How to Build a Shower Base and Floor

Here are the basics to build a shower and floor concrete base.

Tools and material

  • utility knife
  • bucket
  • impact driver
  • trowel
  • drill
  • hammer
  • dust mask
  • 2′ level
  • safety glasses
  • marker
  • concrete mix
  • cement board
  • rubber membrane
  • floor leveling compound
  • cement board screws
  • shower drain assembly
  • tape

Step 1: Frame the box

Frame in the box that will serve as the form for the concrete pour.

Step 2: Spread out the rubber membrane

Spread out the rubber membrane in the space and over the bottom of the form so that it overlaps the form. Make sure there’s enough material on each side of the form to extend up the wall to the correct height.

Step 3: Attach the membrane

Flatten the membrane against the bottom of the space and push it tight against the bottom of the form board. Attach the membrane to the studs with large-head nails at least 8″ from the bottom of the form.

Step 4: Cut out the drain hole and attache the drain plate

Cut out the drain hole with a utility knife, making sure not to cut the hole too large. Attach the drain plate by tightening the bolts with a socket wrench.

Step 5: Screw in the drain and create the concrete mixture

Screw in the drain to a height of 1-1/4″ and cover the chrome drain with tape to protect it during the concrete pour. Pour concrete mix into a bucket until it’s about one-third full. Mix in water and more concrete mix until the result is the consistency of a milkshake. Use a spade-handle drill and mix.

Step 6: Pour the concrete and allow it to cure

Pour the concrete and spread it out with a trowel. The height of the concrete should gently slope from 2-1/2″ around the outside of the form to 1-1/4″ near the drain. Allow the concrete to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before tiling.

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