Tips for Fitting a Shower Unit

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing a shower cubicle unit is not a challenging job for most homeowners. According to Homebase, installing a shower unit shouldn't take much more than a day even for tiled showers. Of course, anyone can run into problems during the installation process. Learning a few tips and tricks can help do-it-yourselfers avoid major issues and get their shower units installed quickly and easily.

Leave Plumbing to the Professionals

While installing the shower unit itself is relatively simple, the plumbing for a new or replacement shower is usually much more complex. Homeowners who don't have a lot of prior plumbing experience should call a professional to deal with all plumbing work. Otherwise, there is the risk of leaks and pressure problems down the road. A qualified plumber may cost a little more, but it's worth it to ensure the job is performed correctly.

Inspect Shower Trays Before Installing

Inspect the colour, size and quality of the shower tray or enclosure before installing it. According to the Plumbing Pages, most manufacturers won't take a tray back or provide a refund once the product is installed. Take some time to fit the tray or manufactured enclosure into the proper location before the final installation to make certain of a correct fit.

Raise the Unit

The shower trap and waste pipe can take up a lot of space under a shower unit. Homebase recommends installing the shower tray a little higher than floor level to make room for these fixtures. Many shower trays have adjustable feet on the bottom to provide proper clearance. Showers without adjustable feet may need to be raised on closely spaced blocks of wood. When raising a shower enclosure using this technique, finish the raised area using marine-grade plywood. Always double check that both sides of the waste opening have securely fitted gaskets or washers to ensure a tight seal. Leaks under a shower can cause rotting floors and mould problems later on.

Attach Shower Units Securely

Installing a shower unit using spots of adhesive in the middle and on the corners is tempting. However, this installation is not secure. The spots may come loose over time, and water may seep between the shower unit and the wall or floor, encouraging mould growth. The Plumbing Pages recommend coating the whole area of the tray or enclosure with silicone sealant or grout adhesive. You can also coat trays with sand and cement when installing them on a cement base.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.