How to Install Liner and Make a Shower Pan for Tile Showers

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Tiled showers require a special liner system to protect the sub-floor and base boards from water damage. Since the tiles and grout are not water resistant, over time, water will seep through and soak the mortar or cement below. But, installing a special water proof shower pan liner will prevent this inevitable seepage from deteriorating the wooden floor boards below.

Things You'll Need

  • mortar
  • PVC shower liner
  • nails and/or staple gun
  • drain assembly
  • thiset
  • tile
  • grout
  • Before you install the flexible PVC liner sheet, you will need to create a slope for the shower pan area so that the the liner is laid on a surface that slopes down toward the drain. To do this, lay mortar or cement about 2 inches deep at the base of the shower and trowel it so that it slopes gently toward the drain.

    The easiest way to do this is to plug the drain hole and trowel outward from the shower drain. The plug will prevent mortar from clogging the drain pipe while you do this.

  • Next, line the base of the shower with a rubbery, flexible PVC shower pan liner. You can buy this at a home improvement store.

    First, cut a hole in the sheet where it will lay over the drain hole. Do not cut the hole to big, it is best if the hole is about 1/2 less in diameter. Staple and/or nail the sheet so that it goes up sides of the shower about 9-12 inches. Also staple over the ledge at the base of the shower.

    At the corners, do not cut the sheet, but rather fold the corners tightly and neatly and secure the flap with plenty of staples. Do not staple or nail the shower liner on the shower floor. Also, if you must use two sheets, cement them together so that there are no leaks.

  • Now, apply a layer of mortar over the liner so that the floor of the shower is level and the liner is completely covered all around the walls of the shower. For the walls you can use cement backerboards to help you make a level surface depending on how neatly you attached the liner.

  • When the mortar has set, add the drain assembly so that it is flush with the mortar floor surface. Seal with silicone caulk.

  • Lastly, install the shower tiles with thinset and add the grout when the tiles have set. Do not use mastic in place of thinset, mastic will deteriorate after a few years.

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