Introduction: How to Build a Walk-In Shower (Part 1: Wedi Shower Pan)
I LOVE my walk-in shower.
Here’s the story, my wife and I built our dream master bathroom. We saved our money and splurged on the remodel. The key element was a custom tile walk-in shower. It’s way more convenient to stroll into the shower rather step over a tub or curb. This takes the worry out of falling and also makes cleaning a breeze. If you want to build a walk-in shower you’re in the right place. Today you’ll see how easy it is to install a Wedi Ligno shower pan. After you see our tutorial you’ll believe you can do this project yourself…I promise
Step 1: Buy Wedi Fundo Ligno Shower Pan
You’ve probably salivated over bathrooms on HGTV.
Who hasn’t right. Could you build one yourself?
These days the answer is an emphatic yes.
Wedi makes one of the best waterproofing systems for showers and tubs.
Their shower pans and building panels will make your shower 100% waterproof.
PLUS: Wedi is way lighter and easier to use than cement board.
You can use a utility knife to cut it and their’s no dust…great for us since my wife has asthma.
Today you’ll see how to install the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower pan.
You’ll be surprised at how easy the Ligno is to install.
Here are the supplies you need
- Circular Saw
- Utility Knife
- Reciprocating Saw
- Diablo Demo Blade (for Reciprocating Saw)
- Super Bar
- Pry Bar
- 4 Foot Leve
- Liquid Nail
- Caulking Gun
- Framing Nailer (optional)
- Impact Driver
- Deck Screws
- 3/4″ OSB or Plywood
- Measuring Tape
- Spade Bit
- Wedi Fundo Ligno Shower Pan (choose size)
- Wedi Joint Sealant
- Mapei Kerabond
- Mapei Keralastic
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Mixing Paddle
- 1/2″ Mixing Drill
- 1/4″ by 1/4″ Trowel
I totally get that this is a long supply list.
BUT you can borrow many of the tools from friends, family or neighbors.
All things considered this isn’t a bad material list. Okay, let’s dive in and get started.
Step 2: Dry Fit Ligno Shower Pan
Wedi makes a variety of walk-in shower pans.
We chose the 48″ x 48″ x 3/4″ Fundo Ligno. And no, it’s not because of the cool Italian name (although I am 50% Italian, haha). The reason for the Ligno is that it worked best for the shower in this tutorial. Dry fit the Ligno to ensure it fits.
Step 3: Cut Subfloor
Mark the position of the Ligno with a pencil.
And cut the subfloor using a reciprocating saw. Steve’s using a 9 inch Diablo demo blade. Btw, Diablo has some of the best blades for saws.
Reciprocating saws make it super easy to cut along 2×4 framing.
Step 4: Pry Up Subfloor
Wedge a Super Bar under the subfloor and pry it from the joist.
They don’t call it Super for nothing, this little bar has saved my tush a ton of times.
Step 5: Remove Nails From Joists
Pry nails off the joists.
Very important step since a nail can perforate the Ligno shower pan
Step 6: Check Joists for Levelness
Place a level on all the joists and across them.
If the joists aren’t level your Ligno shower pan won’t drain properly.
Joists can be shaved down if bowed upward.
Or you can sister another joist to your framing to create a level surface. I recommend a power planer for shaving down joists.
Step 7: Cut 2x4 Nailers
Cut 2×4 pieces to sister to the joists.
Apply Liquid Nail to 2×4 nailers
Step 8: Attach Nailers on Joist
Place the nailer 3/4 of an inch below the top of the joist.
Nail or screw it in place.
Steve uses a piece of 3/4 inch OSB to make sure the nailer is positioned correctly.
Why are you doing this?
You’ll place 3/4″ pieces of OSB or plywood on top of these nailers. This will create a subfloor that’s 3/4 of an inch below the surrounding subfloor. You’ll then place the Wedi Ligno shower pan on this sunken subfloor. Pretty cool stuff. If you have drywall underneath the joists it’s important to get your plumbing in place before attaching the nailers. That way you don’t have to work around the pipes.
Step 9: Liquid Nail Top of Nailers
Apply Liquid Nail to the top of the nailers.
Step 10: Attach OSB to Nailer
Then place your OSB or plywood on top of the nailers.
Nail or screw them in place.
Step 11: Cut Drain Hole in Subfloor
Dry fit the Ligno shower pan again.
Trace the drain onto the subfloor.
Measure from the center of the drain and cut a 6 1/2” hole.
This is where your middle school math comes in handy…thank you Miss. Hartman! (my 6th grade math teacher)
Step 12: Mix Up Modified Thin-Set
Now it’s time to adhere the Ligno to the subfloor.
What’s the best way to do this?
Steve mentions this in the video…
NEVER use anything else to adhere the Wedi Ligno to the subfloor other than modified thin-set.
Otherwise you’ll void your waterproofing warranty.
Plus, why tinker with the instructions… …a team of German engineers figured this stuff out.
We mixed up Mapei Kerabond and added Keralastic latex additive to it.
About 1/2 bag of the Kerabond is needed for a 4×4 foot Ligno shower pan.
Mix up the thin-set and let it sit. While that party is happening (sarcasm, there’s nothing party-like with thin-set) you can assemble the Ligno’s drain.
Step 13: Add Wedi Sealant to Pan Drain
Apply Wedi sealant to the drain in the pan.
Step 14: Add Wedi Sealant to Drain Flange
Add sealant to the Wedi drain flange, too.
Step 15: Insert Flange Into Drain
Insert the flange into the drain and compress.
Step 16: Hand Tighten Ligno Drain Assembly
On the back side (not your tush) add the rubber gasket first, then plastic slip ring and finally the locking nut.
Just hand tighten the locking nut…no wrench is necessary. Frankly it doesn’t get any easier.
Step 17: Apply Modified Thin-Set to Back of Ligno Pan
Apply the latex modified thin-set to the back of the Ligno.
Comb the trowel ridges in the same direction that you’ll comb them into the subfloor.
This allows air gaps to compress and a good bond to form.
See, didn’t I tell you we’d have great tips.
Step 18: Trowel Modified Thin-Set on Wood Subfloor
Trowel the same latex modified thin-set onto the subfloor.
Step 19: Embed Ligno Into Subfloor
Embed the Ligno into the subfloor thin-set
Step 20: Move Pan Tight to Framing
It’s critical to make sure your shower pan is tight to the framing.
Move it such that it can accept whatever size Wedi panel you’ll be using…in this case, it’s 1/2” Wedi building panels.
Step 21: Clean Ligno Channels With a Sponge
Panels will sit down in the channel of the Ligno and be bonded via the Wedi sealant.
More on this in Part 2 of our tutorial.
So make sure those channels are clean and free of thin-set
Step 22: Compress Ligno Into Thin-Set
Place either tiles or bags of thin-set on the pan to push it into the thin-set.
Or have Chewbacca sit on the tile for 30 minutes, whichever works best.
Step 23: Watch Our Awesome Video!!
Now I’d like to hear from you.
What part of the Wedi Ligno installation did (or didn’t) surprise you?
Or maybe you have a question about something from our tutorial.
Leave a comment and let us know.
I’d be happy to answer any questions.
I’m no Yoda but will give it my best shot.
Founder, Home Repair Tutor