How to Build a Shower Base

As long as you have the following equipment, you’ll be able to build a shower base. Have the following paraphernalia by your side before you begin.

Required Tools and Materials

Roofing felt
Wire mesh
Shower pan liner
Deck mud (no additive mortar)
Plastic sheeting
Wonder board (backer board)

Step 1

For the shower wood frame, cut 3×4” plywood and put them over 2 x 10 joists. You can also use the 2 x 10 between the walls. For the front curb, set the 2 x 4s flat. If it’s a brick wall, nail a 1 x 10 on the sheeting.

Step 2

Continue to build a shower base by putting the roofing belt at the bottom. This will afford slippage between the tile and wood. It also lets the mortar dry.

Step 3

Staple the wire mesh on the plywood. Put the bottom flange at the drain assembly.

Step 4

Combine the latex additive with the mortar for the pre-sloped base for the liner. Put down a shower bed (1 ¼” farthest and tapering it 3/8” thick at the drain). The highest point will depend on the size of your shower. Pack the mortar and level it. Eliminate any bumps on it.

Step 5

Allow 24 hours to pass before you continue to build a shower base. Fold the corners. Carefully slice the hole for the drain. Seal between the liner and the flange.

Step 6

Get the wire mesh and cover both sides. Put the wire mesh on the top curb also. Staple only on the outside sections. Line the walls using the cement board. To prevent wicking, leave a gap just above the floor of the pan.

Step 7

Put the drain top and its screws onto the flange. Utilize spacers so the drain is raised an inch for the mud. It also needs to be 1/8” raised for the tile. Put the deck mud on the top of the pan. Put some on the tile base too. Again, make sure there are no rough / bump spots when you build a shower base. Level it.

The whole curb should be covered as well. Put ½” on the outside and 1” on top. Slope the top a bit into the shower. Depending on the tile, you may choose to thicken the sides. Use a level to make sure everything is uniform.

Tips and Warnings

Measure the dimensions of your bathroom before starting. This will allow you to get the right amount of materials. Take your time when making the shower base. Make sure you mix the mortar and latex additive thoroughly.

Take careful note of the measurements so you don’t make mistakes. Again, do not use deck mud with any additive mortar; it will affect the stability of the entire structure. As for the wood, get the best that you can afford.

By getting the right type of materials, you’ll be able to build a shower base with ease. All it takes is patience and perseverance.

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