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Bath & Faucets

Replacing fiberglass shower stall

Greetings. I am considering tearing out our fiberglass shower stall and putting in tile. I have not researched this much, but am wondering if I am going to find exposed studs behind the existing shower (it's three-sides, all one piece- image uploaded)
or if there might be green board already there. (My guess is the former).

So if it is bare studs, I would guess I'd need to install green board and also a shower pan, correct? I've done some tiling before and realize the adhesive is different than thinset used for floors.

Any other hints or DIY advice from anyone who may have done this type of project before?


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Posted 2015-04-06T21:53:56+0000  by jethro99 jethro99
Let's talk about demo first.  I doubt you're going to find anything but studs behind the surround and it looks like you have a one piece surround.  Remove the doors and frame.  Turn off the water supply and unscrew the shower arm (that's the pipe between the shower head and wall).  Remove the shower control knob and trim plate.  Pop the drain cover and unscrew the strainer assembly.  There is a nailing flange at the top of the surround walls behind the drywall.  So you'll need to carefully cut the drywall away, about 1 1/2" above the top of the surround wall (draw a line so you make a neat cut).  You can use a reciprocating saw (aka Sawzall) with the blade held at a very low angle, oscillating saw, or just an ordinary drywall saw.  It doesn't show in the picture but the shower head is probably above the surround wall, so be careful when cutting there because of the pipe that runs up from the shower valve.  Pull the nails or screws then pry the surround out.  If it is a one piece surround, run your reciprocating saw down the back and across the bottom to make removal easier.  Again, hold the blade at a low angle to minimize damage to the structure behind the walls/base.

Once you have the surround out, inspect for any damage, mold, etc. on the subfloor or studs.  If you find anything, that should be addressed before proceeding.  If you're thinking about switching out the shower valve/trim/etc. the rough plumbing needs to be done before the walls go up.

You also have a couple of decisions to make about how you're going to form the shower pan and what you're going to do with the walls.  With the walls you have two options to control moisture - concrete backer board with a 6 mil plastic sheet behind it or drywall and a waterproofing membrane like Schulter's Kerdi or Laticrete's Hydroban.  For the pan you can either fabricate one with mortar or use a preformed base.  I give more details about the options for shower bases in another thread here.

That should get you started, let us know if you have any questions!

Posted 2015-04-06T22:50:57+0000  by Adam444
Hey Jethro99!

My talented friend Chris, one of our Product Experts on The Community, published Steps for Construction of a Shower Pan.

Click the link for step-by-step instructions.
Posted 2015-04-09T15:41:19+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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