how to build a dog shower!

how to build a dog shower!

In the quest to have a never-ending renovation life, I thought it would be a terrific idea to remove the custom bench we made and install a dog/plant/boot/feet shower in our mudroom.  I took a IG poll, and it was met with a fair amount of mixed feelings… 34% thought it was a bit nutty to do.  Maybe all of those “Yikes” people are super clean, cat people with no kids/sons?!

Our mudroom started out as a mother-in-law suite, to which we immediately gutted the full bath that was there to open that area into my studio space.  We had always planned on relocating the washer and dryer from the hallway between the kitchen and my office but weren’t totally sure where to do it.  It wasn’t until two years after we moved in we devised the plan to slice up my, quite large, studio/office space into a large mudroom.  I will do a full post of before and afters of the old space to what we currently have once the mudroom is 100% completed.  For now, I’m sticking with our dog wash project.

For reference, our shower is about 4′ wide and 3′ deep with the tile wall going just about 3′ up… we would have made the tile go up a bit higher but we needed it under the light switch.  The curb, which in hindsight we probably should have made it just a little higher to keep the puppy in, is about 5.5″ high and 5″ deep… maybe 8″ would have been a better height, who knows.

Before I include the install steps, here are the finishes we chose for everything…

wall tile
handheld shower head
shower valve
robe hook

home improvement store shopping list… some items that we used are linked below:

6 – 2×4 8’
1 – 2×6 8’
Wood screws
Oatley drain base(linked below)
1 2’ piece of 2”pvc
1 2”x1-1/2” pvc reducer
Enough 1-1/2” pvc and fittings to tie into plumbing
Pvc cleaner, primer, and cement
Shower valve and fixtures(linked below)
Plumbing to tie into existing plumbing
3 1/2” cement boards
Cement board screws
3 tubes of white silicone caulk
Sheet of Lath
Lath screws
1 5×5 shower pan linear (linked below)
4 outside shower pan corners(linked below)
3 60# bags is quickrete mortar mix
1 bag is floor tile mortar(linked below)
1 bag white wall tile mortar(linked below)
Tiles and Grout
1 sheet 1/2” drywall
Drywall screws
2 8’ drywall corners
Drywall tape
Drywall mud
Paint and primer

OK here is a step by step of what we did…

Step 1 Drain Installation

– I started with a PVC shower drain base to use with (like this one)
– decide where drain will be located and where to attach drain to existing drain pipes
– be sure you are in between floor joist
– mark where hole will be cut and use hole saw, saws-all, jig or hand saw to cut hole
– cut the hole (hole saw kit)
– if your floor is does not already have cement board you will need to install tar paper
– install drain base with wood screws
– install plumbing from drain base to existing plumbing

Step 2 wall and curb installation

– we already had 2 of the three walls so we only have to build out one wall and the curb
– normal wall installation with 16″ o/c studs
– our curb was created with 3 2×4’s stacked
– if using existing walls remove bottom 3′ of drywall
– install blocking with 2×6’s or 2×8’s in between studs at the bottom of each wall

Step 3 water plumbing

– determine which wall will have the water coming to it
– install plumbing we used the Delta Faucet MultiChoice Universal Shower Valve

Step 4 install mortar bed to drain

– remove the top of drain base that is bolted on
– measure from the drain to each wall to determine height of mortar bed to drain (1/4″ per foot)
example: if you a wall is 2′ away the first mortar bed should be 1/2″ higher than the drain base at wall
– to mix mortar you should keep it fairly dry, just enough water to be able to form kind of a snow ball
– install bed, matching lines at walls and matching the top of the drain base at the base
– let dry for at least 24 hours

Step 4 install pan liner

– cut liner to cover base and curb and go up 6″-8″ on walls. (shower pan liner)
– put bolts into base to hold liner up until it is in place.
– add a bead of silicone around drain base at groove
– once liner is in place cut small x’s over bolts to be able to push linear down to drain. cut out hole for drain.
– install drain cap
– install liner base, use hospital corners (watch video below) and outside corner pieces of liners  (pvc corners x2)
– only nail at the very top of liner and on outside of curb

Step 5 install cement board

– install cement board on walls we used 1/2″ cement board leave it 1″ above base
– do not screw bottom 8″ of cement board
– silicone over all seems and screws

Step 6 install final mortar bed

– install lath over curb bend it to fit over curb and only screw to outside of curb
– base on type of drain determine how thick bed should be
– base should already be sloped appropriately so just at the same amount everywhere
– add mortar to form curb
– let dry for at least a day

Step 7 install tile

– Install floor tile… wait a day to grout (floor grout)
– grout floor tile, use caulk where faces change direction, ie floor to wall or curb or wall to wall
– install wall tile… wait a day before grouting
– grout wall tile caulking where appropriate (wall tile grout) (caulk)

Step 8 install fixtures

– install valve and shower head

If you’re a visual learner, these two videos were helpful:

Step 9 USE it!

Much easier than giving a puppy a rinse off, watering house plants in bulk… even our 6′ fiddle fig leaf tree!

Wash off feet and legs after doing dirty yard work in the mud room!

The above are much easier than attempting to wash a pup.

Questions?!  Leave a comment!

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