Introduction: How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Part 2: Wedi Wall Installation)

Picture of 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.

Why?

We purposely made it step-by-step so that anyone could follow along.

Waterproofing is what separates crappy showers from AWESOME showers.

Let’s start!

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

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Wal...

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

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Smooth any Wedi sealant that oozed out from between panels.

Step 7: Space Screws & Washers 1 to 2 Inches From Edge

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

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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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Cover Screws & Washers With Joint Sealant

Dot the screws and washers with Wedi joint sealant, too.

Step 17: Smooth Joint Sealant

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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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Fill Dado With Joint Sealant

Apply a bead of Wedi joint sealant in the dado.

Step 21: Embed Wedi Filler Strip

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Embed the small Wedi filler strip and completely cover with Wedi joint sealant (29:49 of video).

Step 22: Apply Wedi Subliner

Picture of 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.

Jeff

Founder, Home Repair Tutor

Comments

VincentR3 (author)2016-03-27

What is the backing you are using prior to the Wedi system? The black stuff.

QueenBeaScraps (author)2016-03-25

We are planning on remodeling the bathroom at the cabin. We'll be removing the shower over tub and replacing it with a walk in shower. I hope these instructions will come in handy

johng652 (author)2016-03-23

This is one of projects I intend to undertake in the next couple of years. Having a good understanding of the installation of different products allows me to make a informed decision when choosing the products. I always look to use products and construction techniques that minimizes maintenance and mitigates damage in the event of a product failure. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Johng652, you're right about all the new products. It's good to know what's out there before diving into an expensive project. Wedi is one of those game changers. Let me know if you have any questions during your research, I'd be happy to help

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Bio: We love home improvement and enjoy sharing tips on YouTube and Home Repair Tutor. Everything we do is self taught. Over the last 12 years ... More »
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