How to install an Italian shower?

Equipped with a tiled shower tray, sometimes in continuity with the floor, an Italian shower is tempting because of it modern design. However, installing one implies technical constraints to ensure an effective drainage and waterproofness.

Installing a proper Italian shower, with a floor embedded tray, isn't always possible when renovating a house: there must be large space underneath the tray (from 10 to 20cm high, depending on the type of installation) to place the drainage system. In case of new construction, you will have to think about the sub-floor when building the bathroom (especially make sure that the thickness of the concrete slab is adequate for an upstairs bathroom). Instead of a tiled base, you can use a PVC shower liner, a mortar mixture and cement, including the drainage system, then tiles, pebbles or mosaic.


  • Make sure the inclination is at least 1cm/metre for the drain pipes.
  • Check that the mixing valve is compatible with your water heater.
  • Place the shower waste on the shower base according to the position of the drain pipes.
  • Make sure the shower sides are hermetic to prevent the formation of mould.
  • Test the waterproofness of the seals before completing the permanent installation of the shower base.
  • Check the ten-year guarantee when hiring a professional to make the installation.

How to install a shower tray

Tools and materials:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Pencil
  • Spirit level
  • Electric drill
  • Trowels
  • Large brush
  • Glass suction lifters
  • Shower tray
  • Shower waste
  • Waterproof sealer
  • Mortar (5 sand/1 cement)
  • Silicon sealant

Key steps:

  1. Position the tray and mark it on the floor.
  2. Check the floor's level in both directions.
  3. Drill a hole large enough to fit the shower waste and a smaller one for the pipe.
  4. Install the waste to the shower tray.
  5. Paint the floor with waterproof sealer.
  6. When the sealer is dry, lay the mortar.
  7. Peel the masking on the edges of the shower tray.
  8. Place the tray onto the bed of mortar.
  9. Check the level.
  10. Remove the excess of mortar.
  11. Let it set for 24 hours.
  12. Fill the gap between the shower tray and the walls with silicone sealant.

How to Install a Tileable Shower Base – Buildipedia

Tools and materials:

  1. Electric drill
  2. Trowel
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Circular saw
  5. Mask
  6. Safety glasses
  7. Gloves
  8. Tileable shower basin
  9. Screws
  10. Thin-set mortar
  11. Silicone sealant
  12. Cement boards
  13. Concrete blocks
  14. Key steps:
  15. Apply a layer of thin-set mortar.
  16. Apply silicone sealant on the edge of the shower waste.
  17. Place the shower basin.
  18. Walk around on it to make sure it's embedded in the thin-set.
  19. Complete the drain installation.
  20. Put several concrete blocks on the shower basin and leave for 24 hours.
  21. Measure, cut and install the cement boards.
  22. Seal the joints and leave for 24 hours.

How to Install an Onyx Collection Shower Pan and Drain

Tools and materials:

  • Shims
  • Spirit level
  • Pliers
  • Shower drain wrench
  • Expansion foam
  • Silicon sealant
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels

Key steps:

  1. Carefully remove the packaging.
  2. Dry-fit the base.
  3. Place the level on the side of the shower.
  4. Adjust the level with shims.
  5. Repeat for each sides.
  6. Step into the shower base to check any weak spots.
  7. Adjust with shims if necessary.
  8. Carefully lift the base and pre-attach the drain.
  9. Remove the excess of silicon sealant.
  10. Apply a light and even layer of expansion foam.
  11. Lower the shower base into place.
  12. Check the level.
  13. Complete the installation of the drain.

This article to learn how to install an italian shower was written by Cécile Lessard

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