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How to Install a Walk In Shower

Many people prefer walk in showers for their easy access and sleek appearance. Home improvement stores sell many shower kits that include the pieces that you need to learn how to install a walk in shower. The challenging parts of the job are adjusting the subfloor and connecting the plumbing. If you’d like to help upgrading your shower from a pro, reach out to the bath experts at PJ Fitzpatrick. We specialize in shower replacements, including low threshold and barrier free showers. We can even install built in seating or Jacuzzi® Shower Systems.

How to Install a Walk In Shower Step by Step

  1. Prepare the space for your shower by demolishing it down to the studs and subfloor.
  2. You may leave the existing plumbing from the old bath tub or shower if you like.
  3. Alternatively, you may install new plumbing and select a new faucet and showerhead.
  4. With the space clear and the plumbing lines and drain line in place, prepare the subfloor for the shower pan.
  5. Dry fit the shower pan over the exposed subfloor.
  6. Mark around it with a pencil.
  7. Take the reciprocating saw and cut along the pencil marks through the subfloor. Do not cut into the underlying floor joists.
  8. With the pry bar, yank out the subfloor that you just cut free.
  9. Pull out all nails sticking out of the exposed floor joists.
  10. Set the level on each floor joist.
  11. Any floor joists that are not level require adjustment.
  12. Sometimes you can use a plane to shave down joists to make them level.
  13. If shaving a joist will not solve the problem, build sister joists with 2 x 4 lumber alongside the joists. Make these small joists level for the shower pan.
  14. To continue learning how to install a walk in shower, you need to install more 2 x 4s about 3/4 inches lower than the level joists.
  15. With a circular saw, cut 3/4-inch plywood sections to fit between the joists to build a new, lower subfloor.
  16. Mark a hole with a compass on the plywood where the drain line is. The hole should have a diameter of 6-1/2 inches.
  17. Cut the hole on the plywood piece that goes over the drain.
  18. Spread liquid nails over the 2 x 4 lumber pieces positioned 3/4 of an inch below the top of the joists.
  19. Press the plywood pieces into place.
  20. Nail the plywood pieces to the supporting lumber.
  21. Spread thin-set mortar on the new subfloor and the bottom of the shower pan.
  22. Apply sealant around the drain on the pan and assemble the drain line and flange.
  23. Set the shower pan into place over the drain.
  24. Set heavy objects on the shower pan to hold it down while the mortar sets for at least 30 minutes.
  25. Measure the space for your shower panels and cut them to fit if necessary.
  26. Apply sealant to the channels on the shower pan.
  27. Set the panels into the channels.
  28. Attach the panels to the studs with framing screws and washers.
  29. Put sealant between each panel as you install them.
  30. Remove sealant that squeezes through with a putty knife.
  31. After installing all panels, spread sealant smoothly with a putty knife over every joint, seam, and screw.
  32. Install the faucet and showerhead.

Tools & Materials

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pry bar
  • Claw hammer
  • Level
  • Plane
  • Circular saw
  • Trowel
  • Caulk gun
  • Measuring tape
  • Power drill
  • Putty knife

Get Help Installing Your New Walk In Shower From PJ Fitzpatrick

Proper plumbing connections and sealed joints are essential when you’re learning how to install a walk in shower. For the best results, you can rely on the bath and shower installers at PJ Fitzpatrick. We convert tubs to showers throughout the Delaware Valley. We have many stylish shower options available, especially if you’re concerned about mobility problems. Contact us today for a shower installation estimate.

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