Inflation is at an all-time high in the UK, raising the cost of everything including home improvement. That makes budgeting for a bathroom makeover, especially when it comes to pricey items like shower enclosures, has become quite a challenge. It is due to the cost of installation alone often surpassing the price of the installation itself.
In such circumstances DIY-ing appears to be the only option when you want to install a shower enclosure to save money.
But is it an option?
If it is, how much can you save, and what’s the best way to DIY a shower enclosure installation? Our blog will provide you with answers to all these questions, offering complete guidance on making the DIY shower enclosure process easier.
Is DIY Shower Enclosure Installation Possible?
“Shower enclosures are enclosed shower spaces usually made with glass shower panels and shower doors. A shower tray is often its base around which these panels are installed.
These are available in various shapes and sizes with the most common position of fitting is bathroom corner”.
Before getting any further it is important to clarify that DIY installation is not for you if you are the first time DIYers. In other words, you can install your shower enclosure on your own but only if you are highly experienced.
You should keep in mind that it is going to be more complicated to install a shower enclosure when you opt for DIY-ing than fitting of other bathroom fixtures. So, you should not try it unless you are confident enough to handle the task at hand.
Though the process of installation for all types of shower enclosure is the same. But the difference in size and shape may add up to its installation complexity.
Let’s talk a little bit about Installation complexity of different types of shower enclosures.
|Typically requires basic level plumbing skills.
|Moderate to Difficult
|May involve additional adjustments due to offset design.
|Moderate to Difficult
|Installation may be more complicated due to larger size.
|Generally similar to framed quadrants, but square.
*Please note that we are referring to framed shower enclosures in the table above. Frameless shower enclosures usually are more complicated to install.
Here we have created a short checklist to help you assess your preparations.
- Skill Level & Experience:
- Have you already completed similar tasks?
- Have you read and understood the manufacturer installation instructions manual thoroughly? If not, then don’t forget to go through it.
- Tools and Materials:
- Do you have the necessary DIY tools available? Check your tools kit to ensure you have everything in hand mentioned in our list)
- Do you have all the material available? Check the installation manual for the materials specific for the installation.
- Availability of Assistance:
- You will need help from a second person during the installation. Do you have it available?
- Compliance with Safety Instructions:
- Have you read the safety instructions? Do you have safety gear as gloves and safety glasses available?
- Compliance with Local Building Compliance:
- Have checked local building codes and regulations? Check you need a permit from the local council for the installation you are doing.
It is always a good idea to have someone professional to ask about any problems that you may face during the installation process.
P.S. I personally found the shower enclosures by Royal Bathrooms rather easy for DIY-ing apart from accessing a wide range of options.
How Much Money DIY Shower Installation Can Save You?
The cost of shower enclosure installation varies depending on where in the UK you live. Plumbers may charge depending on the duration and effort it will take to fit the enclosure.
Additionally, highly experienced bathroom fitters may charge you more. As of 2024, our estimation shows that a typical shower enclosure plus shower tray may cost around 400£ -550£. It usually takes 3-5 hours to complete the installation process.
Step-By-Step Shower Enclosure Installation Process
Step 1# Prepare The Tools & Materials
List Tools You Will Need?
Here is the list of tools that you will need for the shower cubicle installation.
- Measuring Tape: You will need to measure your space, shower enclosure and shower tray.
- Spirit Level: To check whether installed shower trays and shower enclosures are leveled.
- Pencil or Marker: You will need it to mark the drilling and cutting positions.
- Power Drill: Required to drill the holes through the walls and floors for fitting.
- Screwdriver: Both Philips and Flathead for tightening the screws.
- Crescent Wrench: Will be used for tightening the nuts and bolts.
- Hacksaw or Jigsaw: It helps in cutting aluminum and hard plastic.
- Thread Seal Tape: You will need it for sealing threaded pipe connections.
- Sealant (Silicone): It will be used for sealing the joints and gaps while you install a shower enclosure.
- Rubber Mallet. For gently fitting the enclosure components into place
- Caulk Gun: You will need to apply sealant on the required areas.
