There are very few bathroom remodeling projects that require more planning and thought then the installation of a shower or tub enclosure, as shown in Figure 1. A new or replacement shower or tub enclosure will require working, at a minimum on the walls, hot and cold water lines, tub spout and shower piping. If it is a new installation or if it is the replacement of the tub or current shower enclosure it also means working with the drain and vent piping and overflow mechanisms.
Figure 1 - Shower enclosure
Before commencing this project you should determine if you have the necessary diy skills to undertake this complex home improvement.
Areas that make differences are in:
Measuring Is The Key:
- As many original tub and shower enclosures are installed prior to doors, walls and stair railings being completed it is important to determine what if any demolition will be required to remove the old unit out of its current position, then out of the bathroom and then out of the home.
- WARNING: If the current unit, the fixture to be removed, is made of plastics or fiberglass you must take extra precautions if the only way to remove the current unit is to cut-it into pieces. Many plastics and fiberglass create extra fine dust particles that will get inhaled into lungs and settle on eyes. These dust particles are extremely abrasive. Always use proper dust masks and eye protection when cutting or drilling plastics or fiberglass.
- You must then determine what the maximum dimensions of a new unit are that can be brought into the home and maneuvered into the bathroom and then into the proper position. Many shower and tub enclosures are manufactured as complete units, they are made to be inserted into a predefined and pre-framed space. It is important to remember, that if this is a bathroom remodel that you may have to contend with plumbing, both drain and hot and cold water faucets that will hamper maneuverability of the new unit. If you are facing an installation problem because of maneuverability, there are many shower and tub enclosures available as 2 and 3 piece units. This style is much easier to bring into a bathroom that is undergoing remodeling and to maneuver into the correct position.
Additional information on remodeling bathrooms.