The Way of How to Install a Shower Drain in Concrete Floor

Understanding how to install a shower drain in concrete floor is crucial, both renovation and new construction.

While hiring trained professionals is more recommended, knowing the step-by-step to install a shower drain will not hurt.

Fortunately, installing a standard shower drain is not as difficult as you might ever think. Just make sure to read the installation guide carefully to make the most of the result.

Here you will discover a brief explanation about how to install a shower drain along with some other tips to do so. Enjoy!

How to Install a Shower Drain in Concrete Floor Correctly

Generally, there is nothing different between installing a drain in a concrete or plastic shower pan since you just need to screw it onto the pipe stub that emerges from the slab.

You will need a few necessary tools and safety equipment like a dust mask and goggles to get started.

Once you are ready, the installation process typically will not take much time and energy.

1. Pick the location

The first step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor is to select the right location. Make sure you purchase a model that suits the chosen position.

Besides, you must also slope the floors towards the channel so that all water will be drained properly.

If the slope towards the shower drain is non-existent or even not enough, you should expect to see water accumulation that may lead to flooding in the bathroom.

2. Prepare the work area

Before the assembly process, you should confirm that the concrete floor and the entire work area are dirt-free.

It is also critical to make sure no filth and debris get into your shower drain throughout the installation. You may consider protecting the drain with a folded cloth or pre-assembled sealing membrane beforehand.

3. Measure the shower drain’s height

The next step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor is to calculate the height of your unit. Doing so will ensure optimal water drainage in the future once you have laid tiles or other flooring options.

When measuring the overall installation depth, do not forget to consider the leveling layer, the thickness of the tiles, and the adhesive coating.

4. Prime and cement the new drain

Find the pipe stack that comes up via the concrete slab and clean it with an old rag. After that, apply primer to the inside as well as the outside of your shower drain.

This step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor should be executed carefully to avoid any surprising mistake.

After the primer gets dry, apply cement to the same spots afterward. Then, put your shower drain into the pipe stack. After that, allow the pipe cement to dry according to the package instructions.

5. Install the shower drain cover

To install the cover of your shower drain, you need to loosen the bolts on the flange before positioning it.

Follow this step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor by slotting the cover over the crown of the bolts. Then, revolve it until it is locked in place.

Moreover, tighten the bolts by using a wrench.

6. Get ready to add new concrete

Following the assembly, you need to add new concrete to finish the floor appropriately.

While stirring up some concrete mix in a bucket, you can apply duct tape over the drain’s top to protect it from dirt. Once the concrete mixture is chunky and thick, prepare to fill the hole carefully.

Pour clean water into a spray bottle. Consider misting the edges of the hole lightly with it before filling. This will help the new concrete to hold more successfully to the old one while removing dust.

7. Fill the hole with new concrete

The last step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor is to fill the area around your fresh drainage system with a new mixture.

You have to cover the bolts and the flange thoroughly with new concrete. After that, take a flat metal trowel to level it flush with the rest of the existing floor.

If the concrete has been dry, you can get rid of the tape that is applied in the previous step.

When to Replace a Shower Drain with the New One

Now that you already know how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, when the best time to replace it should be the next to understand.

Just like lots of other hardware around the house, there could be a time when your concrete drain requires a replacement. Here are a few signs that can remind you about this issue.

  • Severe marks and rust

Overlooking routine maintenance on the concrete floor and everything around your bathroom may lead you to a severe problem. This particularly affects any hardware related to your shower including the drain.

Your shower drain is typically prone to rust and stains. Minor mildew or water spots are pretty effortless to eliminate with a bathroom cleaning solution.

However, once they become severe, it seems very hard to remove the rust or stains.

  • Water spots and leaks

Another reason to wonder how to install a shower drain in concrete floor for renovation is when you find signs of a leak and water spots.

If you notice that there are wet spots on the walls or water pooling on your concrete floor, be worry that these signs indicate a leak.

When you face some of the above problems, get ready to read how to install a shower drain in concrete floor once again to help with the replacement.

What Type of Shower Drain to Choose for Replacement

Generally, you will find three types of shower drains in the market, such as solvent-glue, tile, and compression.

Depending on the preferred materials, layout, and design of your shower, there should be the best type to select among these three options.

When it comes to how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, you probably want to pick these two types.

  • Solvent-glued shower drain

As the name suggests, this type should be sealed to the drain pipe with solvent glue and silicone. It is recommended for those who have access under their shower.

  • Compression shower drain

This type of shower drain mounts to the pipe with compression nuts and washers. Compared to other variants, this one is less difficult to install.

How to Remove a Current Shower Drain for Replacement

You already know some good reasons to install a new shower drain in your bathroom. Then, how to remove and reinstall this hardware correctly?

Luckily, whatever your reason is, the process of removing the existing shower drain and replacing it with a brand new one is pretty simple.

If you have mastered how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, now you just need to know the way to remove the old drain. Use the following steps as your guide.

1. Remove concrete around the shower drain

First of all, you should take out the concrete around your shower drain to picture the flange. Utilize a chisel and hammer to cut loose the cement carefully.

Make sure to break the concrete away until you see the flanges and bolts that hold the shower drain in place.

2. Take out the drain cover

Release the bolts that are seizing the pipe rough-in and get a wrench to loosen the screws.

Similar to the steps on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, you probably want to use a wrench set to decide the appropriate size to undo the screws.

Next, take out the bolts so that it is possible to get rid of the drain cover.

