How to build an outdoor shower

Sometimes it’s nice to know what not to do when remodeling a tile shower in your bathroom.

Alternatively, it’s nice to be able to monitor the progress on your own remodel and see if the tradespeople are doing things correctly.

This post covers 6 mistakes that are too common in bathroom remodels.

How to build an outdoor shower

1. Drywall Shower Walls

Drywall (sheetrock) falls apart when it gets wet. If you want a bad way to build a shower then this is it.

I should mention that there are a couple of companies that will warranty their waterproofing over drywall.

For example, Schluter approves their Kerdi Shower System over drywall in showers. The theory being that moisture should never penetrate the waterproofing on the surface.

So if you insist on tile over drywall in a shower then that’s how you “waterproof” drywall in a shower.

Please keep in mind that liquid waterproofing products are not approved for this purpose.

So, if you see your contractor applying Redgard or another “waterproof paint” over drywall you might want to put a stop to things sooner rather than later.

How to build an outdoor shower

2. Not taping and mudding the seams

Cement board is 3’x5′. I’ve walked into people’s homes that had cracks in their tile 3′ high all the way around their shower. This is a result of the walls flexing and the installer not taping and mudding the seams.

Does your shower have a cement board or Hardibacker installed on the walls? If so, you’ll want the seams in your shower enclosure covered with alkaline-resistant mesh tape.

How to build an outdoor shower

3. No waterproofing

I’ve covered this elsewhere but a shower should be waterproofed. So if you see a contractor tiling directly to cement board or Hardibacker then check and see if there’s plastic or tar paper behind the wall.

If not, read these posts and you’ll have to ask him or her why they chose a bad way to build a shower.

4. Not replacing your old faucet

One of the problems with remodeling is that once you get started it’s hard to draw a line of where to stop.

Take a good look at where the faucet is in relation to your home. What’s on the other side of the faucet wall?

If it’s simply a closet or interior space then it could always be replaced from that side. Usually, this would include patching the drywall but otherwise isn’t too invasive.

If the other side of the wall is, for example, kitchen cabinets or the exterior of the home then you’re going to want to very seriously consider replacing the shower faucet while you have things opened up.

5. Tile mastic adhesive in a shower

Bad ways to build showers include bad products.

Tile mastic is a premixed organic adhesive used for sticking tile to a wall. It comes in a bucket and resembles glue more than a cement mortar.

There are very few situations where mastic is an OK choice. For example, you don’t want to use it:

  • over cement board
  • over fiber cement board (Hardibacker)
  • over Redgard or other liquid waterpoofing membranes
  • over Kerdi or other waterproof sheet membranes
  • to install tile on a shower floor
  • to install glass tile
  • to install large format porcelain tile
  • to install natural stone tile

The only place it’s OK to use is when tiling in non-wet areas, over drywall, with small ceramic tile. Small subway tile on a kitchen backsplash is one area where it would be acceptable.

6. Not doing a flood test

How to build an outdoor shower

If your shower is going to leak, wouldn’t you rather know sooner, before it’s tiled, rather than later? Wouldn’t you like to know that your shower doesn’t leak before you make your final payment to your tile contractor?

A simple flood test will help to determine this.

Conducting a flood test does not guarantee that there won’t be any problems. However, most of the leaking showers that I’ve looked at could have been prevented if a flood test was done.

Consequently, I would write it into your contract with your tile contractor.

Bad way to build a shower- conclusion

Just like baking a cake, it’s the ingredients that matter. If you are paying for a new tile shower and see the things listed above, I advise you to start asking questions.

You need to build a wall (and sometimes two) to install a new shower. Here’s everything you need to know about building a shower enclosure, including how to install the base, frame walls, and add tile.

A new shower can transform the look of your bathroom. It can offer more room and more privacy, helping you turn a basic bath into a relaxing retreat. However, adding a new shower can also be a lot of work. After all, a new corner shower stall requires building one wall, while one placed in the middle of a wall calls for two new walls. Plus, if the walls do not go to the ceiling, the top ledge must be covered with tile or another moisture-resistant surface. The shower’s opening can be closed off with a door or a curtain rod.

A one-piece unit is the simplest shower to install, though you may have a limited choice of colors. Buy a base that’s at least 34 inches wide, checking whether it must be set in thin-set mortar or in a bed of sand or if it can simply be placed on the floor. Before you begin, prep the space by installing a drainpipe with a trap in the center of the base, as well as supply pipes, faucet, and a shower riser. The flange should be level with the floor. Run the supply pipes after the framing is installed. Also, make sure you’re comfortable working with plastic and copper pipe, framing a wall, and installing tile. Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to build a shower enclosure.

Commercial-grade, Vandal-resistant Outdoor Showers

The only outdoor showers that won’t rust or corrode!

