If you’re having a new bathroom built or are renovating an existing bathroom, you may be wondering if it’s possible to do the shower installation yourself. Home improvement stores sell a large range of shower units and related components, so it’s no wonder that many home owners look into doing this work themselves.

We’re here to guide you through the process and the steps we take – so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to do this project yourself, or call in the experts at Sumich Plumbing.

What is the correct process for installing a new shower?

  1. If there’s no existing shower…

The first thing we do is look at whether you’re installing a new shower in a bathroom that doesn’t already have one. If that’s the case, we look at your current bathroom design and help you decide where the best place for the new shower is. Is there an obvious place, such as an unoccupied part of the bathroom? Or is there something you’re removing to make room for the new shower (such as a bathtub, bidet, or cabinetry)?

  1. If there is an existing shower that needs to be removed…

Your bathroom may have an existing shower that you’d like to remove and replace, perhaps because it’s old, damaged, leaking, not the right size or shape, etc.

If that’s the case, we’ll first consult with you on whether you’d like the new shower put in the same spot. This might be a good opportunity to reconsider the entire layout of the room and move things around if it’s not currently working as you’d like.

If you do want to keep the location of the shower the same, we’ll remove the old one with this in mind. Depending on the state of the old shower and what you want changed, we may be able to make use of the existing footprint. The waterproofing layer beneath the shower floor may still be intact, so we’ll look first at installing a new shower that has the same dimensions and location of the drain.

If you’re not changing the overall size of the shower, we may be able to remove the old one with minimal affect on the surrounding flooring. If you are choosing a larger shower or a different shape, we can advise on what needs to be done with the existing waterproofing layer and the existing flooring in your bathroom.

There are quite a lot of inter-related components in a bathroom, so we’ll trying to install or replace a shower with minimum impact on the other aspects (such as flooring, tiling, plumbing) and keeping additional costs under control.

  1. We look at the overall design and layout of the room

Regardless of whether there is an existing shower or not, we’ll always look for the best place to position your shower. If you’re replacing an old shower for a new one, you may not have considered moving its location. Perhaps you’ve assumed it would be too costly. But now’s the best time to reassess the layout of the room. We’ll present options wherever possible, and work with you to find the best solution for your budget.

The things we consider when trying to find the best spot for the shower in a bathroom include:

  • the location of existing plumbing and drainage
  • where there is natural light
  • the placement of the other bathroom fixtures and appliances
  • how we can best create privacy for the shower and toileting areas
  • whether this is a bathroom that two people might use to get ready at the same time in the mornings
  • the ventilation options for the room
  • space available for drying off and a towel rail
  • the size of shower you’d like and the type of door
  • whether the bathroom has a bathtub

Long gone are the days when people would just fit a square shower in a corner. We now have so many more options, so it’s important to review how the shower will function and look in the room as a whole.

  1. What size and shape shower do you want?

While we’re looking for the best spot for the shower, we discuss a few options with you about its size and shape. We have experience installing a wide range of showers:

  • single, square
  • single, rectangle
  • double, rectangle
  • corner, square
  • corner, curved
  • alcove
  • wet area shower
  1. What type of door(s) do you want?

We’ll look at the space available for your shower and for its door to open and see what option will work best:

  • single hinged shower door
  • single or double sliding
  • bi-fold
  • semi-frameless shower return
  • tiled half-wall
  1. What sort of fixtures and accessories do you like?

There are many components to select, and we can source these from our suppliers at good prices for you:

  • shower heads
  • shower handsets
  • shower mixer
  • tapware colours – chrome, black, brass, etc
  • shower tray – acrylic, tile, etc
  • assistance/hand rails
  • inset shelves/niches/soap trays
  1. Preparing the bathroom for your shower installation

Once we know which shower and components you’d like, we begin preparing the area for installation. If we need to remove an existing shower, we’ll do this – either keeping the existing plumbing and drainage components, or replacing these as needed. If you’re moving the shower location from an old shower, we can help project manage the work that needs to be done in the old space (you many need to get a tiler, flooring company or builder in).

In the space where the new shower is going, we’ll either waterproof the area if there was no existing shower, or we’ll check whether existing waterproofing membrane is still intact. This is an area that can be quite intimidating to the average DIYer. Waterproof membranes are essential and must be installed correctly. The extent of the waterproofing depends on the size and shape of the shower, and what type of surface lies beneath. We strongly recommend having an experienced bathroom designer or plumbing company like Sumich Plumbing do this work for you.

Please note, if you’re installing a wet area shower, this will require a building consent.

  1. Installing the shower

It’s now time to install the shower. What this entails is all of the details that need to come together once the area is waterproofed. These details will depend on the type of shower you select and what you select for the walls and floor of the shower area.

Sumich Plumbing can manage all of these installation steps – everything from fitting the shower head and mixer and connecting it all to the plumbing, right through to tiling, shower flooring and installation of the doors.

We’ll work alongside the electrician who will look after the ventilation and any other electrical work that is needed. This might include new lighting over the shower, a heated towel rail, underfloor heating.

There are several steps to consider when installing a new shower or replacing an old one. It’s important to have someone who can line up all the different stages and liaise with the different tradespeople needed, if you need the help of an electrician, tiler, window glazier or flooring expert.

The experienced team at Sumich Plumbing can manage all of this for you, so you can rest easy knowing that your shower will be installed properly and safely for you to enjoy for years.

Get in touch for a no-obligation quote.


There are a number of plumbing and drainage companies in Auckland, so why choose Sumich?

Founded by owner-operator Chris Sumich in 1991, Sumich Plumbing & Drainage has one of the most experienced teams operating in Auckland. Our team has a combined experience of over 100 years and we’ve seen a comprehensive range of scenarios and solutions over the years. Clients trust us to give honest, transparent advice and service.

As registered members of the New Zealand Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters Association, we are professional, licensed Auckland plumbers for all of your plumbing, drain laying, gas-fitting and heating needs. Give us a call to see how we can help.

Contact Now