- Adjustable Pliers: It grips and turns nuts and bolts smoothly.
- Tile Cutter: Sometimes you may need to cut tiles to make adjustments for installation.
- Bucket and Sponge: For cleaning purposes
- Safety Gear: These include safety glasses, safety gloves that you will need to wear while working with tools.
- Shims: If you are installing a raised shower tray then you will need the shims for leveling and supporting it
You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the detailed list of tools you will need for installation.
List of Materials You Need
Shower Enclosure Kit: This should include your choice of shower panels, shower doors and shower trays and fitting accessories.
Shower Tray: It will be the first thing you will install. Make sure the size and shape of the shower tray is correct.
Screws and Anchors: You will need them in various sizes depending on the types of wall and floor materials.
Tile Adhesive and Grout: You will only need it if you are also tiling the walls around the enclosure.
Plumbing Pipes and Fittings: In some cases, plumbing adjustments are necessary.
Tile (if applicable): You only need it if you plan to tile the area around the shower enclosure.
Plastic Sheeting or Drop Clothes: You will need to spread it on a working area to protect surrounds from debris.
Step 2# Prepare the Area
To install a shower enclosure, the next step involves measuring the space. It will ensure that your shower tray and shower enclosure will fit in perfectly. Additionally, you will need to check the walls and floors for leveling.
Step 3# Shower Tray Installation
Image Source Royal Bathrooms
Shower trays are the base of a shower enclosure (unless you are going for a walk-in shower). To install the shower tray, follow the process here.
- Place the shower tray at the right position.
- Use spirit level to make sure it’s leveled.
- Adjust its riser kit or use shims to level it.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the tray on the floor.
- Now at the final stage, connect the waste tray and drain.
- Check the connection for water leakage.
Step 4# Shower Enclosure Installation
Sometimes you need to assemble the shower enclosure frame before you install a shower enclosure. If it is the case, then follow the manufacturers guidelines to assemble it. You will need to double check that all the frame components are secured tightly.
Step 5# Wall & Corner Profiles (If Applicable)
If you have selected the quadrant shower enclosure, then it may come with a wall and corner profile. And you will need to first install it and secure it according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
Step 6# Wall Adjustment (if needed):
In case your bathroom walls are uneven, then you will have to adjust the shower cubicle components accordingly. Additionally, the use of shims and spacer is recommended as it will help in proper fitting against the wall.
Step 7# Mount the Enclosure:
So, now comes the real deal in our quest to install a shower enclosure!
Follow these steps to mount the enclosure in the bathroom corner.
- You will need to lift and place the shower enclosure ( assembled) into the required position. It will not be possible for you alone to do it. So, ask a second person to help you with it.
- Use screws to the walls using screws and anchors( drill in the holes in the required position if you have not already done it)
- Check the level of the frame with spirit level and make adjustments as needed.
- You will need to make sure all the screws are tightened perfectly.
Step 8# Install the Doors
Quadrant shower enclosures always come with a shower door. You will need to fit the shower door once the shower enclosure is in its place. While shower doors installation may differ slightly based on whether its pivot, sliding or bifold doors. You will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Adjust the shower door at the entrance position for your shower enclosure
- Tightened the screws provided with the door installation kit.
- Make sure that seals are properly in place to avoid water leakages.
- Ensure that any seals or gaskets are properly in place.
Step 9# Seal The Gaps:
At the final step as you install a shower enclosure, you will need to look for the gaps and joints to seal them. Use a caulking gun to apply sealant between the gaps in walls and enclosure. You will need to pay special attention to the areas around the tray and frame.
Step 10# Final Checks
To conduct final checks, you will need to run water in the shower, so you know if water is completely concealed inside and not seeping through any areas. You will also need to check drains and connections for water leakages. Additionally, check how the shower doors operate, adjust if necessary.
*Check your shower enclosure periodically for any leakages and any other problems.
When you opt to install a shower enclosure on your own, it may appear a difficult but a rewarding task in the end. You will need proper preparations with the right installation guidelines to complete it successfully.