Many times when you think to upgrade your shower for a bathroom renovation a familiar voice pops up in your head, “well how much money will I have to spend?”
And the cost isn’t the only concern, all the work that comes with a bathroom can be intense and require special skills. Which leads many of us to not touch our bathrooms unless we’re in dire need of a repair.
However, there is a way to spruce up your space without breaking the bank and spending weeks living in a renovation space. It does require a little creativity and the willingness to put in roughly a weekend’s worth of work. That’s where one of our favorite products comes in – Epoxy Resin.
In this article, we’ll cover how to upgrade your shower using a DIY Epoxy that will give you the custom space of your dreams without the huge cost. And an added bonus is that you won’t have to clean shower grout again!
Before we dive in, here are some of our favorite epoxy shower projects that we’ve seen:
Why Epoxy for the Shower?
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Many folks might not know what epoxy is, and others might wonder how this material can work on garage floors, be used for table tops, and also make a custom shower truly one-of-a-kind. So, let’s walk through what epoxy is and what the pros are for using in your bathroom renovation.
Epoxy resin is a combination of chemicals that allow you to create strong, and durable surfaces, in almost any mold or shape you’d like. Epoxy is one of our favorite products to work with because it’s light-weight, durable, can be used indoors and outdoors, and has a long lasting life.
The pros of using an epoxy to upgrade your shower:
- Epoxy resin is a one stop shop for your shower walls. No need to purchase the tile, grout, and all that extra supplies.
- Epoxy resin is also lightweight which will allow you to create your walls in a separate space, and easily move them in when you’re ready. This not only allows you to work with your epoxy where you’d like, but it also allows you to keep your bathroom together until you’re ready to do your final wall installation.
- Epoxy resin can withstand the elements of your hot showers, and chemical cleaners.
- Lastly, epoxy is easy to clean. Compared to tile showers where you have many nooks and crannies and grout to clean. Epoxy is one smooth surface that can quickly be wiped down.
Upgrade Your Shower in 6 Simple Steps
Step One: Gathering Supplies
We’d argue that the most important part of an epoxy project is the preparation. Epoxy is a fantastic product for DIYers for it’s ease of use; however, that is only possible if you prepare properly and follow all instructions to a tee.
- Deep pour epoxy resin
- Mica Powder
- Three 3 Gallon Buckets
- Tarp or Drop Cloth
- Level Working Surface
- HDPE for the Shower Wall Mold
- PPE (gloves, mask, goggles)
- Drillbit Industrial Mixer
Step Two: Building the Mold
Because epoxy starts as a liquid, you will need to build a mold that matches the size of your shower walls. This will allow you to work on your project outside or in the garage, then transport it into the shower when you’re ready.
First, measure the walls that you are covering in your shower. Leverage HDPE to frame out your mold. You can use whatever screws on hand to secure it together. From there caulk the edges to ensure there are no leaks.
Once you’re satisfied with your mold, you can give it a test with some water to make sure nothing leaks. However, it’s crucial that you completely dry your surface before you pour your epoxy into the mold you created.
Step Three: Preparing the Pour
Once your mold is built and has been tested for leaks, you can move onto creating your epoxy mixture. Your epoxy resin comes in two parts, Part A and Part B. Each epoxy is a little different, so be sure to read each bottle carefully and that you understand the directions.
The most important part of creating your epoxy mixture is getting the ratios correctly. Having incorrect ratios can be very damaging to your project, it could come out unlevel, with gaps or holes, or even never harden into a solid surface.
Luckily, there are many almost foolproof ways to figure out how much epoxy resin you need. Our favorite is leveraging an epoxy calculator, which you can find online.
Step Four: Color and Design
With the proper ratios mixed together, you can now begin testing out your color scheme. We recommend taking a sample of your final epoxy resin mixture and testing out your colors there. This gives you a safe space to figure out the exact pigmentation and style you’re looking for before you color the entire batch.
With the mica powders above you have over 25 choices in colors that create endless combinations of designs!
Step Five: The Pour and Cure
With your mixture complete, the colors added, and your mold set it’s time to pour. Bring your epoxy mixture as close to your mold as possible when pouring. This ensures that you’re not mixing in additional air bubbles and reducing the possibility of splashing.
Once your entire mixture is in the mold, the only thing left to do is wait for it to properly cure. For the first few hours you’ll want to continuously monitor your epoxy resin and help remove air bubbles and ensure there are no leaks. With a deep pour, you will need to let your project cure for 48-72 hours before you can move your project to the shower!
Step Six: The Installation
- Demoing your old shower. Take the walls down to the green board sheetrock and check for mold. If you do find mold, you’ll first need to spray the area and take the necessary precautions.
- Add in your epoxy walls and seal them together with 100% silicone.
- Screw in your showerhead and shower fixtures!