Do you want to update your current shower to a DIY walk-in shower?
A walk-in shower is a separate area from a bathtub. Commonly, it is made with a raised edge and a glass door that prevents water from going outside the shower area.
You can build a doorless walk-in shower layout with shower curtains to prevent water from splashing into the entire bathroom.
It also increases the resale value of your home and the best design for your family’s kids and older members who can’t step into the bathtub. This article will discuss how to build a walk-in shower in a small bathroom.
How to Build a DIY Walk-in Shower?
- Gather all the necessary tools and materials and purchase a shower kit.
- Make a hole in the floorboard and place the drain.
- Install the shower pan by applying the thin set.
- Leave it to dry for one hour and apply pressure on it for a few minutes.
- Apply a waterproofing liquid to the area.
- Install fixtures.
- Apply thin-set and Install the tiles.
- Install glass enclosure.
Table of Contents
Tools and Materials Required
Gathering all the necessary tools and materials before starting the process is very helpful. While installing the walk-in shower, you will need to perform different tasks like cutting, drilling, gluing, and drying. So, deciding which tools will be required before starting the project is best.
You will need the following items:
Step by Step Method to Build a Walk-in Shower
This step-by-step DIY walk-in shower guide will help you if you have little knowledge. Like other DIY projects, this is not a difficult task, but before making any permanent changes, selecting the right shower dimensions is important.
Let’s have a look at the steps to building a walk-in shower:
Step 1. Destruction and Measuring
If a tub or bathroom already exists where you are going to install a walk-in DIY shower, first, you have to tear down the previous one. It is a good idea to install it in the place of the previous one. In this way, it will be affordable by keeping the same plumbing.
Before beginning, disconnect the fixtures and turn off the water supply. Now start removing the walls, tiles, and bathtub. Take out the shower doors and all the wall panels. Also, remove the drywall surrounding the bathtub, fixtures, and screws.
After removing all these things and cleaning the area, start the installation process.
First, measure all your bathroom spaces, then buy tools and materials accordingly. Carefully examine current pipes and drains and decide whether the installation is possible with it or if you need to upgrade it.
If you plan to change the location of accessories like showerheads or fixtures, you must decide on it in this step. New items and a walk-in shower will change the style of your bathroom.
Installing the walk-in shower over the current space is the easiest way to upgrade. If you want to install new fixtures in different locations, you will need professional help.
Step 2. Choosing the Right Walk-in Shower Kit
While building it, a walk-in shower installation kit will be helpful because it contains all the necessary tools and materials.
Two separate kits are required to build your walk-in shower:
1. Shower Kit
It includes a showerhead, faucets, a hand-held shower, a shower arm, and other accessories like shower walls, soap dishes, corner beads, and more.
2. Shower Tray
It is used to install the floor and contains a shower drain, sloping shower tray, water-proofing materials, an optional curb, sealants, and screws. Items like soap dishes or shower walls are optional; you can also buy them separately.
Step 3. Installing the Shower Floor
Different shower trays are available in the market that comes pre-cut. Choose the one that fits the cut of your floor, or you can cut the hole yourself.
If you have to cut the hole yourself, you will require an oriental strand board (OSB). Take the measurement carefully so the new hole comes in the right place. Now, place the shower tray on the floor.
Before screwing the plywood on the top to make a foundation, ensure the board is level.
Using the sealant and primer, place the drain into the hole firmly. Lastly, apply pressure for a while and tighten the nuts.
Step 4. Cleaning the Area
After installing the shower floor, clean the area thoroughly. Wipe up any leaking primer and sealant properly. If you do not clean the area on time, these drops will become hard and provide an uneven surface.
Look at the drain cover; if there are dust and debris, sweep it to get a clean area. If there are some excess materials on the surface that are hard to remove, use a palette knife for them.
Leave the floor to dry by keeping heavy items to apply pressure.
Step 5. Installing the Shower Walls
Now, it’s time to install the shower walls. The shower kit you are using will have divots used before placing the shower walls.
Its installation method depends on the shower kits you will use. Measuring and cutting a hole for all shower accessories will be helpful before installing each wall.
A design should be planned for the accessories such as the showerhead and shower pan. Make sure you have measured the plumbing also.
Step 6. Installing the Shower Curb
If you like a shower curb, decide how tall it should be from the floor. It separates the rest of the bathroom area and the walk-in shower. It does not allow the water to splash into the whole bathroom.
Building a walk-in shower without a curb is difficult; however, a curbless design gives a larger look to the space. To choose a curbless design, you must make the shower pan and floor even by raising or lowering them.
