When the weather is warm, showering outdoors can be fun. It is also a practical way to get clean, avoiding the need to track sand or dirt into the house. Using the outdoor shower in the summer means you will not have to clean the indoor shower during this time. When the kids hop out of the pool, send them right to this attractive outdoor shower tiled with mesh squares of river rock.
You will need:
• 1×4 boards
• Concrete board
• Masonry screws
• Mesh tape
• Glass block
• Shower fixtures
• Mesh squares of river rock
• Pre-mixed concrete
• Latex modified thinset
• Plumb bob
• Circular saw or reciprocating saw
• Tape measure
• Notched trowel
Step 1: Go to the back of the house and determine the location and size of the shower. Use the tape measure, level, and pencil to mark the back shower wall on the house. Remove shingles or siding, exposing the interior walls of the house, with a reciprocating or circular saw.
Step 2: Have a plumber run cold and hot plumbing to the shower location.
Step 3: Use the cement board to cover the exposed wall. This serves as a barrier to moisture and provides a surface to which the thinset and tile can bond. Mark and cut the openings for plumbing hardware. Use screws to anchor the board to the house. Seams should be covered with mesh tape and then apply a skim coating of thinset.
Step 4: Use stakes to plot the concrete pad dimensions. Dig down eight inches in this area, using the shovel. Create forms with the 1×4 boards so the concrete will be contained.
Step 5: Pour gravel into the area to a 4-inch depth. Tamp this down and ensure the surface is level.
Step 6: Follow the manufacturer directions for preparing the pre-mixed concrete. Pour the concrete into the form. Use the trowel to work it until it is smooth and features the desired pitch. Allow several hours for the concrete to cure.
Step 7: Mix the latex modified thinset, following the manufacturer instructions. Spread a thick coat up the wall, to a 12-inch height, using the flat edge of the notched trowel. Even out the thinset using the notched side of the tool. Begin setting the stacked river rock tile at a bottom corner and work your way up. Push each stone into the thinset so it is secure.
Step 8: Continue the process of setting the thinset and laying the river rock tile until you have covered the wall. Work around the plumbing fixture holes.
Step 9: Spread a thinset coat around the dry concrete pad perimeter. If you want an entrance that is flush with the pad, leave a gap. Set glass blocks in the thinset, beginning at the corners. Apply thinset to one side of each block before placing it next to the block inserted before it. Check for plumb and level when setting each block. Continue until the entire base perimeter contains glass block. Allow this to dry.
Step 10: Apply a thinset layer on top of the concrete base, beginning in one corner. Push the first mesh square of river rock gently into the thinset. Continue this process until the base is covered with river rock. Allow all tile squares to set for between four and six hours.
Step 11: Mix the grout and apply it with the float. Push the grout down firmly so it gets between each pebble. Use a damp sponge to wash off any excess grout. Fill the bucket with clean water and frequently rinse the sponge in this.
Step 12: Install the shower hardware and test to ensure the water flows properly.