All shower stall installations begin with a basic plywood structure, but on top that structure you must construct the cement floor that will support years of moisture and wear and tear from use by you and your family. Whether you intend to cover the floor with tile or simply leave the cement exposed, you must ensure that the sloping and cement application is safe and correct so that the floor can last as long last he rest of your bathroom installation.
Things You'll Need
- Roofing felt
- Galvanized nails
- Nail gun or hammer
- Wire mesh
- Galvanized staples
- Tin snips
- Staple gun
- Drain assembly
- Portland cement
- Latex additive
- Shovel or paddle mixer
- Flat trowel
- Shower pan liner
- Utility knife
Cover the plywood substructure of the shower stall floor with roofing felt, so that it extends about 1 inch up the wall. Attach the felt in place using galvanized nails. This will prevent the materials you use as you build up from slipping.
Top the roofing felt with wire mesh, with the rough side of the mesh facing up. The mesh allows mud to fill in an area better and create a stronger bond. Staple the mesh in place over the roofing felt with galvanized staples. Cut away excess wire mesh, as well as the hole for the drain, with tin snips if necessary.
Install the bottom flange of your drain assembly so that it attaches to the top of the mesh. Follow your drain assembly's specific product instructions for details on installation.
Mix four parts sand and one part Portland cement with latex cement additive to the consistency of cement or concrete. When the material is properly mixed, you should be able to form it into a ball in your hand and it will clump together, but crumple if you crush it with your fist. This is for the mortar bed, or the initial layer of cement for your shower floor.
Pile up the mortar bed material to a height of 1 ½ inch on all sides of the base of the floor. Then use a screed or trowel to spread the material across the wire mesh, filling in all the holes in the mesh. Make sure you leave the hole for the drain open. The material must slope by ¼ to ½ inch from the edges to the center to allow for proper drainage.
Run a smooth, flat trowel over the surface once you have spread it evenly and filled in the mesh so that it is completely flat and smooth. Allow the mortar bed to dry overnight before continuing.
Cover the mortar bed with a shower pan liner. Staple the liner in place with galvanize staples to the surrounding wall, ½ to 1 inch up the wall or surrounding supports; you cannot staple it into the mortar bed.
Cut out the hole for the drain with a sharp utility knife. Install the remainder of your drain assembly so that it sits at least 1 ½ inch above the shower pan liner surface. This leaves room for the cement floor.
Mix four parts sand and one part Portland cement with enough water to form the same consistency as above to form the deck mud that will compose the stall floor.
Spread a 1 ¼-inch layer of deck mud over the entire shower floor surface; remember that the edges must be at least ¼ inch higher ensure drainage of water into the drain assembly. Spread the cement over the shower liner with a flat trowel, and smooth everything over with the trowel or a screed to make sure it is flat. Allow the cement to dry for at least 48 hours before installing tile or exposing the surface to water.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Build a Shower Stall
A bathroom remodel can be very rewarding in terms of guaranteed return in investments. It can also provide a place where one...
How to Install a Concrete Shower Base
Installing a concrete shower base properly is the difference between a shower base that leaks and one that is solid. Laying a...
How to Build Tile Shower on Concrete Floor
If you're building a tile shower on a concrete floor, make sure you already have a drain set in the concrete. If...
How to Make a Bathroom Shower Concrete Floor
An important part of any bathroom remodeling or construction is the plumbing. This includes not only the water coming into the bathroom,...
How to Tile a Shower Stall Floor
Installing a shower stall is a fairly simple and inexpensive way to save space in your bathroom and update its look. The...
How to Redo a Shower Stall & Base
Redoing a shower stall and base is a major project requiring several hours of time. It starts with a demolition of the...