How to Install a One-Piece Shower Kit

If you are looking to upgrade the look in your bathroom but do not have a lot of money to do so, consider installing a one-piece shower kit. There are two big challenges if you go this route. One, you have to remove the existing tub or shower before beginning. And two, you need French, sliding glass, double, or otherwise, large enough doors to allow passage of the rather large kit into your home, not to mention you must be able to navigate it through the passageways in your home, if applicable, to get to the bathroom of choice. You may have to remove a wall to do so. If these conditions are met, the rest of the job is really very simple. If they are not easily met, you may want to consider purchasing a multi-piece shower kit, which is installed basically the same way but comes disassembled.

First of all, you need to gather your supplies. You will need the following:

One-Piece Shower Kit

2×4’s for framing

A respirator/professional dust mask.

Tape Measure

Carpenter’s Pencil

Level

Wrench

Slip-Nose Pliers

Hammer

Miter Saw

Drill

Drill Bits

Galvanized Screws

Water Proof, 100% Silicone Caulk

Caulk Gun

The first part will be the hardest part, and that is removing the existing bathtub or shower. If it is cast iron, I highly recommend having a professional come and remove it. If it is fiberglass, simply cut it in two, which is done very easily, and remove the pieces from the room. Be sure to wear your respirator or professional dust mask while working on the cutting and until the resulting dust has been removed from the room and discarded.

Now you are ready to begin installation. You want to first of all, transfer your faucet markings onto your surround. Measure this precisely and drill holes appropriately. You must be very careful with your measuring and drilling. There will be no room for error here.

Now you want to place the unit into the space. Inside of your kit will be specific instructions on how to create the framing for the unit using your 2×4’s. Follow these instructions before proceeding to the next step. It should be just a manner of using your 2×4’s and a hammer, and it really will not take that long to put up.

Once your framing is up, it is time to install your faucets and diverters. If you have never worked with plumbing before, it may be best to hire a professional plumber for just this portion of the job. If you do feel comfortable, proceed, and be sure to fit precisely.

Check to make sure your until is level and plumb, and adjust as necessary. Then you want to secure the unit in place with galvanized screws. Make sure to put them on the extended section, or flange, about every ten inches or so apart, all the way around, making sure you are drilling into the wall studs.

Install your drain, cover plate, grip bars if included, showerhead, shower hose, and handles, per manufacturer instructions.

Carefully apply the silicone caulk to the entire outside border of the kit. Go all the way around. This is an important step because it is going to keep water from seeping into and underneath your walls, which would create quite a fix-it job for you later. If you have any holes or gapes in your wall, install waterproof dry wall as needed, and cover with wall covering of choice.

You now have a completely different look for your bathroom, without a huge amount of cost.

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