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Learn How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Part 2)

 

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How to build a walk-in shower

This is an EPIC tutorial…

I promise you’ll learn how to build a walk-in shower in 1 hour or less.

That’s a serious guarantee but I stand behind it.

Why?

We purposely made it step-by-step so that anyone could follow along.

Waterproofing is what separates crappy showers from AWESOME showers.

Let’s start!

One of the biggest fears of any DIYer is water leaks.

Specifically in bathrooms.

 

AND walk-in showers, while they look amazing, offer up several opportunities for water seepage.

It stinks fixing water damage, i.e. soggy drywall or moldy framing (talking from experience here).

 

Part 1 of this series showed how to install the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower pan.

You can check it out HERE.

 

Today we share how to install the Wedi building panels on stud walls.

Wedi building panel

Why are Wedi panels so awesome?

They’re light, easy to cut, waterproof on both sides, and make building a walk-in shower easy.

 

Here are the supplies you need

In Pittsburgh a 3 x 5 foot sheet of Wedi costs $37-$40.

I wanted to give you a ballpark range so you could check prices in your area.

 

Let’s start building your walk-in shower.

 

Installing Wedi Panels…It Doesn’t Get Easier Than This

Have you ever cut cement board?

If so, you know it’s a chore, meaning PAIN IN THE BUTT.

 

Wedi can be cut with a utility knife

Cut Wedi panels with a utility knife

 

Measure your wall and cut your Wedi panel to size.

If you watched our Part 1 you know the Wedi Ligno shower pan has dado joints.

Clean these joints and squeeze a generous bead of Wedi joint sealant into the dado.

Wedi joint sealant in dado

 

Press the Wedi panel into the dado.

Then use Wedi screws and washers to attach the panel to stud framing.

 

Some of the Wedi sealant with come out from the dado.

That’s normal.

Smooth it out with the Wedi putty knife.

We’ll be addressing this a bit more later on.

 

The first screws for vertical panels should be 12 inches from the top of pan.

This prevents the panel from bowing inward away from the pan’s dado.

Secure Wedi panel to framing

 

Each successive screw for vertical Wedi panels should be 12 inches apart.

Btw, this screw/washer schedule is for 16 inch o.c. stud framing.

Wedi has specific instructions for framing that’s not 16 o.c.

 

A continuous 1/2” bead of Wedi joint sealant should be applied on the foam edges of this first Wedi panel.

Do this before stacking a second panel on the first Wedi panel.

Apply Wedi joint sealant

 

Pinch Wedi screws & washers at seams to secure two adjacent Wedi panels.

This saves time and screws/washers…who doesn’t love saving time and money!!

Pinch Wedi screws to adjacent panels

 

Smooth any Wedi sealant that oozed out from between panels.

Smooth Wedi joint sealant

 

Keep screws and washers 1 to 2 inches shy of the edge of Wedi panels.

Wedi screws and washers at panel edge

 

Custom shower niches can be built using Wedi.

This is what Steve did since the niche was an awkward shape.

This is IMPORTANT: slope the base of the niche toward the shower.

Custom Wedi shower niche

 

This ensures water will drain from the niche.

We recommend 1/4″ of slope per foot.

Wedi does make pre-fabricated niches but we couldn’t use one.

 

Never put screws and washers on horizontal Wedi panels, only Wedi joint sealant in niches and thin-set for bench tops.

But do attach vertical niche pieces with screws & washers.

Wedi niche screws

 

There is a bench in this walk-in shower.

Steve used modified thin-set to adhere a Wedi panel to the plywood.

He also used a 1/2″ bead of Wedi joint sealant wherever the Wedi horizontal panel met up with another piece of Wedi.

This is crucial.

Wedi walk-in shower bench

 

Watch the video at 13:30 to see all the details of the bench construction.

Again, the bench should be sloped toward the shower pan just like the niche shelf.

All these little tips really add up, and that’s why we share them 🙂

 

We also show how easy it is to find your pipes and cut holes in the Wedi.

Steve used a standard 1 inch spade bit for copper pipes and 3 inch hole saw for rough-in valves.

This shower is going to be sweet because it has body sprays!!

Cutting holes in Wedi panels

 

Make sure to stagger washers on adjacent panels.

This minimizes gaps between panels and optimizes the waterproofing process.

Stagger Wedi washers

 

With all the walls installed it’s now time for the ceiling.

Wedi Ceilings (Good Luck Doing this with Cement Board)

Have you ever hoisted cement board over your head?

Yah,

difficult to say the least.

 

Wedi weighs half as much as cement board.

I know because I weighed it, haha.

 

You’ll want Wedi on your shower ceiling if it’ll be covered in tile.

Apply a bead of Wedi sealant between the vertical Wedi panels and stud framing (21:36 of video).

Applying Wedi joint sealant to ceiling framing

 

It does help to mark the joist location on vertical Wedi panels.

For the ceiling, add a screw & washer every 6 inches along the joist.

Wedi screw & washer spacing on ceilings

 

You’ll see in the video how simple it is to install a Wedi ceiling.

Steve did this by himself.

 

Now it’s time to waterproof your walk-in shower.

 

How to Make Wedi 100% Waterproof

Wedi panels are 100% waterproof.

But obviously that’s compromised after you screw them to framing.

So, how do you make Wedi waterproof?

Simple: add Wedi joint sealant to the seams and washers.

 

Squeeze a generous 1/2″ bead of Wedi joint sealant on all seams, i.e. where Wedi meets Wedi

Add Wedi joint sealant to seams

 

Dot the screws and washers with Wedi joint sealant, too.

Dot Wedi screws and washers with Wedi joint sealant

 

Then smooth out the seams and corners with the Wedi putty knife.

