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How to Fix the Slope in Your Shower

DIY shower slope not draining? Learn how to fix it step-by-step. Contact Indigo Home & Facility Services for professional help: (512) 608-4999.

Starting a DIY job to install a new shower can be a rewarding feeling for any homeowner. However, there are several potential pitfalls if you have never performed this type of project before. One of the most frustrating realizations you can have is that the water in your shower does not drain. Instead, water pools into the corners of your shower floor. This situation is the result of a poorly planned or executed shower slope.

In some cases, you may be able to salvage the work that you have already done. More serious jobs might require the help of an experienced professional. This guide will help you understand your options, as well as what steps you can take to fix the slope.

Before You Begin

Because fixing the slope of your shower is a potentially labor-intensive process, you should first ensure that other issues are not the main culprit in your drainage problem. Be sure to check:

  • Waterproofing - Some drainage issues are the result of a leak in the shower. The most effective way to detect waterproofing failures is to check for dampness, mold, or water penetration in the paint, plaster, or timberwork around the shower or nearby walls. If so, water may fail to reach the drain because it is escaping elsewhere.
  • The structural integrity of the base - Structural defects in the floor or the building itself can make it impossible for a shower to drain properly. Check your bathroom floor with a spirit level to see if this might be the case. Alternatively, a professional inspector may need to perform a check on the building.
  • Drain - Sometimes, drainage issues happen because the drain itself is blocked. A licensed plumber can help you remove any blockages if you are unable to easily do so yourself. A plumber can also help you if the entire drainage system of your home needs attention. Be sure to apply for a permit for any job that requires moving the drain.

Fixing the Slope: Step by Step 

If the above issues are not factors in your shower’s ability to drain water, an improper slope is the most likely culprit. Fixing your slope involves four main steps:

  • Carefully take out the existing tiles from the shower floor
  • Use a dense thinset mix to re-slope the floor, ensuring that the slope leads to the drain
  • Replace the tiles and grout 
  • Perform an overnight flood test to make sure that you do not cause damage to the waterproofing pan 

While these steps might seem straightforward, they are far from easy. Removing tiles might be simple, but most people find using thinset to create the desired slope incredibly difficult. Furthermore, you need to install the mosaic floor tiles perfectly evenly to ensure that you do not counteract the effect of the slope beneath them. These steps require a lot of time, effort, and precision. Furthermore, they leave almost no room for error. 

When You Should Hire a Professional

If you need to fix the slope of your shower, you should think carefully about whether the time and effort will ultimately be cost-effective. If you do not feel fully confident that you can complete the task, you might wish to consider hiring a professional. While the hired labor might cost you more money, the amount of time and frustration you save might be worth the price. Furthermore, you will be able to feel confident about the quality and longevity of the job.

For some people, however, money is not the main problem. Many DIY-ers choose to take on these kinds of projects because of the sense of pride they derive from completing a job themselves. Yet hiring a professional does not need to equate to giving up entirely. 

The professionals at Indigo Home & Facility Services can help you save time by tackling the most challenging tasks, then you can step in and take care of the rest. You can rest assured that we commit ourselves to the same level of professionalism and integrity, whether we are doing the whole job for you or simply assisting you with your DIY. 

Contact Indigo Home & Facility Services

Whether you need help with all or part of your bathroom or plumbing projects, the licensed professionals at Indigo Home & Facility Services can help you reach the finish line. Our firm is a family-owned and operated business located in Austin, Texas. We take pride in helping members of our community with their DIY plumbing projects. Call us today at (512) 608-4999 or contact us online for an appointment.