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How to install a shower tray: complete guide

How to install a shower tray: complete guide

With a little dexterity and DIY experience, you can install a shower tray by yourself. Let us see how to carry out the masonry work properly. Although at first glance it may seem an easy operation, it is necessary to pay the utmost attention and be sure that the shower tray sits directly on the bathroom floor and that the waste hole lines up with the drain. We could say that the most complex phase of the installation is preparing the screed.

Preparing the screed for installing the shower tray

First, if you have an old shower tray that needs to be replaced, you must remove it, being careful of the tiles in the surrounding area. However, the problem does not arise when you must install a new shower tray, since it must be positioned before laying the flooring. Then, clean the area concerned with the help of a scraper to remove adhesives and excess materials. A sander can also be used to make the base completely flat.

When the area is completely cleaned, you can take the measurements of the area in which the new shower tray should be placed. After cleaning, let the area concerned dry thoroughly and with sand and silicone try to form a layer according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the shower tray you have chosen. The purpose of forming this very thin layer is to create an area that is perfectly sealed and waterproof.

Shower tray installation: from temporary to permanent installation

Once the layer of sand and silicone has been spread, you can proceed with the temporary installation of the shower tray. At this stage it is important that everything fits perfectly: the tray must be perfectly placed on the obtained screed and the drainpipe must line up with the waste hole of the shower tray. It is also essential to give the bedding the necessary slope when arranging the drainpipe. Only when all of this is done, will you be able to go ahead with the permanent setting-up of the shower tray. It is necessary to start with the installation of the drain under the shower tray (the dimensions of which should be proportionate to the height of the screed). If you have chosen a flush shower tray, meticulous attention must be paid to the slope of the floor.

If you have chosen an acrylic shower tray, the pre-laying and post-positioning activities will be facilitated by the greater lightness of the acrylic resin compared to ceramics. At this point, regardless of the type of shower tray, it is essential to test the slope by pouring a little water on the shower tray to ensure that the drain works properly. Only after this test will it be possible to move on to the next step, that is the permanent installation of the shower tray.

Correct levelling? How to check it

Check if alignments are all correct with the help of a bubble level and make sure the slope you obtained lets the water draining away exactly as expected. This last step will ensure you a long-lasting and functional shower tray thanks to masonry work carried out to perfection.

Once this phase has been completed, it is possible to move on to the final placement. Even if the most complex part of the installation has now been completed, it is still advisable to keep your concentration high even for this last but rather delicate phase. An optimal sealing of the perimeter of the shower tray with silicone, glue or plaster prevents future water infiltrations that favour the formation of mould and cause structural damage. The use of specific sealing compounds prevents the risk of failure or breakage of the shower tray, which is constantly subjected to external stress caused by the weight of people using the shower and their movements.

Once the work is finished, let the silicone dry perfectly and do not use the shower area for at least 24 hours. Just to be sure that the work is completed properly, assure yourself, even after the above-mentioned time, that the edge with silicone is completely dry before running water on it.