Best Guide for Installing a Shower Enclosure
Installing a shower enclosure in your home and replacing the old shower with a new kit may seem daunting. However, installing the shower enclosure yourself will decrease the labor cost and save a considerable amount of money. You can do the job with some essential tools and a little time. With this guide, you can complete this DIY application and learn how to install your shower kit like a pro.
Although there are various methods and systems for installing the shower enclosure, this guide will mainly focus on two practical techniques which are:
- Installing a Shower Enclosure with Glue-Up Technique
- Installing Direct-to-Stud Shower Enclosure
After learning both methods, we ensure that you will install your shower kit perfectly.
Installing Shower Enclosure with Glue-Up Technique
Installing a shower enclosure with the glue-up technique consist of 13 primary steps that you should follow.
First Step: Consider Shower Enclosure Installation Options
Your shower wall panels may be molded as a single unit in a u-shape system, which is generally used in modern homes. Or, a series of individual interlocking wall panels can be used to form a water-tight seal.
For installing a shower enclosure with the glue-up method, you should know that this method consists of three to five sections.
The glue-up enclosures are available as shower surrounds or tub surrounds. The main difference between these two is their height. Shower enclosures that work with a pan are taller than the tub surrounding panels.
Note: Before you start installing a shower enclosure, you should remove the old shower wall panels and prepare the bathroom floor after installing the tub.
Second Step: Get Your Bathroom Ready
The second step of installing a shower enclosure starts with placing a piece of cloth in the shower pan or tub. Then take off the shower handle, spout, and trim cover.
Third Step: Mark a Level Line
This step is simple. You should draw a level line to align the top of your enclosure’s panels (clear tempered glass panels in modern kits) around the nook.
You should also draw vertical lines on the shower pan or tub sides for better guidelines.
Fourth Step: Prep the Shower Walls
It would be best if you replaced all damaged wall panels with new boards. Then roughen up the painted surfaces to ensure a more robust bond with the adhesive.
Moreover, clean the surface and then dry it to be free of flakes and dust.
Fifth Step: Plan Out Your Shower
Make sure that everything fits well by dry fitting a few panels before installing a shower enclosure. Place the back wall panel on the tub and use strips to keep it from falling. Also, place the side and corner panels, and after you are sure that your shower enclosure will fit perfectly, remove the boards.
Sixth Step: Trim the Panels
After taking measurements, draw a cut line and use a jigsaw to cut the panels to your desired size.
Seventh Step: Cut the Holes for the Faucet
Before installing a shower enclosure, cut holes in the wall panels for the handle and tub spout to fit. You can use a hole saw for this step.
Eight Step: Dry Fit the Shower Enclosure
Before gluing everything down, make sure the enclosure will fit ideally one more time by dry fitting the panels.
Ninth Step: Apply Adhesive for Installing Shower Enclosure
For installing shower enclosure panels, use a special glue-up tub adhesive. Remember to do this step quickly since the glue does not have time to develop a skin.
Tenth Step: Install the Back Panel
Apply the adhesive to the back panel and repress it firmly against the wall.
Eleventh Step: Install the Side Panels
Install the side panels of your enclosure similar to the tenth step.
Twelfth Step: Install the Corner Panels
Installing corner panels are also similar to the eleventh and tenth step.
Thirteenth Step: Caulk and Finish Your Enclosure
Allow the adhesive to dry for 24 hours, and then caulk around the top and bottom wall panels. Install the fixtures and caulk around them, and then install the shower rod.
Installing Direct-to-Stud Shower Enclosure
Following the ten steps we provided below, installing a shower enclosure with a direct-to-stud method can be done.
First Step: Prepare the Area for Installing a Shower Enclosure
Before installing, a shower enclosure, measure the width and depth of your alcove and ensure the dimensions are correct.
Second Step: Pre-fit the Shower Kit
Dry fit or pre-fit the shower kit to ensure it is appropriately sized.
Third Step: Mark and Drill Holes for the Valves
Before installing the shower kit, you will have to cut holes for the plumbing valves.
Fourth Step: Mark and Remove the Panels
Level the enclosure and check the walls with the level before removing the panels. (Mark the levels)
Fifth Step: Install the Shower Base
To make leveling more accessible, we recommend installing the shower base before installing a shower enclosure.
Sixth Step: Insert and Attach the Back Panel
Add insulation and vapor barrier, and then install the back panel.
Seventh Step: Insert and Attach the Side Panels
Insert and attach the side panels to your enclosure and make sure it is seated correctly on the base.
Eight Step: Install the Plumbing Panels
One of the crucial steps of installing a shower enclosure is to install the plumbing panels and ensure the locking tabs fit into their slots.
Ninth Step: Seal and Caulk the Enclosure
It is essential to avoid moisture issues and preserve the integrity of your enclosure by sealing and caulking your new kit.
Tenth Step: Finish the Room
You can use water-resistant boards to finish any exposed walls. Then, prime and paint the wall panels and caulk the gaps where the flange meets the drywall. Finally, add your shower curtain and install the doors to complete your enclosure.