  • Ultra-tough polymer construction material won’t rust, corrode, chip, crack or fade. Perfect for harsh environmental conditions.
  • Attractive, high-quality design for a truly custom look. Color matching available.
  • Water-saving engineering, self-closing or spring-loaded control valves.
  • Six-sided tower offers up to 6 independently controlled shower and/or footwash stations. Perfect for high traffic applications to accommodate multiple users.
  • Each tower built to order. Specify your own combination of shower heads, footwash nozzles, and hose bib if desired, to meet your facility’s needs.

Designed, Built and Engineered to Last!

How to build an outdoor shower

  • This six-sided column can accommodate from one to six users at one time with any combination of shower and/or foot wash stations, which means you can satisfy a demand for multiple facilities in a small area.

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  • Vandal-resistant plumbing fixtures are recessed, making it difficult for vandals to break.
  • Vandal-resistant, stainless steel fasteners keep fixtures secure.
  • The column design makes Shower Tower almost impossible to break, dent, burn, cut, bend, etc….. making it the most durable outdoor shower for high traffic, high exposure facilities.
  • Durable yet beautiful, attractive design projects an image of quality to your facility.
  • Three standard colors to choose from or custom order any color to meet your architectural needs. For more details see our Customizing section.
  • Recessed bolting locations keep hardware away from bare feet.
  • Easy installation. For more details see our Installation Ideas sheet.

How to build an outdoor shower

  • Plumbed with push button, self-closing control valves.
  • Adjustable control valve run times, from approximately 5 seconds to 90 seconds, allow you to provide the facilities your users need.

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  • Shower and foot wash nozzles supply a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute with an adjustable spray pattern – from fine mist to a jet spray.
  • Easy, one-hose connection makes installation simple.
  • Sturdy plumbing manifold is housed inside the column for ultimate protection.
  • Hose bib option.
  • Push button can be made to operate as a “spring loaded” valve.
  • Easy maintenance; control valves are easy to access and service when needed. See our Technical Information for details.

How to build an outdoor shower

Unique Shower Column

  • Outlasts steel, stainless steel, wood, concrete, fiberglass, or other construction materials.
  • Manufactured/constructed of an ultra-durable, high-grade polymer that will not rust or corrode.

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  • Colors are molded into the column; no need for re-painting.
  • The non-porous material won’t allow water, salt, chlorine to penetrate. No staining or discoloration.
  • Ultra-tough plastic won’t crack or chip. UV resistant, no fading. Very good freeze / thaw characteristics to be impact resistant at 40 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit.
  • Sturdy, multiple layer construction makes Shower Tower the best outdoor shower to withstand the outdoor elements. For more details see our Technical Information sheet.
  • Free standing; surface mounts to concrete, wood decks, any solid surface.

Customizing Your Outdoor Shower Towers

Each of our Outdoor Shower Towers are built to order and are outfitted with one to six user “stations.” A “station” is a control valve and a shower nozzle or a control valve and a foot wash nozzle located on one of the six panels around the tower.

Shower Tower, Inc. has been manufacturing outdoor showers since 1994. The design was to meet the needs of public beaches with 24-hour exposure. The design had to be handsome, vandal resistant, easy maintenance, and tolerant of extreme outdoor elements.

The shower needed to provide multiple user “stations” to accommodate a large number of users in limited space. The shower needed to meet ADA requirements, be flexible in configuration, and be easy to install, and be ultra-durable. Our Shower Towers have been sold and installed across the nation and overseas.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design and build a Shower Tower that works for you.

Shower Tower could very well be the last outdoor shower you’ll ever need to purchase. Designed, engineered, and built to last, and last, and last…

Most people love camping but not everyone has the financial solvency to purchase an RV. Plus, some people don’t want to drive around with such a huge vehicle. Whether you are having a budget problem or want something smaller than a travel trailer, you can consider a small camper on the back of your pickup truck. Learning how to build a lightweight truck camper will solve both the issues for you.

A truck camper is like a tent on wheels. A DIY truck bed camper is the best option for those travelers who don’t want to pitch a tent or drive a huge trailer.

How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper: Follow the Instructions

A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. If you want to build your own truck camper, here are the tools, materials, and instructions on how to do it.

The Materials for a Homemade Truck Camper

  • Wood planks and beams
  • hardwood plywood
  • Drill machine
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Metal joints
  • Foam and cotton for insulation
  • Metal foil roof (for waterproofing the roof)
  • Wood or plywood with PVC sheathing (for waterproofing the walls)
  • Lines of bubble wraps (to protect the interior from moisture)

Always wear protective face-mask, goggles, and gloves when making the DIY truck camper. Also, remember that your truck insurance company is unlikely to cover any damage done during the remodeling. So, be careful and cover it first to prevent any costly damage.

How to build an outdoor shower

Be careful about protecting the truck’s exterior.

In fact, learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is not rocket science. But, doing so without incurring extra costs is quite tough.

How to Build a Truck Camper – The Steps

Follow these instructions to construct your dream camper:

Work on the Frame

Secure the metal joints with the truck sides and attach them to the wood beams. Then, lock the beams together with nuts and nails. They will form the main support for the structure.

