How to Build a Walk-In Glass Block Shower Part 1

glass block

When building a glass block walk-in shower it is easiest to think about the project from the floor up. The first steps you will have in this project begin with the drain, floor, and shower base.

The Drain

Cut the drain hole into the base before installing the base or working on the floor. The drain hole must exactly match the location of your drainpipe. Carefully measure the drainpipe from the surrounding walls inward toward the center of the drainpipe hole.

Take the measurements to the base and locate the center of the drain hole. Start by cutting a much smaller hole than what might be required. You can enlarge the hole later if necessary.

The best tool for cutting the drain hole is a small utility knife. After cutting a small hole, set the base in position and verify the location of the hole. If everything matches correctly, you can then cut the correct size drain hole.

The Floor

The foundation of your shower is nothing to overlook. Start with a level sub-floor. If the floor is not level, you need to take corrective action before you begin. Spread a coat of compound or plaster onto the floor where the base will set.

The base must rest firmly on the leveling compound. Ensure an even spread of the compound to create a level foundation for the base. Do not to spread the compound over or into the drainpipe. If any compound does seep into the drainpipe, wipe it clean before it sets.

The Shower Base

The shower base protects your room from water and creates the flow of water into your sewer. The most cost effective and convenient bases are single-piece fixtures. Before installing the base, place a ribbon of adhesive silicone caulk around the drainpipe opening.

Do so to create a waterproof barrier between the base, floor, and drainpipe. To install the base, lower it directly into position and align it with the drain. Prefabricated bases will have a flange with screw holes to attach it to the wall. When attaching the flange, it is important to attach it to the studs within the walls and verify that the flange is flush with the wall.

Completing the Drain

Once the base in securely in place, complete the drain assembly be attaching the drain cover. If the drain cover needs to be threaded and screwed into place, it should come with both screws and the tool for that purpose. If the drain cover requires screws those should be included as well.

There are also drains that have retention tabs that require you to press the tabs and release them when in place. Once the drain cover is in place, you can apply plumbing caulk around the drain directly onto the shower base. Allow the caulk to dry before proceeding with any other work.

Once these steps are complete you can move on to Part 2 of this series.