How to install a one-piece shower unit

Written by sarah haynes
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How to install a one-piece shower unit

Installing a one-piece shower unit is a great way to redo a bathroom inexpensively, and you can often do the job yourself. A shower unit is a prefabricated unit made of fibreglass or acrylic that is a complete shower, including the walls and shower base. It requires less maintenance for cleaning, since there are no grout lines to scrub. One-piece shower units are less expensive when you buy them premade, but special customising can be done as well to give you the look and accessories you want for your bathroom.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hole drill or jigsaw
  • Level

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  1. 1

    Make sure the shower unit you want to get can fit through the door. Since these are all-inclusive units, they are sometimes too big for the average door. If you cannot find one to fit through your door, consider getting a multi-panel system.

  2. 2

    Set up the area where the shower unit will be installed. Measure the area to make sure the unit will fit. Complete all plumbing and wallboard installation before inserting the shower unit. Make sure the wall board is moisture-resistant and primed with a latex primer.

  3. 3

    Measure all plumbing areas. Either make a diagram with all the appropriate measurements and markings or create a template with cardboard to mark where all the plumbing fixtures and pipes will be.

  4. 4

    Mark on the shower unit where these plumbing fixtures will be relative to the unit.

  5. 5

    From the unfinished side of the shower unit, drill ¼ inch holes to mark where the valves for the plumbing will be.

  6. 6

    From the finished side of the shower unit, use the hole drill or jigsaw to make holes of the size that is needed for the plumbing fixtures.

  7. 7

    Set the shower unit in place. Make sure all the plumbing valves match up.

  8. 8

    Use the level to make sure unit is in and level.

  9. 9

    Remove the shower unit and apply mortar, plaster or adhesive to the bottom of the shower area to which the unit will be reattached. Check the instructions that come with the unit to determine which adhesive is best for that unit.

  10. 10

    Place the shower unit back in place and recheck to make sure it is level.

  11. 11

    Install the unit securely by fastening the back and side wall flanges to studs with #6 galvanised nails or #12 sheet-metal screws for installation into steel studs.

  12. 12

    Caulk all edges and plumbing fixtures. Allow to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

Tips and warnings

  • A one-piece shower unit is the best option if your house or geographical area is prone to shifting or settling; the shower-unit base will not crack and leak, as tile would.
  • Clean with liquid detergent and water. Harsh, abrasive cleaners may scratch or dull the shower unit.

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