How to Install a Shower Unit

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Installing a free-standing shower unit is easy. You can actually buy the entire unit, including the cabinet, shower fixtures, and mounting hardware as one piece, instead of having to buy everything separately.For the purpose of this article, it will be assumed that you have located the best place in the bathroom that is accessible to all water and waste pipes, have done any necessary plumbing work and pipe extensions, the kit is unpacked and all parts laid out, and all necessary tools are available.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Measuring tape or ruler; pencil
  • Pipe, crescent, or other adjustable wrench
  • Solvent cement (for joining pipe)

How to Install a Shower Unit

  • Turn off the water supply. Open sink and tub faucets (if you have a bathtub), and allow the excess water to drain from all bathroom pipes as much as possible. This will give you a dry work surface.

  • Locate the panel(s) that will hold the towel bar, any support bars, and any other accessories. Following the installation/instruction manual, attach all bars and accessories to the proper panel(s).

  • Holding the first panel to be installed upright, fit it into the grooves on the shower floor. It may be necessary to gently “rock” the panel into place. Once the panel is fitting snugly and properly into the shower floor, secure it in place with the screws designed to fit that particular panel. Repeat until all panels have been installed.

  • Following the installation/instruction manual, attach or fit the pieces that will hold the shower door panel to the panel that will hold the door.

  • Install the top panel last. Work from back to front, and fit the top panel into the grooves on the other panels. Once it is properly seated, push it firmly into place, and attach it to the other panels with screws.

  • Determine on which side you wish to install the showerhead. Use the measuring tape or ruler to find the exact center of the panel, and then draw a line straight down the center of the shower panel.

  • Determine how high on the panel you want the showerhead to be by measuring from the top of the center line you have drawn down to where you want the shower head to be.

  • From the point where the shower head will be installed, measure 28 inches down. This is where your faucets and faucet plate will be installed.

  • Install the shower head and faucets according to the installation/instruction manual.

  • Install the shower curtain onto the curtain rod and either hang it then or set it aside for later.

  • Follow the installation/instruction manual to complete the drain assembly and installation.

  • Put the shower unit over the drain hole. Install the drain cover, and fasten everything down securely.

  • If you have not already done so, put up the shower curtain.

Tips & Warnings

  • When determining how high the shower head will be, take into consideration the tallest member of the family. You want him to be able to stand under the head without having to stoop.
  • Most shower cabinet units are very light and easy to maneuver. Because of this, you can put it over the drain hole, make any necessary marks you may need to, then tilt or lift it out of the way while you finish the drain assembly and installation.
  • When installing the faucets, use old rags or cloths to protect the shower panels when you are using the wrenches.
  • Once you have finished and turned the water supply to the bathroom back on, turn the faucet handles SLOWLY. This will allow any air to clear the pipes, and will prevent sudden gushes of water. Additionally, any leaks that may occur will show up as “dribbles” instead of a strong stream of water.
  • Do not breathe too much of the solvent cement. If the bathroom window can be opened, do so before working with the solvent cement, and leave the bathroom door open. If the bathroom is not well-ventilated, consider wearing a filtration mask.

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