How to screed a shower base

brendan h
View the video

How to screed a shower base

View the video
×

Project Overview

Laying the screed for your shower base is an easy project when you break it down. We’ll teach you how to prepare the surface for the screed, cut the timber so that your shower has the right run-off level and finally, how to mix and lay the screed. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Check the floor is level
2 Measure the shower base for your wedges
3 Measure the wood to make a wedge
4 Cut your wedges
5 Lay the wedges in the shower base
6 Mix the screed
7 Mix and apply the powder mastic
8 Apply the screed
9 Tidy up the dry excess screed
10 Fill in the gaps with more screed
  • Step 1. Check the floor is level

    Start by making sure the shower base is level before laying the screed. If it isn’t level, the high spots could stick out through the screed, which will make the tiles uneven. Using your spirit level, check the level of the shower bay from the centre to the corners.
  • Step 2. Measure the shower base for your wedges

    The next step is to make timber wedges, so that the shower water runs down into the plug. Measure the shower base, diagonally across from corner to corner, then halve this figure e.g. 1200mm will be 600mm. This is the length of the four wedges you need to cut.

  • Step 3. Measure the wood to make a wedge

    Measure and mark the required length on your timber. Now clamp the timber to your sawhorse and cut the four pieces to length. Measure the depth of your shower base and mark that height at one end of your timber. Then measure and mark off half that height at the other end. This will give a good angle for the run-off. Use another piece of timber to draw a diagonal line between the two marks.

  • Step 4. Cut your wedges

    Clamp the piece of timber that your wedge is marked on, to the sawhorse. Start cutting with your saw at the thickest end of the wedge. Be careful to saw more slowly as you reach the narrow end of the wedge. Use your first wedge as a template to mark up the rest of your timber pieces. Then cut each piece as before to make three more wedges.
  • Step 5. Lay the wedges in the shower base

    Take some old rags and pack them tightly down the drain. This will make sure that no glue or screed goes down the drain and blocks it. Then lay your wedges in place, with the thick end of the wedge in the corners and the thin ends meeting in the centre.
  • Step 6. Mix the screed

    Put on your dust mask and safety glasses. Make your screed in a bucket by mixing one part cement, to four parts sand and a small amount of water. Mix it until it has the consistency of a wet beach sand. Avoid adding too much water or the screed will be too runny.

  • Step 7. Mix and apply the powder mastic

    Put some powder mastic in a bucket and add a little water. Mix it until it’s the consistency of toothpaste. Remove the wedges from the shower base and use a notch trowel to spread an even layer of mastic across all of the shower base. The mastic gives the screed something to stick to.

  • Step 8. Apply the screed

    Place the wedges back into position. Then using a flat trowel, spread the screed across the entire shower base to cover the glue and wedges. Scrape the screed back to the level of the wedges with a flat piece of wood. This will create the natural run-off for the shower base. It’s important to get each section flat, you can do this by transferring screed from one section to another. In some areas you might find it easier to use a smaller piece of wood or a float trowel to make the screed level. Once all of the sections are flat, carefully remove the wedges and rags from the drain and let the screed dry.
  • Step 9. Tidy up the dry excess screed

    Once the screed is dry, after about 12 hours, put your rags back into the drain. Use a brush to sweep up all the loose, dry bits of screed. Any areas where your screed is uneven you can use a paint scraper to make it even. 

  • Step 10. Fill in the gaps with more screed

    Now use the paint scraper to fill all of the gaps with a bit more screed. Avoid overfilling the gaps as this will cause high spots when the screed dries. Once you have filled the gaps and made it level with the scraper, sweep off the excess screed and pull the rags out of the drain.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Spirit level
  • Tile cutter
  • Nippers
  • Notch trowel
  • Tape measure
  • Mixing bucket
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses

Materials

  • Pencil
  • Sponge
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tiles
  • Trowel
kitchen renovation

Planning & Projects 8 kitchen storage ideas If you want to de-clutter your kitchen and make it more functional then try these simple and affordable D.I.Y. storage ideas.

kitchen sink

Sinks & Taps How to choose a kitchen sink There’s more to picking out a sink than just the look. After all, it’s one of your kitchen’s most used items, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Man laying first row of tiles 07:22

Splashbacks How to tile a splashback Find out just how easy it is to tile a splashback yourself with our step-by-step guide.

kitchen 03:05

Planning & Projects Getting the right galley kitchen design for your home Long, narrow spaces are perfect for galley kitchen designs. We’ll show you how to design a modern galley kitchen that utilises space efficiently, with maximum storage and dining space. Find out more with Bunnings.

kitchen

Planning & Projects How to design an open plan kitchen Kitchens today really are the heart of any home. People eat, celebrate, socialise, study and entertain all in the family kitchen. Here are some of our handy tips from kaboodle to help you create the perfect kitchen for entertaining in your home.

kitchen

Planning & Projects Kitchen makeovers and renovations on a budget Looking for an inexpensive way to renovate your kitchen? Here are some ideas on how to give your kitchen a makeover on a budget.

Installing pantry shelves 04:30

Benchtops & Cabinets How to build a kitchen pantry Kitchen pantries are a great way to create extra storage in your kitchen. Learn the step by step process on how to build a kitchen pantry.

Mark cut line for kitchen sink 03:03

Sinks & Taps How to create a cut out for sinks and cooktops Before you install the sink or cooktop in your kitchen, you may need to cut a hole in your benchtop. We’ll show you how to do it safely and easily.

bathroom

Planning & Projects Six essential tips to renovate your bathroom It may be one of the smallest rooms in your home, but a bathroom that looks great and has a functional design can add considerable value to your home and quality of life.

bathroom

Planning & Projects Bathroom makeovers on a budget There are a number of simple, low cost things you can do to improve your bathroom.

DIY-copper-ladder 03:16

Planning & Projects D.I.Y. copper ladder Learn how to build a copper ladder for your bathroom

Man installing bathroom vanity to wall 04:12

Baths, Showers & Toilets How to install a bathroom vanity The vanity is one of the essential pieces of bathroom furniture. We’ll show you how easy it is to install.

shower head

Baths, Showers & Toilets How to select the right shower head From sleek handheld units to fixed heads with adjustable sprays, there is a wide range of shower heads to choose from, but which one is right for you, your bathroom and your budget?

Ensuite 03:06

Ideas & Makeovers How to create a luxurious ensuite An ensuite is a luxurious and convenient addition to your master bedroom, especially if you’ve got a growing family. An ensuite is definitely a worthwhile inclusion to give you extra space you and add value to your home over the long term. Find out...

simple life

Ideas & Makeovers Simple space bathroom The simple space bathroom packs a lot into a small area. The clever layout allows for a separate bath and shower, and a full size vanity with plenty of storage.

grout cleaning tools 01:34

Cleaning D.I.Y. grout cleaning tips and tools Cleaning the grout between tiles can really brighten up a bathroom. We’ll show you how to do it in no time with a few simple techniques.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content