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How to Remove a Shower Enclosure

Updated March 23, 2017

When you are remodelling a bathroom or installing a new shower, it is necessary to remove the old shower enclosure. In most cases, the enclosure is tiled or glued to the wall. In either case, the process of removing the shower enclosure is basically the same. Most of the time, you will need a helper to remove all of the components of the shower enclosure, since some of the components are bulky, heavy or both.

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  1. Turn off the water to the shower. In most homes, you will do this by turning the valves located in the shower's plumbing access hole; it may be accessible from the room adjoining the back of the shower fixtures. If you can't locate an access hole, shut off the water to the house.

  2. Remove all hardware from the shower. Remove a glass or plastic door by unscrewing the screws in the door hinges, then lifting out the door. Remove the door track by unscrewing the screws that secure it. Remove the screw located on the drain strainer.

  3. Take down the shower fixtures. Most shower heads will simply unscrew. Remove the knobs controlling the water flow by unscrewing the screw in the centre of each knob. For lever controls, remove the screws on both sides. Pull the knobs or levers off once the screws are removed.

  4. Turn the drain spout counterclockwise to remove it. Grasp the centre of the crosspiece using needle-nose pliers to turn it. Once you remove that, you may see a drain shoe. Grasp one edge of the shoe with the pliers. Turn the shoe counterclockwise to remove it.

  5. Chisel out all grout around the shower, using a putty knife or chisel. Soften the grout with a hair dryer first, if necessary.

  6. Pry each tile off the wall with a crowbar or chisel. Start at the edge of the shower enclosure. Break hard-to-remove tiles if necessary to get them off the wall.

  7. Pry a glued-on enclosure away from the wall with a crowbar. Pull up and out on the enclosure, starting at one of its free edges. Continuing pulling until the enclosure is removed. Most shower enclosures have one to three pieces. Repeat the process on any remaining enclosure pieces.

  8. Scrape as much of the grout or glue off the wall as you can. Sand the remaining grout or glue off with 80-grit sandpaper.

  9. Pull the shower enclosure base up from the floor if you are replacing it. Pry it up with a crowbar if necessary.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Putty knife
  • Hair dryer
  • Chisel
  • Crowbar
  • 80-grit sandpaper

About the Author

Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.

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