When refurbishing your bathroom, you may want to set up a walk-in shower for added convenience. A walk-in shower is a useful fixture because it separates the sink top, toilet and closets from the bath area, hence preventing the water from splashing all over the place when someone is taking a bath. However some preparations are needed before you can construct the shower room, of which the most intricate is the bathroom flooring. Here are suggestions on how to prepare a floor for a walk-in shower:
- Prepare the things you need. Some of the basic materials you will need in this job are plumbing fittings, galvanized screws, power screwdriver, pry bar, saw, plywood sheeting, roofing paper, metal or wire meshing, hammer and backer board.
- Rip down the existing floor. Commonly, bathrooms have tiles as flooring. The tiles could either be ceramics or marble. It is easier to remove ceramic tiles because they are not as hard and solid as marble. However with marble, you may need to hire an assistant to completely tear it out due to its solid form.
- Mark the area for the shower. After removing the old flooring, mark the exact spot where you want to put the shower. The shower must be located in the inner area of the bathroom such that when you enter, what you will see first are the sink top, toilet and closets. The walk-in shower must be located at the corner wall to facilitate easier movements in all parts of the bathroom.
- Reuse the materials. You can recycle boards, plywood sheeting, screws and drains as long as they are still in good condition. When removing the old flooring, you must take care not to tear it apart outright as you will never know what stuff can be salvaged from the ruins.
- Install the piping and other shower parts. Pipes and tubes must be hidden under the floor and inside the walls to avoid unsightly skeletons later on. Align the tubes in a straight line from the shower pipe to the faucet for an even flow of water. Discard old pipes if they are rusty because they might cause leaks later on. Leaks will result to wastage of water and higher bills.
- Install the drain. Place the drain a few inches away from the shower pipe. Mark the spot before drilling a hole. You may need the services of a plumber at this point because cutting the hole for the drain needs precision.
- Mount the shower. When the pipes and drain are ready, attach the showerhead. This fixture must be about six feet high or higher, depending on how tall you are and the other household members. Although there is a standard level, the height of the showerhead must be based on the convenience of the people who will actually use it.
- Layer it up. The thickness of the floor depends on which floor level the bathroom is located. Hence if the bath is on the ground level, you only need to place one layer of mesh wire over the roofing paper. Another thin layer of concrete mix must be added before installing the bathroom tiles. If the bathroom is on the upper level of the house, a thicker layer of flooring is needed to avoid leaks on the lower floors.
The floor of a walk-in shower must slope toward the drain so the water will go down easily. Measure the floor level with a leveling meter and leave at least two inches difference that gradually decreases from the drain to the main flooring of the walk-in shower.