We REALLY like the Wedi putty knife because it makes this process fast and easy.

Use the Wedi putty knife

 

Use the flat putty knife to smooth the Wedi joint sealant over washers

Smooth Wedi joint sealant over washwers

 

The dado in the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower pan needs to be filled in with a 1/2″ filler strip.

This comes with your pan.

You’ll only need to do this where the Ligno meets up with the adjacent wood subfloor.

This is the opening of the walk-in shower.

 

Wedi Ligno filler strip

 

Apply a bead of Wedi joint sealant in the dado.

Add Wedi joint sealant to dado

 

Embed the small Wedi filler strip and completely cover with Wedi joint sealant (29:49 of video).

Cover Wedi filler strip with Wedi joint sealant

 

Waterproofing should extend into your floor area by about 3 feet.

Wedi has a subliner for this.

Position the subliner 4 inches into the Ligno shower pan and 4 inches up the stud framing before adding drywall.

Wedi’s subliner is adhered to the pan and adjacent subfloor using modified thin-set and a 1/8″ x 1/8″ trowel.

Wedi subliner

We didn’t show how to attach the subliner today.

Primarily because we’re installing in-floor heating on a different date.

So we’ll have to revisit this part of the installation later on.

 

For all the juicy details and steps watch our awesome video…

Bob Villa’s got nothing on Steve…okay, maybe Bob does have a better beard

How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Part 2)

 

In case you’e interested here are Wedi’s instructions for the building panels.

 

What Do You Think?

Now I’d like to hear from you.

What part of the Wedi building panels surprised you?

Or maybe you have a question about today’s tutorial.

 

Leave a comment and let us know.

I’d be happy to answer any questions.

Steve and I feel Wedi is a great option for any DIYer or Professional.

And hopefully you saw that today.

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Paul Eno says:

    Why wood frame the bench? Wedi provides 2″ thick panels for that application. Wood should never be inside the shower area.

    1. You’re absolutely right that Wedi does make 2″ panels for the bench…we simply built out the bench as a last minute addition and didn’t have the 2″ panels.

      The Wedi on the bench will make it waterproof but yes, an all Wedi bench would be better 🙂

      Guess we’ll have to make another tutorial, haha

  2. Danny Phillips says:

    This really seems to be a great system on installing a walk in shower. I’m actually going to be doing this. I will be converting an enclosed fiberglass shower to a walk in tile shower and the Wedi system seems to be the ticket. I would like more information on the plumbing part of the system which includes the shower head, if I have to relocate it, and the shower handle. I watched the part you did on the plumbing, but I would an expanded version in more detail. Very good video and you made me feel confident that I can do this! Is there going to be a part 3 to include the tiling?

    1. Thanks Danny for your question and we’re working on the plumbing part.

      Wedi makes the drain assembly pretty simple. You’d want your pipes in place before placing the Ligno pan.

      That way a pipe will come up to the pan and you attach using the Wedi fittings. Super simple.

      We’re also working on the tiling tutorials.

      Keep you posted 🙂

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for all of your help with my bathroom remodel. In my bathroom, there was a five foot tile tub surround and then about 22 inches of drywall above it to the ceiling. I’ve taken out all the tile, but the drywall on the very top is still there. If I am using Wedi board and make a flush transition to the drywall using sealing tape, could I continue tiling to the ceiling on the drywall? There won’t be any water hitting that area. Thank you!

    1. You could continue tiling to the ceiling Kate.

      Two additional tips:

      You only need to use the Wedi Joint Sealant between the Wedi and drywall. You could also apply Wedi waterproofing band over that transition to ensure a waterproof transition.

      Second tip, it wouldn’t be that much more money to tear out the drywall and continue the Wedi to the ceiling. That way the entire surround would be waterproof.

      I’ll send you and email and we can discuss a bit more in detail 🙂

      1. Kate says:

        Thanks Jeff! It wouldn’t be much more money to do Wedi to the ceiling, so that may be the better plan for the long run. Thanks so much for your help!

        1. Glad to help Kate and if you have any questions please let me know 🙂

  4. Joe says:

    I should have kept my mouth shut. Now my Mother wants a walk in shower. I’m thinking of making the whole bathroom a shower with the toilet. Now would be the time to widen the door too.

    OK, you showed how to do the walk in shower. Do you have any tips of a kitchen remodel to make it more accessible for the handicapped?

  5. Jeff made some great points.
    I just want to add that the method of waterproofing is known as ANSI A118.10 bonded waterproofing membrane…
    There are many products that meet and exceed this standard, not just Wedi board, some very popular waterproofing products are:
    Schluter Kerdi
    Laticrete HydroBan
    Noble Seal TS (Dal-Seal TS)
    Mapei Aqua Defense
    Wediboard
    Custom Redguard
    Warranty’s range and skillset required for proper instalation range too.

    1. Thanks Burt for adding the ANSI info. I wish we could do tutorials on all the different methods. Steve and I are slowly working on that and hope to have some good videos up soon. We’re working on new KERDI-BOARD videos and would love to do one on HydroBan, Aqua Defense and RedGard.

  6. tom says:

    Appreciating that Wedi makes pans for lots of $$$, do you have any comment on using the standard WEDI BOARD to custom make a pan assuming:
    – appropriate slope to drain can be established
    – appropriate solid backing is constructed and thinset bonded

    For example, using a single plane 2″ Wedi board [2′ x 8′ @ $100] to the Wedi Riolito Neo linear drain [$255] gets you the same result as using the Wedi Riolito Neo linear drain and the ‘extension’ [$500!!!] for $400 cheaper!

    Putting the question another way: Aside from the pre-formed slope, do you notice any difference between WEDI BOARD and WEDI Shower Bases?

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