How to Fit a Shower Enclosure – Easy Step by Step Guide

How to Fit a Shower Enclosure – Easy Step by Step Guide

The process of fitting your shower enclosure is actually a lot easier than it seems, and if I am able to put them together myself with no experience, then I have no doubt you will be able to as well.

To help you overcome the initial nerves that come with unboxing and preparing yourself to do the job, we have taken the time to create this excellent and detailed guide, listing easy to follow steps so that you are able to complete the task without the need for a professional.

So, if you’ve been wondering how to fit a shower enclosure, wonder no more. Everything you need to know can be found below. 

What is a Shower Enclosure? 

Put simply; a shower enclosure is a standalone cubicle that you stand inside in order to wash yourself and avoid soaking the entire bathroom.

There are one or two doors so that you can get in and out, and while there are a number of plastic models on the market, you will find that the vast majority are made from a combination of metal and glass.

The shower enclosure will contain a drain so that water can be directed to the waste pipe that will be hooked up to it.

Unless you have a wet room, there will also be a shower tray on the floor, and this is designed to keep water inside the enclosure and away from the ground. The enclosure also tends to rest on the tray for extra support. 

Tools You’ll Need 

Once you have unpacked your shower enclosure, make sure that you check for any damage or faults before you begin constructing it.

There isn’t much worse than putting all of the work and effort into constructing it only to discover that it’s faulty. Once this is done, gather the tools you need, each of which have been listed for you below:

  • Claw hammer
  • Electric drill
  • Hack saw
  • Sealant gun
  • Spirit level
  • Standard screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Wood chisel

Tools for stone shower trays:

  • Bucket
  • Jigsaw

Tools for acrylic shower trays: 

  • Adjustable wrench 

Check You Have the Following 

Next, you need to make sure you have all of the following materials so that you can construct your shower enclosure properly. Like the tools, this is an essential step before you get started:

  • Glass panel(s)
  • Frames (aka channels)
  • Door(s)
  • Door handle(s)
  • Fixings
  • Shower tray
  • Shower tray waste
  • Shower and/or valve
  • Silicone sealant

Materials for when you have no riser kit:

  • Building Sand
  • Cement
  • PVA Glue

Time to Complete 

Honestly, it’s not a job that will take you masses of time. To ensure you set a steady and patient pace, we recommend you set the whole day aside to get the job done. Realistically, however, it will only take you a few hours to complete. 

Fitting Your Shower Tray Without a Riser Kit 

If you don’t have a riser kit, there is no need to panic. If you are wondering what they are, then you are in the right place.

A riser kit refers to a fixed height shower that cannot be adjusted to your preferences, and therefore the head is locked in place. They do not have flexible hoses, and are usually attached to arms or mounted directly to the ceiling. 

Further Reading: Tips for Fitting Shower Tray Riser Kit

Here is How to Fit a Shower Tray 

In this section, we look at how to fit your shower tray, both with and without a riser kit. First, we will look at the process without a riser kit.

Step One: Place the shower tray in your desired position, and then use a pencil to draw around it on the floor. You should also pay careful attention to ensure that the position of the trap is clearly marked. 

Step Two: Using the jigsaw, cut a hole in the floor that is big enough to fit the shower trap. This is so that the water can flow into the waste outlet pipe.

Step Three: Now you need to cut an access hatch into the floor next to the tray. This is so that you will be able to get into the space beneath the tray once you have secured it. Your arm should be able to get into it comfortably so that you can access the waste outlet and trap.

Step Four: Using the instructions that have been supplied, attach the waste to the tray. Make sure that you attach rubber gaskets to either side of the waste to make a watertight seal that will prevent leaking. 

Step Five: Dilute some PVA, using one-part water and five parts PVA, and spread the mixture across the area where the shower tray will be placed. Make sure you give it some time to dry – making it the perfect moment for a quick coffee break. 

Step Six: To make mortar, use the bucket and take four parts building sand to one part cement, mixing it until you create a form consistency. Apply a thin layer of approximately 25mm in depth to the area where the tray will be placed. 

Step Seven: Now, place the tray on top of the mortar and allow it to rest into its new position. Using a spirit level, ensure that it is completely level from all angles. This is the ideal point to even out the mortar if necessary.

Step Eight: Smooth the mortar around the edges of the tray, and then leave to dry for 24 hours before you proceed with the next step.

