Bathroom Shower Installation

Fiberglass and Custom Ceramic Tile Bathroom Shower Installation Tips

By Mark J. Donovan




If your bathroom remodeling plans include a DIY bathroom shower installation project then prepare for a little work. However, before you begin you will first need to enlist the services of a plumber to install the shower drain and supply lines. This process can get a little messy as the shower drain will probably need to be tied into the existing drain/vent stack and the supply lines pulled from somewhere else in the home.

Once you have the shower drain and supply lines roughed in you can then being the process of installing a bathroom shower stall.

When it comes to installing bathroom shower stalls you basically have three choices.

Fiberglass Bathroom Shower Kit

First, there is the common fiberglass bathroom shower stall. This type of bathroom shower stall typically comes as a kit with a base shower pan and sidewalls and is available in several standard sizes. The shower pan base is installed first, followed by the side walls. Normally the side walls are attached directly to wall studs.

To complete this type of bathroom shower installation project, moisture resistant green board is attached to the adjacent shower walls to cover the shower stall flanges, and a glass shower enclosure is attached to the outer base of the shower pan and the shower walls.

Bathroom Showers Utilizing only a Fiberglass Base

Alternatively you can buy just the fiberglass bathroom shower pan and then use cement backboard on the shower walls.

Frameless glass shower door

Fiberglass bathroom shower pans are available in many standards sizes. This type of bathroom shower is commonly installed when the bathroom shower walls are to be tiled. Again, moisture resistant green board is used on the walls adjacent to the cement backerboard shower walls, and a glass shower enclosure is attached to the outer base of the shower pan and the ceramic tiled shower walls.

Custom Ceramic Tile Bathroom Shower

Finally, there is the custom ceramic tile bathroom shower. With a custom ceramic tile bathroom shower you have the flexibility to create any size bathroom shower, and ceramic tile is used on both the shower walls and shower floor. With a customer ceramic tile bathroom shower you also have the flexibility to create seats and other types of features in the shower stall.

It is important to note that a custom ceramic tile bathroom shower requires the installation of a shower pan membrane liner for the shower base, and the installation of cement backerboard on the shower walls. Installing a shower pan membrane liner involves the use of mortar and creating a sloped shower pan area.

How to Install a Mortar Shower Pan Liner eBook.

The shower membrane liner sits sandwiched in-between two layers of mortar and is sloped towards the shower drain opening. See my Shower Pan Membrane Liner Ebook to learn more on how to install your own custom shower pan.

Once the custom shower pan is installed, the cement backerboard is then attached to the bathroom shower stud walls. After the backerboard is fastened to the walls, the ceramic tile can then be installed on the shower floor and walls. Finally, a glass shower enclosure can be attached to the shower walls and pan, if required. Some custom ceramic tile shower units are designed so that no glass shower enclosure is required.


For help on your bathroom remodeling project, see my Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to prospective bathroom remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive bathroom remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the project.

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