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Thread: Need some advice on replacing a "shower kit"

  1. #1

    Default Need some advice on replacing a "shower kit"

    There's a bathroom in my basement that is in need of desperate help.

    The shower is what was a shower kit, and this probably dates to the early 70s. It's a blue gray material, round, with a white shower pan. Apparently the shower pan has cracked and the floor is constantly wet whenever my brother, who lives with me, uses the shower.

    This was apparently a makeshift bathroom and I'm on a very limited budget, so I need a shower replacement that will work - it doesn't have to be beautiful or even nice, just inexpensive and non-leaking!

    Is anyone familiar with these shower kits? Are they even made anymore? Can someone recommend a brand?

    I'm also open for alternatives, but they need to be VERY inexpensive.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    How handy are you? For the price of one of those kits, you could choose some inexpensive tile and make a shower that would last a lifetime and might even increase the value of the house rather than decrease it.

    Seriously, if you don't go overboard with fancy tile, you can find stuff that is less than $1/sq foot. Some cement board, plastic, a liner and some thinset and deckmud, and a drain, and you could get a solid shower for probably in the $300-$400 range. Cement and mortar are pretty cheap. You could use a shower curtain and spring for a glass door later, if you wanted to. Most shower kits would cost at least that. You can get a shower valve cheap, if you can't reuse what is there (recommended, and maybe required by local codes to come up to current standards). You can get a neat hand-held wetsaw (sort of like a circular saw with a hose attachment) for about $60 including delivery on special from Felker if you check the site below.

    Check out www.johnbridge.com for help, if you want to look into this possibilty.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You might want to consider a fiberglass shower stall. These are one piece, so no leaking is possible. They come in several standard sizes and are quite reasonably priced. Lasco makes some that I feel are pretty good.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    You might want to consider a fiberglass shower stall. These are one piece, so no leaking is possible. They come in several standard sizes and are quite reasonably priced. Lasco makes some that I feel are pretty good.
    Thank you - that was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! And it looks about a billion percent better than the cheapie shower kits I've seen online.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    How handy are you? For the price of one of those kits, you could choose some inexpensive tile and make a shower that would last a lifetime and might even increase the value of the house rather than decrease it.

    Seriously, if you don't go overboard with fancy tile, you can find stuff that is less than $1/sq foot. Some cement board, plastic, a liner and some thinset and deckmud, and a drain, and you could get a solid shower for probably in the $300-$400 range. Cement and mortar are pretty cheap. You could use a shower curtain and spring for a glass door later, if you wanted to. Most shower kits would cost at least that. You can get a shower valve cheap, if you can't reuse what is there (recommended, and maybe required by local codes to come up to current standards). You can get a neat hand-held wetsaw (sort of like a circular saw with a hose attachment) for about $60 including delivery on special from Felker if you check the site below.

    Check out www.johnbridge.com for help, if you want to look into this possibilty.
    Thank you for the advice. Of course, you're right, but my problem right now is I can't kneel (surgery I'm still recovering from) and the shower is leaking now. I'm looking for an easy, inexpensive solution cause I still have to hire someone to install whatever replaces the leaking structure.

    One of these days, when I'm better and if I can find someone to show me how to do it, I'd love to learn that kind of tiling. Right now it's beyond me. But I do appreciate your post - it makes a lot of good sense.

  6. #6

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    I second Gary's, I have one in my basement, and have never regretted it. I wouldn't hesitant getting one if I were you.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just to expand on my original suggestion about a 1 piece fiberglass shower stall. I built a small bathroom in my basement. It was not intended to be used on a daily basis, and space was a deciding factor in choosing a 32X32 enclosure. It work great, BUT, a 32" square is really a tight fit. If space permits, I sure advise a large size. 36X36 would be much more comfortable. I also installed a Sterling glass door on my enclosure. These need to be set on mortar to prevent the bottom from flexing.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member dcpete816's Avatar
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    I hate those fiberglass shower stalls. I just ripped one out. Sure, it didn't leak for over 20 years. I think they look terrible and are really hard to keep clean. I used it everyday for 20 years and swore I would never go fiberglass again. Just my opinion.

    Chris

  9. #9

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Just to expand on my original suggestion about a 1 piece fiberglass shower stall.


    How do you get a 1 piece shower stall in the house / room for a retrofit?

  11. #11
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    How do you get a 1 piece shower stall in the house / room for a retrofit?
    That's the easy part,
    Unbolt the walls from the foundation and lift up.
    Slip the shower enclosure in the room,
    And then lower the house down to the foundation.

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