Tips For Expanding Your Shower

Posted on: 31 August 2016

Many times, especially in older homes, you want a larger space for your showering needs. Expansion can depend on the space allowed and whether you can achieve the plumbing repairs necessary for the expansion. Here are some tips to aid you in the process.

The Wall Surface 

With an expansion project of the shower, you need to be sure to choose the right materials to prevent water from leaking past the surface of the shower and into the framing and subflooring of the bathroom. When you tile the shower, backer board is the answer because it is a thin layer of concrete which has a fiberglass mesh on its sides. It is used underneath tile to provide an even and firm surface for the tile's placement. Adding seating or shelving in the new space could also be a welcomed addition.

The Shower Pan

The most critical phase of enlarging the shower is replacing the shower pan which is the raised part of the floor. The pan collects the water and sends the water flow into the drain. Your options are limited for the shower pan unless you have some previous experience with the necessary steps involved with its installation. The drain hole has to match the pan chosen. Therefore, unless you use a custom base, your choices are also limited because of that factor.

Shower Base Options

Standard rectangular or square bases range from 60x42 or 32x32. You can also choose from a standard angle pan ranging from 36 to 60 inches in diameter for corner showers. The base material can be made of terrazzo which is a concrete/stone mixture, plastic, cast polymer, or other surface materials. The material used for the flooring surface needs to be slip-resistant.

Threshold Options

Ramped thresholds are designed for wheelchair individuals but can be used in any remodeling job. Depending on the ramp, it is possible to increase the slope of the ramp from 1 ¼" to 2 ½". You should also consider a collapsible water retainer as an option to keep the floor dry. The retainer will collapse when the chair or a foot steps on it. It is easily cleaned and is bacteria, mold, and stain-resistant. Usually, the slope of the base is ¼" per foot for proper water drainage.

By using these tips, you should have a firm foundation of how to expand your shower. Whether it is a simple project or a more difficult one, you can always call in the professionals if you don't think your DIY skills are up to par.