How to Install a Shower Drain

shower drain
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Shower drain
PVC prep
PVC pipe
Steel wool
Sand Paper
Plumbers caulk
Mortar for plumbing

It is relatively simple to install a shower drain. A shower drain can get dirty or clogged with hair and sediment, causing your shower fill with water. Adding a fresh new shower drain will make a lot of difference. Alternatively, you could be installing a new shower and need to add a drain. Below is a step by step guide on how to install a shower drain.

Step 1 - Check the Piping

If you have just removed the old shower drain, check the pipes to make sure there are no cracks or missing seals. If there is evidence of cracking, be sure to note this on your to-do list for this project. You should really replace the cracked parts at the same time you are installing the drain.

Step 2 - Purchase Your Materials

Take a ride to the closest home improvement center and purchase the materials you will need to install your shower drain. Make sure you purchase the correct size shower drain for the opening that you have either made or the opening that is the result of a shower drain you are replacing. If there are portions of cracked piping, be sure to also purchase piece of PVC pipe that will fit as a replacement to the cracked portion.

Step 3 - Remove the Old Drain

There are usually 2 or 3 screws that hold the existing drain in place on the floor of your shower. Remove the screws with a screwdriver and pull up on the drain cap. Then pull up on the drain. You now should expose your PVC piping.

Most homes today have PVC pipes. If you do not have PVC piping, you will expose copper piping. You can still use the PVC piping for the drain and attach it to copper. You may want to use flux to attach the copper to the PVC. In addition, you will need to add a little more material (PVC prep) than if your piping is just made of PVC material.

Step 4 - Apply PVC Prep to Pipes and PVC Drain

Apply a little PVC prep to all of the PVC or copper pipes. You will need to apply the prep to any location that will be secured to another part. The PVC prep looks purple in color and can be smoothed onto the PVC pipes. You need to allow the PVC prep to dry at least for 30 seconds. This will help to create a much more secure bond.

Step 6 - Insert and Assemble the Drain

Insert the new drain PVC piping to the plumbing of the house. Press against the plumbing. Next install the drain base. The drain base should line up over the pipe. Use your screwdriver to secure the drain base.

Step 7 - Attach Drain

Attach the drain with screws. Some of the drains include tabs rather than screws and if this is the case, then secure the tabs in place.