How to Install a Fiberglass or Plastic Shower Enclosure

Update your bathroom by installing a fiberglass or plastic shower enclosure.
Install a shower enclosure yourself.Install a shower enclosure yourself.
These enclosures are designed for easy installation in a fraction of the time it would take to redo a tile shower enclosure. A handy homeowner can complete this project in a couple of days, including drying time. Enclosures are often sold as ready-to-go kits at many home improvement and hardware stores. Also, since there is no grout or tile to deal with, keeping the shower clean after use is simplified.

Step 1

Turn off water to the shower. Remove the faucet and shower head. Take out the old shower enclosure, including the drain pan. Clear off all the old thinset from underneath the drain pan. Inspect the drain. If it is in bad repair or looks as though it has been leaking, now is the time to replace it.

Step 2

Trowel on a layer of thinset. This is usually done with a notched trowel. Check the guidelines on the thinset for the appropriate size notch. Set the new drain pan onto the thinset and press firmly into place.

Step 3

Use the hole saw to cut openings for the faucet and shower head. Apply silicone adhesive to the back of the shower wall. Set the wall into place and embed it firmly onto the existing wall. Move your hands up and down the wall to make sure the glue spreads out to cover as much surface area as possible. There are usually three wall panels with a shower enclosure; start with the panel recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 4

Install the next wall panel, using the silicone adhesive and pressing firmly into place. Repeat procedure for the last wall panel. Let the glue dry completely.

Step 5

Install a new faucet, shower head and drain. Caulk around the new hardware. Caulk all seams along the floor and wall joints. Lay a bead of caulk along the top of the walls. Let dry.

Step 6

Screw the door hinge into place. Attach the door to the hinge. Turn the water to the shower back on. Test the shower, making sure the hot and cold positions are in the correct locations.

Things You Will Need

  • Thinset
  • Trowel
  • Fiberglass or plastic shower enclosure
  • Hole saw
  • Silicone, caulk and adhesive
  • Faucet, shower head and drain
  • Shower door and hinge
  • Drill and bits


  • Some enclosures are designed to fit over the existing enclosure, so you do not need to rip the old one out.
  • Check the manufacturer's guidelines for the correct adhesive and caulk for your particular enclosure.


  • Run the exhaust fan while using the adhesive to remove any fumes.

About the Author

Elizabeth Sobiski has been writing professionally since 2005. She provides businesses such as Burdick and Lee Galleries, Clearwater Fishing Charters and Read Finder with custom content to keep their digital and print media fresh, informative and directed to their target audience. Sobiski holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago.