How to Install a Shower Base

installed shower based diy home improvement project

As part of the renovation of my mother’s house, we completely renovated her bathroom. We completely demolished the bathroom, installed a shower base, installed shower tile, and installed new tile flooring. In this post, we will show you how to install a shower base.

Materials Needed:

    • Shower base
    • Measuring tape
    • Electric drill
    • Hole saw
    • Thin-set
    • Bucket (for mixing thin-set)
    • Mixing paddle
    • Bathtub drain (and components)
    • Level
    • Screws

Step 1:

Prepare the area. We removed the existing shower tile and shower base. We added Wonderboard Lite on the entire bathroom floor, including the shower. 

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting the Drain Hole

We use a Stanley Fatmax tape measure


Neal measured the shower base and as shown in the picture below is measuring from the wall where he will need to cut the hole for the shower drain. We use a DeWalt electric drill and a hole saw bit to drill the hole.   Below is the new drain hole.

Step 3: Install the Drain

We used plumber’s putty to make a ring that will seal the drain once screwed into place.

Neal installed the drain.  

Step 4: Mixing Thin-set and Setting the Shower Base

We used an electric drill and mixing paddle to mix thin-set in a Home Depot bucket. We love Home Depot buckets. Neal spread the thin set where the shower base will be installed. This is done to stabilize and level the shower base.  We put the shower base in place and then checked on all sides and each end to ensure it was level. Once it is level, we installed the shower base to studs using screws. Here is the final shower base after we installed the shower tile. Click HERE to see how we installed the shower tile.

Don’t forget to Pin this for future reference.

pinterest pin how to install shower base

Let us know if you have any questions or what you think about how we installed the shower base by commenting below.


  1. Kesha on 10/11/2019 at 4:14 AM

    Your Neil is really a talented hubby. Send him to my house. ?

  2. Jan on 10/11/2019 at 8:56 AM

    What a difference!

  3. Kathleen on 10/12/2019 at 2:33 PM

    How much was the base part?

    • Suzanne on 10/12/2019 at 8:39 PM

      Hey Kathleen,

      It was about $200. We purchased it from Home Depot. I hope this helps.

      Thanks for reading our blog.


  4. Sammy on 10/13/2019 at 2:48 PM

    The tile is beautiful too. I enjoy keeping up with your projects through your blog.

    • Suzanne on 10/13/2019 at 3:05 PM

      Thank you for your kind comment. We are pleased with how the tile looked too. Stay tuned for the blog post on Neal tiling the shower. We will show you all the steps.

  5. Stacy Minzy on 10/23/2019 at 10:08 PM

    I appreciate you for spreading these details on this amazing weblog. i’ll share this short article in my myspace are the reason for my buddies

    • Suzanne on 10/25/2019 at 6:25 PM

      Thanks, Stacy for your affirming words. I appreciate it!

  6. Bathroom Remodel on 11/07/2019 at 7:28 PM

    […] HERE to see more details about installing the shower […]

  7. Travis Johnson on 04/06/2021 at 9:19 PM

    This is just the answer i was looking for. Combining the prefabed shower pan but using tile for the walls. My customer and his wife love it. Thanks so much for the great idea!

    • Suzanne on 04/06/2021 at 9:22 PM

      So glad we could help! It works well for my mom too!

      Thanks for visiting our blog!

  8. Brandon Smith on 08/05/2021 at 6:36 PM

    Hi, thank you for sharing this. Any chance you can add any pics of the overlap of the wall board to the shower pan? Would like to see how that transition looks. Thank you

    • Suzanne on 08/05/2021 at 8:02 PM

      Hey Brandon,

      I just sent you some pictures to your email address. I hope this helps!


    • Rebecca Strouse on 01/19/2022 at 7:47 PM

      This is exactlet what we are going to do and I wanted to see how blue board goes up. I thought it went in first ??!!

      • Suzanne on 01/20/2022 at 10:27 AM

        Hey Rebecca,

        I am so glad this post helped you. HERE is our post about installing the tile. This may help you to see the steps we took.

        Let me know if you have any more questions. We plan on doing this same project again for our guest bathroom.

        Thanks for visiting my blog.


  9. William Bailey on 09/17/2021 at 7:55 PM

    In your arrival you stated that you placed Thin Set under your shower pan, however you never stated how much Thin Set did you place under the floor base/pan?

    • Suzanne on 09/19/2021 at 3:12 PM

      Hey William,
      Thanks for your comment. We used about half of a 60-lb bag under our shower base. How much you need may vary depending on how level (or not) your floor is. I hope that helps.
      Thanks for visiting our blog!

  10. John on 10/29/2021 at 9:26 AM

    Your pictures/ steps only show the thin set ‘globbed ’ out and not spread prior to installing the base. Is the thin set spread to level? Is a notched trowel used like for tile? Or, just troweled level?

    • Suzanne on 11/01/2021 at 12:36 PM

      Great question! We basically globbed the thin set using a scoop (either trowel would work too), spread it a little, but then placed the shower base to squish it in place. We used a level on the shower base to ensure it was level. The thin set under the base helps to get the shower base level. I hope this makes sense.

  11. Lynn Wilson on 01/01/2022 at 8:31 AM

    Was excited to see this how-to, but it is really pretty vague. Wish you’d included more pics with the actual steps, (hence the above questions from others wanting specifics). It could have been a really informative article.

    • Suzanne on 01/07/2022 at 7:46 PM

      Sorry, it was specific enough. I may add to this post when I have a chance. It is really a simple process.

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