Step Nine: Reach into the access hatch and connect the trap to the waste, and the waste to the waste outlet pipe. Make sure there are no leaks or potential areas for it to happen.

Step Ten: Seal the edges of the tray with silicone sealant, using the gun for speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Then, replace the lid on the hatch and prepare to build the actual enclosure. 

If you have a riser kit, there are less steps, and the process is actually really simple. You can find each of the steps for tray installation with a riser kit below:

Step One: Using the instructions that have been supplied, screw the adjustable feet into position. Then, fit the waste to the shower tray.

Step Two: Place the shower tray in the desired position, using a spirit level to ensure that everything is even. If it is not, take the adjustable wrench and fiddle with the feet until it is even.

Step Three: Connect the waste to the waste outlet pipe.

Step Four: Clip on the side panels that have been provided with your tray, and then check for any leaks to make sure that everything is secure.

Step Five: Using the silicone sealant and the gun, seal around the edges of the tray and then prepare to build the actual enclosure. 

Fitting Your Acrylic Shower Tray Without a Riser Kit 

The steps for fitting an acrylic shower tray without a riser kit are actually the same as above. The only difference is that you will not need the jigsaw or the bucket because you will have a set of adjustable feet instead of needing to mix mortar and such.

So, make sure you read through the detailed instruction in the previous section for shower tray installation without a riser kit. 

Fitting Your Enclosure 

There are so many different shapes and sizes of shower enclosure, and each of them may end up varying slightly. For the next section on fitting your shower enclosure, we have used the most common type and position; a square enclosure being installed in the corner of the room.

In this situation, you will only need one panel and door, but the same methods can be easily applied to other forms of enclosure. 

Here is How to Fit a Shower Enclosure 

Whether you are looking to see how to install a corner shower enclosure, or even a frameless one, the basics are all the same. Just follow the steps below and remember the key piece of information: always be patient and take things slowly.

Step One: Start with the channels that you will be using to fix the panels to the wall. Use your spirit level to ensure that they are vertical, and then place the channels at the corner edges of your tray.

Step Two: Take the electric drill and use it to drill pilot holes in the wall. Then, insert the raw plugs and screw the channels into place.

Step Three: Decide which side your door is going to be on, and then take the side panel that will be permanently held in place and insert it into the appropriate channel.

Step Four: Fit the door into the other channel. If you have a friend or family member that is able to help you hold everything in place, it is ideal. If not, it is possible to install the door and wall separately. 

Step Five: Using the instructions that come with your enclosure, fix each of the panels together at the corner. Then, using the fixings provided, screw the panels into position.

Step Seven: Attach the handle to the door and secure it in place. Then, seal around the outer edges of your enclosure using the silicone sealant and the gun. Make sure you do not seal the inside edges. 

Step Eight: Take a step back and admire your good work. You have just successfully installed a secure and sturdy shower enclosure. 

Do I tile before fitting shower enclosure?

If a shower enclosure is being fitted, the tiling should be done after the shower tray has been installed. The rest of the enclosure is fitted after the tiling has been completed.

Framed Shower Enclosures 

Installing a framed shower enclosure is the same as the instructions above, so it’s very simple with very little deviation from the main steps (unless the manufacturer states otherwise).

However, when you are looking at how to install a frameless shower enclosure, there are a couple of differences – each of which has been listed below for your convenience:

  • The glass panels must be suspended from brackets fixed to a solid wall, and cannot be fixed to a stud partition. 
  • The shower tray must be perfectly level because it is the core foundation for the enclosure. 

There are not many differences, but they are important, so if you have a frameless shower enclosure that is being installed, make sure you are careful to remember these key pieces of information. 

To Conclude 

Hopefully, this guide has shown you that the installation process for a new shower enclosure is not actually as terrifying as it initially seems, and it has given you the motivation to get right into the task without too much worrying.

As we have said before, it is a lot easier than it looks, and you will find that if you take your time and are patient, the process is incredibly smooth. Of course, if you ever feel like you need professional help, there is no shame in calling them out.

After all, it is better to get the experts in than damage your new enclosure permanently. What did you think of our guide to fitting a shower enclosure?

Were the steps detailed enough for you to handle things on your own, or are there details you feel that we missed? We love hearing from you, so feel free to leave a message for us in the comments below. 

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