Sign In to join the community | Help
Build & Remodel

Shower stall replacement... Help!

Hi - I have talked my husband in to removing our shower stall insert and replacing it with tile.. Finally Now I need to find out how to DIY. Anyone have knowledge of how to do this , specifically the bottom drain area.. What do we put there.. Also i am willing to buy a guide if there is a good one out there someone can recommend. Thanks!
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2012-04-17T12:54:18+0000  by Bdmtg Bdmtg

Hello and thank you for joining our How to Community.


My name is George and I’d more than happy to guide you thru this project.


I’m saying “guide” because this is really not one of those one day projects that I can explain in few simple steps, so please feel free to post back with any additional questions or comments you may have. This online How to Community it’s just an extension of the service we provide in our stores and in our stores we guide our customers thru every step of the project, every day, one project at the time.


Ok so let’s get you started with demo;


Please wear adequate safety equipment – showers in general tend to leak and over the years they can grow mold and mildew on the back side of the drywall. I personally wouldn’t start a bath demo without the gloves and respiratory protection.


Now once it’s all cleared out, and everybody’s feeling sore and tired from demo, you can go ahead and actually start building something :smileyhappy:


Step1 Framing the shower base;


Tiled showers have something called flexible shower liner placed bellow the tile. This liner goes over the floor and 7-9” up the wall around the perimeter of the shower base. Liner it’s designed to protect the subfloor and portion of the wall from the water damage.


In order to successfully install the shower liner, you would need to have first something called blocking installed (framed) in between the wall studs. Purpose of this blocking is to keep the shower liner, that’s goes up the walls, in flat vertical position away from the stud cavity. In this picture here it shows to use green (outdoor-pressure treated) lumber but note that any 2x lumber its fine.

 base framing.jpg

Code states that liner cannot occupy the plane of the wall.  Now what that means is your liner needs to be recessed to be flush with the face of the studs (doesn’t show in the picture) and therefore so does your blocking have to be recessed a bit as well. Reason for this is to prevent the section of the cement board that is covering liner on the wall from bowing and wearing out.


1/4 inch works fine and note that you can use chisel, planer or sander to shave the studs flush with the blocking.

That would take care of the shower walls, next is a curb that needs to be built. To frame the curb you would fasten and stack total of three 2x4’s in flat position, if you wish you can go even higher but I wouldn’t recommend going any lower than three boards.


Step 2 Adjusting the drain and preslope bed.


Perslope bed it is a layer of packed sand and cement mixture that slopes toward the drain. The normal mix it’s about 3-4 parts of sand to one part of Portland cement mixture. Note that premixed version is also available and it’s called sand mix .Your preslope layer will need to be 1/4" per foot from the furthest point of the drain. This said if you didn’t already, adjust your drain so its sits on the floor.

 shower pan con..JPG

Trickiest part with the preslope bed is to get the material to the right consistency and to find a correct slope of the bed. Mortar (preslope) bed needs to be as dry as possible but still workable. I use one of those misting garden sprayers and at the same time I keep constantly turning material. To find the right slope measure form the furthest point of the drain body to one of the surrounding walls. For example if the distance from the drain to the wall is 3’ feet than highest slope point it’s going to be ¾” of an inch (1/4 per foot, 3x ¼ = ¾”) .To ease out leveling you can tack a piece of ¾ lumber or conduit pipe next to the wall and then rest a piece of straight stock on to the drain and conduit at the same time and scrape/add any of the excess/missing material.


Step 3 Installing shower liner + “weep” holes.


Weep holes or weeping holes are small holes located around the perimeter of the drain ring. These holes are designed to direct small amounts of water that accumulates in between tiles and liner in to the drain itself. Contrary to belief tiles and grout are not really waterproof and there is still a very small amount of water that wicks thru during normal shower use.


This said it is imperative not to clog up the weep holes – typically pea gravel is used to stop mortar from plugging holes.


Installing shower liner;


Here’s where you need to be patient and take your time…think like I’m on the clock :smileyvery-happy: no need to rush.


First remove the top section of the drain, spread the liner on the floor and fold it in half. Place the liner on the shower base keeping the sides equally raised and folded section on the center of the drain. Unfold the liner assuring that on all three sides of the wall liner is up and that curb is full covered as well. Next look for the center, run your fingers over the fold line and locate the center of the drain and bolts. Again take your time and reassure that you got the center located and all four bolts. Using sharp utility knife, make two SMALL cross cuts on top of the protruding bolts and place a top drain cover on. With the cover on, mark the inner drain perimeter and carefully cut the liner for the drain opening, once this part is completed ,proceed and bolt the drain cover on.

 drain1.JPGoriginal (2).jpg

With the drain cover on keeping the liner from moving around you go ahead and fold the corners in. This is how corners need to be folded in place.


As you can see here, after the corners are folded, they are fastened, including liner, (3/4” from the top) to the previously mentioned blocking. Couple more tips before I wrap up this step of the project;


Around the curb step, cut your liner wider than the opening so that once the liner it’s placed on the curb sides can go up the wall. Once they’re up the sides, you would fold them same like you did the inside corners.

outside corner fold..JPG

Once the liner is installed, a 24 hour leak test is performed. 


Step 4 Waterproofing, cement board and setting bed.


Use either 4 mil plastic sheeting or 15 lb roofing felt to line the walls, overlapping any lower course by at least 3", including a 3" overlap of the liner.  Your cement board is impervious to deterioration from moisture but it will provide no waterproofing for the walls and will readily allow water to pass through.  Now you can install your cement board onto the walls.  Do not install any fasteners into the bottom 6-7" , keep it about 3/4" off the base. 



For your curb, use steel lath folded in the same fashion like shower liner. DO NOT use fasteners on the lath on the inside of the shower on only on the outside of the curb. For the curb purchase a bag of mason or mortar mix, it will cling to the vertical surfaces of the curb much better that the stuff you’re using for the setting bed.

Setting bed…


For the setting bed mix the same consistency material you’ve mixed previously for the presloped bed and set (unscrew) the drain so the strainer is 1 1/4" plus the tile thickness plus about 1/8" for thinset up from the base. So once set it should be about 1-7/8” tall from the surface of the liner. If the strainer has no protective film, tape it so it keeps the mortar out of the drain.


Pack the setting bed following the slope of the presloped bed. If you have a piece of tile you are intending on using you can use it as a spacer (that’s what I do) in between the strainer and the setting bed. Remember once it’s all said and done your tile should be about 1/16 to 1/8’ higher that the strainer plate so that water can fully drain out.


And that’s it …next step would be tiling which is the story for the next post :smileysurprised:

 Hope this helps, George
Posted 2012-04-17T20:15:25+0000  by George_HD_CHI
I only love playing card game and that's why  free spades online i only wants to play here for free and without download.
Posted 2018-10-13T09:23:31+0000  by ashwin
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question