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Rebuilding or replacing a shower assembly can be a complicated task, especially if the builder intends to move any of the plumbing. If this is the case, it may be best to hire a professional plumber to do the plumbing work, then install the shower assembly after the appropriate pipes have been moved or altered properly. Once the piping is figured out, it's time to assess the shape of the bathroom, the location of the pipes, and the type of shower being installed. The installer will need to assemble all the proper tools beforehand and have a working knowledge of how to use them properly.
Each house is different, and several types of showers are available for purchase, which means each installation project will be different. Careful measurements are perhaps the most important steps in the entire process to ensure that the shower will fit properly. These measurements should be taken well before the shower assembly project is begun, and before the shower itself is purchased. Alterations to the floors should also be done ahead of time, especially if a very heavy shower is to be installed. A shower assembly that includes a cast iron tub is likely to require floor modification to support the weight of the tub.
It is best to consider the shower hardware ahead of time as well. This may dictate which shower stalls are most appropriate and what plumbing configurations will be necessary. Whenever possible, avoid moving or relocating existing plumbing, as this will add significant time, effort, and cost to the project. It is best to leave plumbing where it is and buy components that will work with the current configuration. If leaks or other problems exist within the plumbing system, this may be cause for relocation or repair; otherwise, work with the current configuration whenever possible.
Remember that the shower and the walls surrounding the shower assembly will get wet. This means all walls will need to be sealed with waterproof caulk, and any tiles will need to be spaced with grout that is mold-resistant. The water flow to the plumbing should be shut off during the shower assembly process, and once all components are in place, the shower can be tested with water to find out if any leaks exist or if any problem areas may lead to leaks in the future. Leaks should be addressed immediately, even if they are small, because water can build up quickly and lead to rot beneath the shower.
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