to have a dry work area.

  • Expose the plumbing that is in the flooring and behind the wall by cutting through the existing flooring and wall.

  • Locate the drain and water pipes to the bathroom.

  • Set the base (floor) of the shower kit as firmly against the two walls forming the corner as possible, but do not permanently install it. Mark where the hole for the drain will need to be cut.

  • Take the shower kit base back up, move it out of the way, and cut the drain hole using an appropriate power saw.

  • Install the drain pipes. Make sure you are observing local building codes in regards to proper distances between p-traps and vents. Also remember that vents must run straight up and down until reaching the overflow valves of the pipes they serve, then they can either run up and down or side to side.

  • Install the riser pipe, mixing valve (this lets the hot and cold water run at the same time), and any other plumbing parts and accessories, according to the instructions included with the kit.

  • Once the riser pipe and all other plumbing items are installed, note where the valves for the faucets and shower head are located. Mark these places on the section of wall that was removed to access the bathroom plumbing.

  • Drill holes in the section of the wall that will be replaced for the faucet handles, shower operation lever, and shower head. Replace the wall section, using a hammer and nails, nail gun and nails, or electric drill and wood screws.

  • Following the instructions provided with the shower parts, install the faucet handles, shower operation lever, and shower head in the appropriate openings.

  • Install the shower walls, then the base, following the manufacturers’ instructions. Install any drain covers.

  • Caulk around the shower enclosure itself, where it meets the floor and walls, and the faucet parts and shower head.

  • Turn the water supply back on. If cut-off valves were used, turn them slowly, allowing the water to flow gently back into the pipes.

  • Slowly turn the faucet on, a little at a time. This will allow any air that may have gotten into the pipes or lines to escape, preventing sudden gushes of water.

  • Operate the shower lever, check to see that the water is flowing through the shower head correctly. Again, start with a gentle flow, and increase it as the air in the lines and pipes is forced out.

  • Check for leaks or seepage, tighten screws or faucet handles, or make corrections as needed.

  • Enjoy your showering experience!

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember, the corner shower kit will cover the walls and floors where any cutting may have been necessary.
  • It may be possible to install faucet handles that operate both the shower and bathtub, if the tub is still present. If so, this will just make the shower experience that much nicer.
  • Look for low-flow shower heads, which help in water conservation.
  • Choose shower heads that allow for different types of experiences—such as massaging, gentle spray, and other things.
  • Choose shower heads that can be easily removed from the main pipe—this will allow for easier cleaning and maintenance.
  • If you live in a hard-water area, or where water has a lot of minerals, regularly clean your shower head by either using a water-deposit remover, or simply immersing the shower head in white vinegar. (This is why getting a removable one was suggested. Smart, huh?)
  • Do not attempt any pipe installation or bathing area remodeling if you do not have the necessary experience. It is better to hire a professional plumber to do the job right than to risk costly damage to walls, floors, and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Take care when installing the shower kit if you must reach over your head. Use a sturdy Stepladder or stool to stand on, not the side of the tub.
  • If you must use a torch to join pipe, be very careful not to damage the surrounding walls or surfaces. Also, make sure that the torch does not ignite any insulation, woods, or other flammable material.

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