Then, disconnect the cover from the flange as well as the actual drain attachment before going to the next step.

3. Remove the shower drain

For this step, you will want to use a screwdriver to add pressure to the drain flange. Thus, you can turn the same in either direction until the bond between it and the pipe cement broken.

Position the screwdriver in the flange’s bolt holes to apply force. Then, try to remove the old drain easily from the stack.

After that, you may follow the above step-by-step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor for assembling the replacement.

How to Move a Shower Drain in Concrete Floor Properly

Aside from knowing the basic method to install a shower drain in your bathroom or to replace it with a new one, you probably want to know the way to move this drainage system as well.

This knowledge may come in handy when your bathroom remodeling involves moving or substituting the shower stall.

In this case, you typically need to move the drain connection that goes through your concrete floor as well. If you have known the installation, the entire process is basically similar.

Like the steps to replace a shower drain, it is necessary to break up the existing concrete slab when you want to move this drainage system into another area around your bathroom.

To understand the approach perfectly, check out the following steps.

1. Prepare to cut the existing concrete base

Firstly, you need to mark cuts by using colored crayon. Start with drawing a six to eight inches of wide path on the concrete slab from the location of the old drain to the new one.

Pick the shortest route and let the crayon marks remain visible while slicing the concrete.

2. Take safety precautions

For your safety, make sure to open any window in the bathroom and switch on your exhaust fan as well.

On the other hand, to keep the dust as restricted as possible and to get rid of drafts, you should close all doors. Remember to wear safety glasses and a dust mask as well to protect you.

3. Start to cut the concrete slab

Different from how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, you will need to cut through the existing cement surface.

Use an angle grinder that is armed with a four-inch concrete-cutting blade to cut the slab. Use the crayon lines as your cutting guide.

For your information, a cutting designed for concrete typically features a diamond studded blade with grooves that can expand to its center.

4. Break the concrete slab

Take an electric chipping hammer and use it to chip away the concrete slab into smaller pieces.

Begin with one corner and then run through the slab until the blade of your chipping hammer arrives at the filth beneath the concrete chunk.

Unlike the steps on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, you have to get rid of the broken concrete from the lane and throw the wreckage away.

5. Prepare for a new drain line

To create a new drain line, start with digging a trench in the dirt beneath the removed concrete. You can use a narrow shovel to do so.

You should dig the trench from the old drain location to the new spot.

Keep in mind that the deepness of your trench has to be similar to the depth of the previous drain line’s bottom.

6. Get the right drain line’s size

Take your time to make sure the size of your drain line is appropriate for the project by checking the label printed on its size.

This step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor also includes measuring the correct length and material of your new drain line.

For your information, the common size and material type of a drain line is SCH 40 and 1 1/2.

7. Purchase the similar extension

When purchasing a drain line extension, make sure the size is similar to the old one as well. Simply measure the distance between the previous and the new one to make sure.

8. Cut the used drain line

Different from how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, this involves cutting the old drain line to continue.

Cut the horizontal pipe of the old drain by utilizing a reciprocating saw. Make it minimally three inches from the 90-degree fitting that revolves the drain upward.

9. Mount the old drain line again

To reattach the piece of your old drain line, position its cut-off at the new location. Then, the cut that you made previously must be aimed towards the old drainage row.

10. Cut the new drain line

The next step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor that has been replaced is to cut the new line.

Make sure to take accurate measurement between the end of the previous cut-off piece and the horizontal pipe. Use a tape measure to proceed.

11. Use a 45-degree fitting

Instead of using the similar 90-degree fitting, you must utilize a 45-degree one in the trench to cut the new drain line.

Remember to use this method if only the new drain location needs a turn in the extension pipe. In this case, measure from the fitting to the cut end before cutting.

Once you done with the measurement, transfer it to the piece of your new drain pipe by marking it with a pencil.

After that, you can cut the new drain pipe based on the mark.

12. Glue the pipes and couplings

Unlike how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, this guide will include gluing your pipes and couplings as well.

Take advantage of PCV glue to attach the coupling onto the previous horizontal pipe as well as the said 3-inch side of the pipe.

Then, use the glue to connect the couplings with the expansion pipe too. In case your extension pipe needs 45-edgree fittings, glue them in position and allow it to dry.

13. Slope the pipe

Just like how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, you will need to incline your pipe according to the local code.

Prepare a bubble level and place it on the extension pipe first. If the pipeline does not slope down to the old one, you may need to pick up its end and pack dirt underside.

Continue to do so until the pipe slopes and the hips fade away.

14. Test drain pipe for leaks

To discover whether there is any leak in your pipeline, pour down the drain pipe with water and look for the leaking signs along the couplings.

You can continue the next step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor if there is no sign of leaking.

15. Add a new concrete foundation

To create a new base, you can pack the remaining dirt of the previous step on top of the drain pipe. After that, prepare concrete mix in a bucket.

Please note the manufacturer’s instructions to find out the appropriate amount of concrete and water so that you will get the best consistency.

16. Pour and smooth the concrete mix

Like how to install a shower drain in concrete floor, the finishing step is to fill the cut-out area with the cement mix. Do not forget to smooth the concrete with a trowel afterward.

The Verdict

To conclude, installing a shower drain or replacing the existing with the new one is pretty simple. Therefore, doing the job yourself will be not impossible.

Just make sure to read each step on how to install a shower drain in concrete floor properly before executing the project. Good luck!

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