Shower cubicles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
They consist of a glass shower enclosure to contain the spray from the shower, and a shower tray at the base to collect the waste water.
Our shower tray section has diagrams of the different shapes and sizes that are available, the shower enclosure page highlights the different door options whilst this section concentrates on the different ways of installing a shower cubicle.
Shower enclosures should ideally be sited in the corner of the room or in a recess .
Some shower cubicles can be fitted against a flat wall (1) but are less rigid when installed this way. Most shower cubicle manufacturers provide special stabilizing brackets that fit on top the frame to bolster the rigidity, if it is to be installed against a flat wall. Sometimes additional profiles are required depending on which installation method you choose, so check before you buy.
One way of overcoming this problem is to build a partition wall, as in diagram (2). A partition wall will also enable you to bury the shower pipework and utilise a recessed shower mixer, but the downside is that introducing an extra wall into a small bathroom design can make the room feel smaller (obviously if you have a large bathroom this is less of a problem).
Some shower manufacturers are now supplying "D" or "U" shaped cubicles (3), specifically designed to be installed against a flat wall. The top and bottom frame of this type of cubicle consist of a one-piece rail with no joints, so as a consequence they are very rigid. The doors either slide within the rail on rollers or hinge open for access, depending on the design chosen.
It is vitally important that the cubicle is installed solidly and made to be as rigid as possible because any movement of the cubicle frame in relation to the shower tray can result in seals de-bonding and water leaking through. Some shower trays come with upstands around the wall sides which fit behind the tiles or panelling. These ensure that water cannot leak through the joint between the tray and wall. Sealing with silicone sealant should always be carried out in accordance with the cubicle manufacturers instructions as too much sealant in critical areas can actually block drainage chanels within the cubicle fram and cause water to well up within the profile.
The walls inside the shower cubicle will need to be made waterproof. The most common method is to tile the inside. Ceramic tiles need grout to be applied in the joints to ensure a waterproof surface. It is very important that the correct grout is used as not all grouts are waterproof. The application also needs to be thorough to ensure that there are no pin-holes or gaps that could let water through and cause damage. Shower wall panels are a modern alternative to tiles that do not use grout and can help overcome the common problems associated with tiles inside cubicles.
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