Chances are, you know that if you want to build a half wall for a shower in your home’s bathroom, you can hire a contractor to do the job. But do you know that if you want to save money (not to mention increase your home value), you can build the wall yourself? Well, now you know. And on top of that, it turns out it’s really not difficult. Just follow this step-by-step guide and before long, you’ll be enjoying your very own half-wall shower like the DIY king or queen that you are.
Measure the opening
Step 1: Measure the opening.
Measure the length and width of your shower and mark each end with a pencil or chalk. Use a level to make sure your wall is straight, and then check it again with a tape measure. Finally, use a chalk line to be sure of your measurements (but be careful not to knock over anything). If you’re using waterproof spray paint for your wall color, you’ll want to wait until after this step before applying it.
Lay the first course of blocks
- Lay the first course of blocks on a level surface in your shower.
- Using a tape measure, make sure that all of the blocks are the same size and straight. Use a pencil to mark them if necessary.
- Spread mortar along the center line where you want each block to be placed, then use a mason’s trowel to spread it evenly across the surface of each block in your first course (you should always start with two blocks for every one you build). If needed, use an extra piece of wood as an anchor for this step so that everything stays level while you spread out the mortar; this will keep everything nice and straight when you go to lay down more concrete later on.
- Let dry overnight before continuing work on building your shower wall!
Apply mortar to the bottom of the second course
- Apply mortar to the bottom of the second course.
- Use a trowel to apply mortar to the bottom of each block, making sure that it is spread evenly over all four sides of the brick.
- Make sure you use high-strength mortar with this step; otherwise, your wall won’t be as sturdy as you need it to be!
- Make sure that you’re using a level so that each course is level with one another. If they’re not perfectly level, then it will look out of place when you add your half wall in.
Add a third course and fourth course
Now add a third course of bricks and apply mortar to the bottom of each brick. Then add another fourth course of bricks and apply mortar to the top of each brick.
Set lintel blocks in place
To set the lintel blocks in place, follow the same general steps that you used to build the rest of your shower wall. First, use a level to ensure that each block is level with one another and with the floor/ceiling of your shower. Next, make sure that they’re also flush against each other (this will be easier if you have someone helping). Finally, once everything looks good on both sides and at top/bottom levels, you can screw together any remaining seams using screws or nails made especially for masonry materials such as concrete walls.
Tape the block joints together
The block joint tape is what will hold the blocks together, so it’s important to use a tape that will last and won’t damage any of the materials. There are several waterproof tapes on the market that work well for this purpose; I chose one called WALL-IT because it’s easy to apply, has good adhesion and lasted through several years of use without needing replacement.
If you don’t have access to waterproof masonry cement (which is used in mortar), there are alternative products like Liquid Nails or Elmer’s Glue that can be used as an adhesive instead.
Pour concrete into lintels and re-tape lintel joints
Step 1: Pour concrete into lintels
The first step is to pour the concrete into your lintel. Since this is a half wall, you will only be pouring one side of the lintel and then using metal ties to secure it to your existing walls or ceiling. You don’t want too much concrete, so make sure that it’s not too high or too close to where you need access later on.
Step 2: Re-tape lintel joints
Once poured, remove all tape from joints before they dry so they are smooth and clean when finished drying. Let them sit overnight if possible so that there is no chance of cracking when removing tape in the morning (or whenever you choose). If there is any cracking due to a temperature change overnight, try again with more care taken not to disturb anything by touching it with bare hands or tools until completely cured (about a week).
Allow concrete to dry
- Allow concrete to dry: Let the wall dry for at least 24 hours. If you need to speed up the process, use a hair dryer on low heat.
- Add a surface if desired: You can add tile or another type of surface to the walls if you like, but keep in mind that this will be visible from inside the shower and may not offer as much privacy as you would like.
- Examine for cracks or defects: Inspect your half-wall for any cracks or defects before continuing with construction so that these issues can be addressed as soon as possible.
You can build your own half wall.
In this article, we’ll show you how to build a half wall in your shower. These are great for creating a more private space in the tub or adding some additional storage space.
Check out the full how-to steps below.
- Step 1: Gather materials and tools for your project. You will need:
- A sheet of acrylic plastic sheeting (or glass) that’s at least 12 inches larger than the opening of your shower
- A table saw or circular saw (if working with wood)
- Step 2 – Mark off where you want your wall to be with masking tape and pencil. Be sure not to put it too close to the edge of your shower—you’ll need room on both sides so that you can get in and out easily. Also make sure not to put it too high up if there’s someone shorter than 6 feet who needs access behind it (like children).
We hope these instructions have given you the confidence to build your own half-wall for a shower. These instructions are basic and intended to help you complete a simpler version of this project. As always with any DIY project, be sure to read all instructions thoroughly and seek professional help when necessary.