Now, this is the time to affix the frames and the roof. You can use 2×2 pine lumber (or according to the length and width measurements of your truck’s back portion) as the sidewalls or 1/8-inch hardwood plywood for keeping everything as light as possible. Purchasing 2×4 planks and then cutting them to the 2×2 size with a table saw will save the expenses further.

You can glue and screw the planks to the beams. Also, it is necessary to chip and interconnect the planks together to form a strong bond. Use as many nails and bolts as required because the frame has to be strong and durable. Gluing and stapling will be enough if you are using hardwood plywood. Just remember to remove the staples before applying the covering.

How to build an outdoor shower

Use light wooden plank to keep the weight down.

The next step is to secure the roof to the frame. It could have a curved or a triangle shape, according to your preference.

Do Insulation and Waterproofing

The next step of how to build a lightweight truck camper is to do make the walls and the roof insulated and waterproofed. Apply a layer of PVC sheet on the walls and metal foil on the roof. Finish the step by adding a layer of pressure treated wood planks that keep away microorganisms, termites, and fungal decay.

Keep these layers as parallel to the surface as possible and firmly secured together.

Install the Door and Windows

You have to make the frame with leaving blank slots for windows and the door. Install their frames in those slots and attach with glue and screws. Then, attach the bolts, latches, and hinges as required.

Use fix glass for the side windows to reduce the costs. A vinyl slider will be the right fit for the front window. Before installing the glass, use silicone caulk around the trim. It will keep the glass attached to the trim and seal all the slits and cracks.

How to build an outdoor shower

Seal all the edges and joints.

Apply Exterior Insulation and Covering

Put cotton and bubble wrap layers across the dimensions of the frame. You have to seal all the connecting joints to ensure that no air enters the interior. When it is done, apply a layer of plywood on them.

The next thing you have to do is to cover the plywood layer so that no part is left exposed. At first, use a brush or paint roller to apply glue on the entire exterior. If required, thin the glue by mixing some water.

How to build an outdoor shower

Avoid using metal fixtures.

Then, attach the kind of fabric you want to attach – it could be bed sheets or canvas. Cut the fabric into pieces in a way that it should overlap around the corners. Try to flatten with hands or something else to smooth out the wrinkles. When the glue dries, apply at least three coats of latex paint.

Create the Interior

Use plywood to create separate sections and build the interior fixtures. Don’t use metal if not absolutely required. Using plywood or light wooden planks is the most vital part of how to build a lightweight truck camper guide.

Put Styrofoam in between the spaces of the framing fixtures. Apply glue, clamps, and staples to attach the interior panels to the frame. Remove the staples later.

Set up the Electric System

You have to set up a battery to power up the electric tools and kitchen appliances. Build a slot for storing a pre-charged battery and set up the wires that connect it to the tools and appliances. You can also connect the battery a mini solar system to have a steady power supply. In that case, the RV solar panels have to be installed on the roof. It will be expensive but proves to be cost-efficient in the end. Also, you will get a steady supply of power for running your devices.

How to build an outdoor shower

A finished DIY truck camper.

You can use an electric camp heater that draws power from the battery. But, gas cylinders can also be used to power a heater. Install several plastic electrical boxes instead of a single panel to get better and easier access. Keep all the wires and receptacle under the truck bed.

The Final Words

Learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is not difficult. Also, it is pretty inexpensive compared to purchasing a camper. Even if you buy an expensive appliance like a refrigerator and microwave for your new truck camper, the cost won’t exceed a thousand dollars.

Check out this Start to Finish guide:

Add a shower to your finished basement, and you’ve got the perfect guest space.

Contemporary Bath with Glass Tile Walls

Spa blue tile laid in crisp, straight lines forms a focal point in this clean and contemporary bathroom. A wood-tone vanity topped by a clear vase filled with twigs provides an organic, earthy element that grounds the space. Modern vessel sinks pair well with polished chrome fixtures.

Photo by: Geoffrey Hodgdon

Related To:

A finished basement space can be the ideal area for entertaining guests, spending time with family or creating an at-home work space. But a basement can also work doubly hard with the addition of a shower.

Before and After: 30 Incredible Small Bathroom Makeovers

How to build an outdoor shower

How to build an outdoor shower

How to build an outdoor shower

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Installing a basement shower often comes with the same strings attached as the installation of any basement plumbing, meaning that it often requires the uprooting of concrete. However, if a home was built with the main drain above the basement level, then the installation of a shower will require different steps.

In the event that a homeowner planned to add a bathroom in the future, then a contractor will have installed plumbing stubs. In this case, all that is required is choosing a shower and placing it over the plumbing stubs.

On the other hand, a shower can also be installed in conjunction with an up-flush system which would allow for the concrete to remain in place. An up-flush system works to pump sewage from a holding tank and into the main sewer line.

If a homeowner does plan to break concrete in order to install a basement shower, then it may be necessary to consult an experienced contractor. Digging into concrete requires knowledge about how to provide venting for a drain and avoiding other water systems which could cause future leaks.