How to fit a Shower Enclosure

Buying a shower enclosure is an exciting step towards a rejuvenated and gorgeous bathroom.

Stylish and modern, shower cubicles can be installed in any bathroom, regardless of size. Shower enclosures are the perfect choice if you want to save space in a small family bathroom or complement a bath in a large space. Walk-in shower enclosures are a contemporary must-have, providing hotel luxury in your home.

For the majority of cases, installing a bathroom or fitting should be done by a professional. However, a keen DIY expert with knowledge of the existing plumbing and how to use the correct tools can install an enclosure.

Plumbworld has put together this guide to help you install a shower enclosure. We’ll explain the key points step-by-step with notes along the way for different types of cubicles...

What are the types of Shower Enclosure?

At Plumbworld, we have a wide range of shower enclosures covering a variety of sizes, styles and prices. To help you find out more about them, we’ve briefly detailed them below:

  • Walk-In Shower Enclosures: becoming increasingly popular in contemporary bathrooms, these are the most elegant and often largest. No doors, as the name suggests, these enclosures are the centrepiece of any bathroom.
  • Quadrant Shower Enclosures: the most popular fittings when it comes to shower installations, these fit into a corner with a curved front. Featuring sliding doors for easy entry, these enclosures combine style and functionality.
  • Sliding Shower Door Enclosures: very popular and available in a range of sizes, the cubicles can be installed into both alcoves and full enclosures. Stunningly functional, the door slides inside the other half, providing a wide entrance.
  • Pivot Shower Door Enclosures: unlike the above options, this cubicle features an outward-opening door pivoting on two pins that are located at the top and bottom of the frame. This offers a generous entrance size.
  • Bi-Fold Shower Door Enclosures: does exactly as the name suggests, the door folds in on itself to make space for users to enter and exit the shower with ease. The door is essentially split into two, allowing it to concertina within the showering area.

Unpack & Check

First things first with a large bathroom job like this is to unpack your shower enclosure and check you have each piece of equipment once it has been delivered.

Look for any damage, faults or missing pieces - you don’t want to find this out when you’ve already started installing the cubicle.

Installing a Shower Enclosure

Now you’ve checked everything, you can get started with fitting the enclosure. As always, switch off at the mains before attempting any bathroom DIY.

Fitting a Shower Tray

Enclosure trays come in a variety of materials, including ceramic, resin and acrylic. Resin and ceramic trays tend to provide more strength and durability than acrylic but in this guide, we’ll be using an acrylic tray as the example.

You may find that you need to put your acrylic tray together before fitting. To do so, screw the feet into place and insert the waste outlet and waste trap. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’ve done it properly.

Position your shower tray and use a spirit level to check that it’s perfectly level. Make any necessary adjustments if it isn’t. Once you’ve done this, connect the tray to the existing bathroom plumbing. This will include the waste trap.

Depending on the enclosure you’ve bought, you may find side panels for your acrylic shower tray. This is to help hide away the plumbing underneath. You’ll need to attach them, often by clipping them into place.

To finish the process, seal the edges of the shower tray and where the side panels meet the floor silicone sealant. This will ensure the shower tray is watertight and protect your bathroom floor.

Fitting a Shower Enclosure

As we’ve mentioned before, shower enclosures come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most are positioned in a corner of your bathroom.

For this guide, we’re going to use a shower enclosure in the corner of the bathroom, where you may only require one side panel and door panel or a single, curved door panel for a quadrant enclosure. 

Regardless of which shower enclosure you’ve bought, the process is the same.

First, you’ll need to align your channels - these are where you’ll mount the enclosure - against your wall to find the positions of fixing holes. Then, mark these positions with a pencil so you have a guide for where to drill. Keep using a spirit level to ensure everything is straight.

Now everything is straight, you can drill the holes you’ve just marked. You must be careful to not drill into any piping or electrical wiring. This can be extremely dangerous, obviously, and expensive. 

For drilling into a tiled wall, rather than a bare wall, you should use a masonry drill bit. This should allow you to drill without shattering your tile - causing more expense.

Tip: cover any mirrors, taps or any fixture that may be scratched.

Once you’ve finished drilling the holes to attach the enclosure, insert rawl plugs into them and put the shower enclosure channels onto the wall.

Your side and door panels - for a square enclosure - rest on the shower tray, there may be grooves in the tray for the panel. Fix the panel in place according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tip: when fitting your panels, you may need an extra pair of hands to hold them in place while you screw them in.

Finally, make sure all of your panels are fixed firmly into place with screws and check instructions for any additional requirements, such as a door handle. Then, seal the shower enclosure’s external edges with silicone sealant to avoid water coming out when in use.

Turn your water supply back on, and you’re done - you now have a stylish, modern centrepiece for your bathroom or en-suite.

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom advice…

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