The prefabricated shower pans have nothing special about them, yet they cost a ton. This is the reason why several homeowners are walking the DIY route for making their very own custom shower base. One should undertake this type of project only if they have prior experience of tackling DIY projects.
Build Your Own Custom Shower Base
Hiring a professional for building your bathroom pan can cost you around $1000, but if you choose to do it on your own, it will cost just around $200. A nice custom shower base can enhance the value of your home and make your bathroom look more interesting. In the following, we have listed the steps of making a shower pan on your own.
1. Make a list of things that you will need
The materials you use for building custom shower pans can vary but you will certainly need some basic equipment. You should start by making a list of things that you require for this project and assemble them. You can purchase or borrow equipment from your friends or neighbors. Some of the tools that you will need are pencil, level, chop saw, hammer, protractor, margin trowel, bucket, wet rug, small foam roller and eco-friendly paintbrush. You may also need lumber board, pre-blended dry mortar, i.e. a mixture of sand and cement, bullnose tile and mosaic tiles.
2. Understand the objectives and plan well
Do not proceed with a neat planning. You can draw the design and details on a piece of paper and use it for reference while working. The floor of the shower should be waterproof and for that you will have to make the floor sloped at the right direction. There should be proper drainage system, so the water drains without any blockage and the mosaic tiles will make the space look neat and unique. The frame of the shower pan has to be raised for separating it from the rest of the bathroom area.
3. Draw the lines
Once you are done with the shower pan design and finalized the shape and size, draw the outline. Outlining the subfloor will make your work easier. You should also check that the bathroom floor is sturdy enough to bear the weight of the concrete and stones that you would be using to build the shower. Some showers can weigh up to a thousand lb that will be too much pressure on the floor.
4. Prepare the shower drain
You should use a two-piece drain but installing it might pose some challenges. Hire a professional for installing the drain system before you start pouring the concrete. One of the drainpipes has to be connected to the drainage system below surface and the other will have to be on top of the membrane liner.
5. Place wood planks on floor
Before you start pouring the concrete, you will have to build the shower’s floor frame. Start by measuring the thickness of wooden planks that you will attach with the floor. You will have to use the protractor for measuring and cutting the wooden planks properly at the edges. Apply 2×4 wood planks that are easy to use.
6. Spread the layers of mortar
First, mix concrete according to the guidelines provided by manufacturers. Sandy concrete will offer a smooth finish and texture. You can first spread a rubber membrane on the shower area and use it for covering the edges as well for a cleaner look. Use stud points for nailing it at equal distances. Check out the local building norms for carrying out these steps. You will need the trowel for spreading the concrete evenly on top of the rubber membrane. You can use a leveler to make sure that the drain remains open even after you pour the cement.
7. Waterproofing the area
When the concrete you have poured gets dried use a color first. Select a color and paint the area using a paintbrush. Do not forget the nooks and corners and paint every inch equally well. Your aim is to waterproof so you have to be thorough with the painting. Once you place the tiles, the color will become invisible, so it does not matter how it initially look after painting. Let the paint dry before proceeding.
8. Lay the tiles
While laying the tiles you have to be careful or else the slope will not go towards the drain. Mosaic tiles help in creating a slight slope as you can dry lay them gradually and take a measure. After laying the tiles, you will have to caulk the drain for sealing its circumference completely. Also, caulk at the corners for stopping water from getting out of the shower zone. The expenses can rise according to the quality of the tiles you use.
Your custom shower base will make the bathroom look even more gorgeous and increase the value of your home in the market.