Fitting and plumbing concealed shower

Summary: How to fit and plumb in a concealed shower with valves

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Fitting a concealed shower can vary in difficulty a great deal depending on the type of shower you buy. The rule is pretty much the same throughout all areas of home improvement: The better the quality, the easier it is to fit.

Fitting a concealed shower means hiding the pipework in the wall, floor or ceiling. All that is visible is the actual taps and temperature adjustment controls. The shower head is usually visible also!

Concealed showers fitted properly behind bathroom tiles

Concealed showers fitted properly behind bathroom tiles

Most concealed showers are power showers and the pump will need some electrical wiring. Please refer to Part P of the building regulations before attempting any wiring as it is illegal to carry out electrical wiring in the bathroom without qualifications.

Overhead pipes for concealed showers can be notched into ceiling joists

Overhead pipes for concealed showers can be notched into ceiling joists

Pipes can be notched into the timber studwork in plasterboard walls or holes drilled in the studs and noggins to accommodate the pipework. The walls can then be re-covered with plasterboard before you begin ceramic tiling. The pipes can also be hidden behind shower panels fixed to walls. Rules for notching pipes can be found here.

Pipework to be concealed in masonry walls should be sleeved to stop the plaster/tiles cracking as the pipes expand and contract with the heat. Chases made in walls and floors should be deep enough to accommodate a 15mm pipe sleeved in a 22mm pipe and clipped at 400mm centres. The chase should then be filled with sand and cement or bonding plaster. There is no need to skim plaster if the wall is to receive tiles or shower panels.

Thermostat control for concealed shower

Thermostat control for concealed shower

Chromed mixer valves for concealed shower

Chromed mixer valves for concealed shower

Copper pipes will be fitted with either compression joints or soldered joints and flexible or "Speedfit" pipes will be push-fitted together. Details of joining all three can be found in our DIY projects section.

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