Modern shower enclosures offer a wonderful showering experience, especially if they have floor-level access – the additional freedom of movement and easy entry enable barrier-free access, so that a modern shower makes everyday life much easier, especially for older people. To install a new shower, you do not necessarily have to hire a professional company. With a bit of manual skill, the right tools and the right components, you can also install the shower yourself. All necessary accessories and tools can be found in specialized shops – the most important tips are given in this article.
Before you start – this is what you need to install the shower
You should proceed particularly conscientiously and professionally with this project, because water damage as a result of the installation of the shower must be avoided at all costs. Therefore, you should have a whole range of sealing materials at hand. It is best to use a liquid sealant and sanitary silicone in the appropriate shade. This material is particularly easy to work with. If you want to install a shower at ground level, you will need the appropriate shower channel or a floor drain and, of course, tile adhesive for fixing the tiles. Also necessary are HT pipes of suitable dimensions, which will later be used to connect the wastewater drainage system.
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Tip: Use lubricant as an auxiliary material to make it easier to connect the individual components during installation. You can also use some pressure-resistant rigid foam boards during installation. These can be used well to underlay individual components if necessary.
If you are installing a shower, you will need a lot of tools:
In terms of cutting tools, you will need a hacksaw, a cutter knife and possibly a pair of tin snips. To check your installation, a spirit level, a pencil and a folding rule are of course indispensable. In addition, a drill, drywall screwdriver, file, a serrated stainless steel smoothing trowel, a center punch, a set of screwdrivers and joint trowels with different radii are necessary. To work with silicone as a sealing material, you will also need a cartridge press.
Preparatory work for the shower installation and sealing
To install a shower tray, you must plan a corresponding recess for the installation of the shower element. Depending on whether you are installing a floor-level shower or a surface-mounted shower basin, everything required, including the drain and seal, must be prepared. For the drain, make sure that it has the necessary slope. For the size of the floor recess, you should allow sufficient space for the edge insulation strips.
One by one: these are the necessary steps to install a shower
First, insert the shower element into the designated recess in the floor. Then, through the drain hole, please draw the position for the floor inlet or the connection for the drain on the floor.
After that, the floor inlet is placed at the correct height and connected to the wall connection by HT pipes. The best way to cut the HT pipes is to use a metal hacksaw. But do not saw off too much, because you should have the necessary insertion depth of the pipe in mind. For straight cuts it is recommended to use a miter box. The cut edges should then be cleanly deburred with a file or a knife.
When joining pipes and pipe bends, it is recommended to use lubricant at the joints. The drain must then be adjusted to the correct installation height. For showers at floor level, the correct dimension must be measured with a folding rule from the top of the floor to the drain. Based on this measurement, the thickness of the shower element and the installation depth must be subtracted from the drain connection. Special care must be taken to maintain the required slope to the wall connection. The drain can be conveniently placed at the right height with the rest of a hard foam board, so it is possible to screw it without any problems. Before the final installation of the shower element, it should be checked whether the drain and the HT pipes are completely tight to the wall connection.
To do this, pour a little water down the drain. If everything is tight, the shower element is inserted again and checked if the drain is still in the right position and height. Then apply the edge insulation strips to the surrounding edges, simply cut off the protrusions. To position the shower element at the same height as the room must be underlaid. For this purpose, pressure-resistant rigid foam boards are cut to fit. You should completely fill the cavity. Then glue the plates with tile adhesive. For application, use a notched trowel or a smoothing trowel, respectively. The cut plates are inserted and pressed down lightly. If a greater thickness is required, two sheets can be glued on top of each other.
Take care and caution with the shower waterproofing
Unfortunately, laying the tiles alone does not provide sufficient security. The tiles are usually waterproof, the problem is the joints that harden over time, creating small cracks in which water can penetrate. The penetrating moisture can lead to mold growth. The damage then spreads quickly and damage to the building fabric due to mold growth is highly detrimental to the health of the occupants. Especially showers tiled flush with the floor should be installed absolutely waterproof.
To prepare the waterproofing, the substrate as well as the walls must be absolutely clean. Everything that does not adhere firmly must be removed. Cracks and holes must be filled with a suitable mortar. Special repair mortar is available for this purpose, it is easy to apply and dries quickly. When installing a floor-level shower or shower enclosure, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. A special sealing fleece or sealing foil is usually included in the delivery. This usually protrudes a few inches above. Be careful not to cut off the protruding fleece in any case.
Tips on the thorough waterproofing of the shower
To seal the walls, it is recommended to use liquid sealing foil. This is also called a spread film. Larger wall and floor areas are bonded with waterproofing membranes. Sealing tape can be used for corners and angles. Prefabricated sealing corners for sealing the shower floor can also be used. With sealing sleeves, pipes for waste water and also the fittings for water inflow can be sealed well. Once you have completely sealed the corners, edges and connections, the walls and floor are covered with sealant or waterproofing membranes. Make sure to apply sufficient sealant especially at edges and corners. Repeat this procedure twice with an interval of about two hours. After that everything should dry for about 24 hours. When applying the second coat, it is good to leave a slightly rougher texture, as this will help the tile adhesive adhere better later on. After tiling and correct grouting, the shower enclosure is ready for installation. If you have worked carefully, you will enjoy your new shower enclosure for a long time.