Introduction: How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Part 2: Wedi Wall Installation)
This is an EPIC tutorial…
I promise you’ll learn how to build a walk-in shower in 1 hour or less.
That’s a serious guarantee but I stand behind it.
We purposely made it step-by-step so that anyone could follow along.
Waterproofing is what separates crappy showers from AWESOME showers.
One of the biggest fears of any DIYer is water leaks.
Specifically in bathrooms.
AND walk-in showers, while they look amazing, offer up several opportunities for water seepage.
It stinks fixing water damage, i.e. soggy drywall or moldy framing (talking from experience here).
Part 1 of this series showed how to install the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower pan.
You can check that out here
Today we share how to install the Wedi building panels on stud walls.
Why are Wedi panels so awesome?
They’re light, easy to cut, waterproof on both sides, and make building a walk-in shower easy.
In Pittsburgh a 3 x 5 foot sheet of Wedi costs $37-$40.
I wanted to give you a ballpark range so you could check prices in your area.
Here are the supplies you need
- Impact Driver
- Impact Driver
- Magnetic Bit Holder
- Impact Driver Bits
- Utility Knife
- Fein MultiMaster (Optional)
- Wedi Building Panels
- Wedi Screws
- Wedi Washers
- Wedi Joint Sealant
- Wedi Sausage Caulking Gun
- Wedi Putty Knife
- Plastic 3 Inch Putty Knife
Step 1: Cut Panels to Size
Have you ever cut cement board?
If so, you know it’s a chore, meaning PAIN IN THE BUTT.
Wedi can be cut with a utility knife.
Measure your wall and cut your Wedi panel to size.
Step 2: Squeeze Wedi Joint Sealant Into Pan Dado
If you watched our Part 1 you know the Wedi Ligno shower pan has dado joints.
Clean these joints and squeeze a generous bead of Wedi joint sealant into the dado.
Press the Wedi panel into the dado.
Then use Wedi screws and washers to attach the panel to stud framing.
Some of the Wedi sealant with come out from the dado.
That’s normal. Smooth it out with the Wedi putty knife.
We’ll be addressing this a bit more later on.
Step 3: Position First Screws 12 Inches From Top of Pan
The first screws for vertical panels should be 12 inches from the top of pan.
This prevents the panel from bowing inward away from the pan’s dado.
Each successive screw for vertical Wedi panels should be 12 inches apart.
Btw, this screw/washer schedule is for 16 inch o.c. stud framing.
Wedi has specific instructions for framing that’s not 16 o.c.
Step 4: Add Wedi Joint Sealant Between Panels
A continuous 1/2” bead of Wedi joint sealant should be applied on the foam edges of this first Wedi panel.
Do this before stacking a second panel on the first Wedi panel.
Step 5: Pinch Wedi Screws & Washers at Seams
Pinch Wedi screws & washers at seams to secure two adjacent Wedi panels.
This saves time and screws/washers…who doesn’t love saving time and money!!
Step 6: Smooth Wedi Sealant
Smooth any Wedi sealant that oozed out from between panels.
Step 7: Space Screws & Washers 1 to 2 Inches From Edge
Keep screws and washers 1 to 2 inches shy of the edge of Wedi panels.
Step 8: Add Custom Shower Niche
Custom shower niches can be built using Wedi.
This is what Steve did since the niche was an awkward shape.
This is IMPORTANT: slope the base of the niche toward the shower.
This ensures water will drain from the niche.
We recommend 1/4″ of slope per foot.
Wedi does make pre-fabricated niches but we couldn’t use one.
Step 9: Attach Side Panels in Custom Niche
Never put screws and washers on horizontal Wedi panels, only Wedi joint sealant in niches and thin-set for bench tops.
But do attach vertical niche pieces with screws & washers.
Step 10: Build Custom Bench
There is a bench in this walk-in shower.
Steve used modified thin-set to adhere a Wedi panel to the plywood.
He also used a 1/2″ bead of Wedi joint sealant wherever the Wedi horizontal panel met up with another piece of Wedi.
This is crucial.
Watch the video at 13:30 to see all the details of the bench construction.
Again, the bench should be sloped toward the shower pan just like the niche shelf.
All these little tips really add up, and that’s why we share them :)
Step 11: Cut Holes in Panels
We also show how easy it is to find your pipes and cut holes in the Wedi.
Steve used a standard 1 inch spade bit for copper pipes and 3 inch hole saw for rough-in valves.
This shower is going to be sweet because it has body sprays!!
Step 12: Stagger Screws & Washers on Adjacent Panels
Make sure to stagger washers on adjacent panels.
This minimizes gaps between panels and optimizes the waterproofing process.
With all the walls installed it’s now time for the ceiling.
Step 13: Attach Wedi Ceiling
Have you ever hoisted cement board over your head?
Yah, difficult to say the least.
Wedi weighs half as much as cement board.
I know because I weighed it, haha.
You’ll want Wedi on your shower ceiling if it’ll be covered in tile.
Apply a bead of Wedi sealant between the vertical Wedi panels and stud framing (21:36 of video).
Step 14: Add Screws & Washers Every 6 Inches for Ceilings
It does help to mark the joist location on vertical Wedi panels.
For the ceiling, add a screw & washer every 6 inches along the joist.
You’ll see in the video how simple it is to install a Wedi ceiling.
Steve did this by himself.
Now it’s time to waterproof your walk-in shower.
Step 15: Make Wedi Panels 100% Waterproof
Wedi panels are 100% waterproof.
But obviously that’s compromised after you screw them to framing.
So, how do you make Wedi waterproof?
Simple: add Wedi joint sealant to the seams and washers.
Squeeze a generous 1/2″ bead of Wedi joint sealant on all seams, i.e. where Wedi meets Wedi
Step 16: Cover Screws & Washers With Joint Sealant
Dot the screws and washers with Wedi joint sealant, too.
Step 17: Smooth Joint Sealant
Then smooth out the seams and corners with the Wedi putty knife.
We REALLY like the Wedi putty knife because it makes this process fast and easy.
Step 18: Smooth Sealant Over Screws & Washers
Use the flat putty knife to smooth the Wedi joint sealant over washers.
Step 19: Fill-In Wedi Shower Pan Dado
The dado in the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower pan needs to be filled in with a 1/2″ filler strip.
This comes with your pan.
You’ll only need to do this where the Ligno meets up with the adjacent wood subfloor. T
his is the opening of the walk-in shower.
Step 20: Fill Dado With Joint Sealant
Apply a bead of Wedi joint sealant in the dado.
Step 21: Embed Wedi Filler Strip
Embed the small Wedi filler strip and completely cover with Wedi joint sealant (29:49 of video).
Step 22: Apply Wedi Subliner
Waterproofing should extend into your floor area by about 3 feet.
Wedi has a subliner for this.
Position the subliner 4 inches into the Ligno shower pan and 4 inches up the stud framing before adding drywall.
Wedi’s subliner is adhered to the pan and adjacent subfloor using modified thin-set and a 1/8″ x 1/8″ trowel.
We didn’t show how to attach the subliner today.
Primarily because we’re installing in-floor heating on a different date.
So we’ll have to revisit this part of the installation later on.
Step 23: Watch the Step-by-Step Video
For all the juicy details and steps watch our awesome video…
Bob Villa’s got nothing on Steve…okay, maybe Bob does have a better beard
What Do You Think?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
What part of the Wedi building panels surprised you?
Or maybe you have a question about today’s tutorial.
Leave a comment and let us know.
I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Steve and I feel Wedi is a great option for any DIYer or Professional.
And hopefully you saw that today.
Founder, Home Repair Tutor