How to Install a Corner Shower on Top of a Tile Floor

Written by natasha parks
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How to Install a Corner Shower on Top of a Tile Floor
It is possible to attach your shower directly onto tiles if absolutely necessary (shower image by Dragan Trifunovic from

You can have a tray design with a fully enclosed shower cubicle or a corner bath with side panels and a shower screen. You can install both on top of a tiled floor. It is best to choose a shower with adjustable legs so it simply sits on top of the tiles. It is up to you whether or not to keep the pipework running to the shower head showing above the tiles, or have it installed inside the wall, before the tiles are laid. If you have had fresh tiling and do not wish to take the tiles back off the wall, select attractive stainless steel pipes and make a feature out of them.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Acrylic shower tray with adjustable legs
  • Spirit level
  • Marine ply board
  • Cement board
  • Bathroom grade silicone sealant
  • Tile adhesive
  • Sealant gun
  • Trowel
  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • 15-mm. stainless steel pipes
  • Waterproof casings
  • Isolating valves
  • PTFE tape
  • Female screw thread adaptor

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  1. 1

    Ensure your floor is structurally sound and that the tiles have had enough time to "cure" (harden and fix) into place. A full day since grouting should be sufficient. Lay your shower tray into position. Mark your chosen location for the waste water pipe using a black marker pen.

  2. 2

    Fit the shower tray on top of the tiles and flush to the wall. Press it gently at each corner, adjusting the legs as you go so it begins to balance. Measure the balance with a spirit level. Try to keep the tray as low to the floor as possible. Reach inside the cavity of the tray and screw the trap to the waste outlet. Support the centre of the tray using pieces of ply board or cement board.

  3. 3

    Apply sealant or tile adhesive to the base of a non-adjustable shower tray using a sealant gun or trowel, respectively. This is not an ideal solution, but is the only way to bed a non-adjustable shower onto completed tile work. Press the shower into place firmly and leave to set for a day or two.

  4. 4

    Apply bathroom grade silicone sealant around the edges of the new shower using a sealant gun. Pay particular attention to where the tray meets the walls. Smooth lumps out with your thumb. Wash excess off with warm, soapy water and a sponge.

  5. 5

    Fix the shower to the stud wall if you do not have a fully enclosed cubicle. Make a plan showing the position of the pipes running from the shower taps and shower head. Run pipework across the tiles but behind the shower side panels. Use 15mm. diameter pipes. Turn off the water at the mains before plumbing the pipes in. Waterproof the piping using a waterproof coating such as chrome casings or waterproof plastic casings that fit around 15-mm pipes.

  6. 6

    Fit isolating valves to the ends of the pipes to ensure the water does not escape. Apply PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) tape around new joints to create waterproof seals. Use a female screw thread adaptor to connect the pipes to the shower controls. Mount the controls beside the pipes on the wall. Silicone seal the edges carefully before reconnecting the water supply.

Tips and warnings

  • Ideally, shower trays should be fitted before a floor is tiled. If you have a tiled floor and a tray that needs bedding in (no adjustable legs) you should either take up a few tiles and use mortar to bed the tray to the floor underneath, or change your shower tray for one with legs. Use 20-mm. marine ply board as a base.
  • Use moisture resistant plasterboard or cement board on stud walls which will have direct, regular contact with running water. Ordinary plasterboard or plywood will rot and need to be replaced quickly.

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