How To Remove a Shower Tray [SOLVED]

Every homeowner comes to the point where they realize the bits and bobs lying about their home are due for replacement. You put off this realisation as long as possible, but it’s eventually time to replace the small things like trim, shower trays, and updating baseboards or paint. If you’re trying to get that old dirty shower tray out in favour of a shiny new one, I’ve got good news. We’ll walk you through how to remove a shower tray as quickly as possible – just keep reading.

How to remove a shower tray? The best way is to remove the walling around your shower – this will be a process, so buckle up.

This is going to turn your bathroom into a warzone, so be prepared to finish this up ASAP if you’re hoping to be able to use it later in the day. Now, with that said, let’s get to it!

Read Next: How to seal a shower screen.

How to Remove a Shower Tray

There’s a good bit that you’ll need to know here, but we’ll start with the tools and materials you’ll want to get the job done. We can get to the process in a moment. I’m assuming you’ve already chosen a replacement tray (that has been measured and will fit). Beyond that, you’ll want:

  • A pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Power drill

Now we can get into the fun bit – the actual replacement!

READ NEXT: How to fix a cracked shower tray.

The Wall

The first thing you’ll need to address is the wall. Shower trays are generally built with a 2.5 cm lip along each edge touching a wall. This is designed to allow you to screw or nail it into the wall studs. That means that you’ll need to get into the wall to get this out, as well as to install a new one.

  1. Use a reciprocating saw to cut into your drywall roughly ~5 cm above the tray. You’re going to need to cut at an angle to avoid cutting any wiring or plumbing – be careful here.
  2. Remove the drywall with a prybar that sits betwen the tub and your cut line.
    1. If you have a tiled wall, remove the bullnose finishing tiles around the edge of your shower.
  3. Clean up. You don’t want the refuse of this job lying about as you work.
  4. Now you’re going to loosen the pan. Find the screws or nails holding it into place (in the wall studs) and remove them.
    1. Using a utility knife, run the blade along the outside edge of the shower pan and floor, separating the caulking from the pan.

Shower Drain

You’re going to need to detach the shower drain from the tray next. If you skip this step, you run the risk of cracking the drain line – this is less than ideal and actually a pain to fix, so just don’t skip this part.

Now, here’s what to do:

  1. Remove the drain cover with a screwdriver.
  2. Next, look into the drain. You’ll find a rubber grommet or a notched metal ring, called a compression ring. Remove it with pliers or a screwdriver and hammer, tapping the screwdriver with the hammer to rotate the ring.
    1. If you have the rubber grommet instead of a compression ring, you’ll need to use a utility knife or pliers to pry it out. Ensure you’re not using the pipe to leverage the grommet out, instead, leverage against the shower tray. You risk cracking the pipe if it’s used as leverage.
  3. Keep turning until it can lift out. Remove the rubber bit beneath it as well.

Remove and Reinstall

Now it’s time to remove the shower tray fully. Give the shower tray a good double-check that all of the anchoring points have been removed (nails, screws, caulking). Once done, you’ll need to lift the shower tray out of place. This can be done with a prybar – be sure not to lift the drain pipe with the shower tray. If the pipe tries to come out, hold it in place with a screwdriver or friend.

Lift the tray until it’s fully out, then rotate it so it can be removed. You can now install the new shower tray and reverse your whole process. The reinstallation will require repairing your drywall or replacing tiles, so if you’re uncomfortable with this, you’ll likely want to call a professional.

When to Call for Help

If you aren’t prepared to deal with replumbing your shower, replacing drywall or tile, and dealing with a good amount of detailed work, you’re going to need to call a professional for help. This is detailed, delicate work that can cause a number of issues if done improperly or something is broken in the process of removal or installation. This is especially good advice if you only have one bathroom – you don’t want to make a mess and have an unusable bathroom while dealing with the fallout.

I highly recommend hiring a professional to replace the shower tray for a few reasons:

  • They’ll do it faster than you can
  • They’ve done it before
  • Professionals will do the job properly the first time.
  • This is a delicate task that could use a professional’s touch.

If you’re dead-set on doing this yourself, though, go ahead! This is entirely doable as a DIY project – it’s just not easy.

Final Thoughts

Removing a shower tray can be messy and a bit of a pain. Although this can be done by amateurs, it’s delicate and precise work that requires a bit of know-how which you may not have. While you shouldn’t let this ever deter you from repairing your home, it’s good to know your limits. If you’re unsure of your ability to perform any of these steps, please, hire a professional. Another thing to keep in mind is that professionals have likely done this before. Unlike you, they will know the best way to avoid damaging the drainpipe or walls in the process of removal and installation.

Nonetheless, this is something that you can do at home. It’ll require a few tools (including a reciprocating saw) and a good bit of time – but that hasn’t stopped us at DreamyHome before. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as being able to say, “Yeah, I did that.”