A drainage slope is also required for this purpose. Use chalk to measure the line and thin-set glue to stick it to the shower floor. Wipe out any extra glue with a sponge and check if it is easy to step in and out.
Step 7. Make the Area Water Resistant
This step is to waterproof the room. Whatever type of walls you select, must be waterproofed. Apply liquid waterproofing to the cement board using a paintbrush before adding tiles.
Waterproof tape can also be used on the corners. Leave it for 60 minutes to dry.
Step 8. Adding Fixtures
Now, it’s time to add fixtures. Place all the fixtures in the current plumbing and tighten them using a screwdriver.
After installation, check that they work and test that the water does not go outside the walk-in shower.
Step 9. Installing the Tiles
You can change your bathroom’s look using different types of tiles. They are also important to make your walk-in shower area beautiful.
Select the tile design that looks good with the floor and other spaces. You must purchase the thin-set that is made according to your tile size. For the areas around different accessories, you must measure and cut them accordingly.
You can also start the installation of tiling from a certain point to make a specific design. First, apply the thin-set on the specific area, then place the tiles carefully. After placing, wipe out the tiles with a sponge to clean the drops of thin-set.
Step 10. Installing the Glass Enclosure
It is the final step of installing the walk-in shower. Which is very beneficial because it does not allow the water to go out to the whole bathroom and prevents the area from wetting. It keeps the rest of the bathroom dry and gives it a modern and fresh look.
Now, switch on the water source and check everything for leakage. Make sure all the things are installed accurately. If you find any leaks in the drain or shower head, you can add more thin-set on these areas.
Are Shower Kits Useful for Shower Installation?
Shower kits are very useful if you have to install a DIY walk-in shower. They come with many necessary materials that you will need during installation. Let’s look at the different advantages and disadvantages of using shower kits for walk-in shower installation.
Benefits of Using Shower Kits
- Easy installation
- Handy for the people who want to install a walk-in shower easily with easy access to all the materials
- Come with clear directions written on a label
Drawbacks of Using Shower Kits
- Not as much control over design
- Sometimes it does not have all the tools and materials
Pros and Cons of Walk-in Shower
- Unlike the doorless walk-in shower layout, they don’t need a curtain or anything to block the water splashed. They have doors that prevent the bathroom from getting humid because spillage gives a messier look to the space.
- Ready-made units have curbs that keep the water within the walk-in shower area, and the bathroom does not become wet.
- Custom walk-in showers are curbless that provide a gentle slope to the drain. This design is beneficial for people with mobility issues.
- Multi-nozzle spray is a standard feature of walk-in showers. According to your choice, you can select up to 10 spray nozzles that provide water to all sides of your body.
- While removing the bathtub from your bathroom, you should consider the re-sale value of your house. One bathroom in your house should have one large bathtub for a good resale value.
- Tubs are more comfortable for small children compared to a shower.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Price to DIY a Walk-in Shower?
To build a DIY walk-in shower, the price range is $8000 – $15000. While ready-made walk-in shower’s cost range is $1000 – $3000.
Is a Shower Pan Necessary for a Walk-in Shower?
A shower pan is necessary because it delivers a water-resistant floor to lay the tiles. If you have not planned to use tiles, it is recommended to use them to protect the floor from leakage.
How to Transform a Bathtub into a Walk-in Shower?
Following are the steps to convert the bathtub into a walk-in shower:
- Find out the space to build the walk-in shower
- Choose a walk-in shower design
- Take out tiles and walls sections
- Remove the tub
- Start the installation of a walk-in shower
How to Build a Walk-in Shower Inexpensively?
Its price depends on the materials you use. You can build a walk-in shower without doors because glass panels will increase costs. Use the old plumbing and fixtures if they are in good condition. In this way, you can build a walk-in shower by spending less money.
How to Construct a Tile Walk-in Shower?
Install the shower floor, and after completion, clean the area. Install the shower walls and curb. Apply the waterproofing material to the area before tiling.
Attach fixtures and install tiles after that. After tiling your bathroom, install a glass enclosure to prevent water spillage into the whole area.
In this article, you have learned how to build a walk-in shower. It is a good idea for older family members because they find it difficult to step into the tub. Additionally, it increases the resale value of your house, but there should be one bathroom with a bathtub.
A walk-in shower with doors will prevent water spillage from entering the whole bathroom, and thus a mess will not be created. The process of building a shower becomes very easy with shower kits because they contain a lot of essential tools.
For more complicated tasks during installation, get the help of a professional.