Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by acechapman
Frameless shower doors are becoming increasingly popular in high-end bathrooms that have stone or tiled shower walls. They’re also more common in bathrooms that have an acrylic or fiberglass enclosure. They look great as well as easy to clean. In this article, we will discuss how to install frameless shower doors.
Professional installation is required for this process. This is because the door is fragile and professionals have the expertise and equipment to safely handle it. You will need to hire someone to help you. It is not a good idea to lose your grip on expensive tempered glass sheets and let them slide on tile floors.
Two mounting systems for frameless shower doors
Frameless shower doors are usually equipped with glass doors and side panels. The panel is typically installed before the door. Some models have U-channel to attach to the wall, while others come with brackets that match the hinges. Like the hinges, they come in two pieces. They are installed over a precut hole in the glass and then held by friction. This arrangement allows for minor leveling adjustments.
Frameless shower doors cannot be installed in acrylic or fiberglass doors that have no wood blocking. Thin plastic materials won’t support the door enough and won’t hold the screws. If there isn’t any blocking, you can use screw anchors to secure the screws when installing solid materials like stone or tile.
You’ll need these things:
- Painter’s Tape
- Plastic shims are usually included with the glass doors
- Silicone caulk
- Wooden shims
- Tape measure
- 6-foot level
- Masonry and wood bits
- Anchors for screws
- Caulking gun
- Utility knife
- Allen wrench
You should always have someone to assist you with lifting and installing your glass shower door. It can be slippery and potentially dangerous.
How to Install Frameless Shower Doors
Draw a center line on the Shower Curb
Place painter’s tape over the shower curb and hinge wall. Center it so that it covers the fixed panel and door. Use a tape measure, pencil, as well as a straightedge to draw a line along the curb. It should be exactly the same distance as the curb’s front edge at both ends. In order to guide you in placing the hinges, use a 6-foot-long level and a pencil. Mounting brackets will require a reference line to be drawn on the opposite wall.
Use the bracket systems only to set the Curb Mounting Brackets
Place the brackets flush with the curb line, spacing them the same distance apart from the glass panels. Mark the holes for screws and then remove the brackets. Drill pilot holes in the curb with a masonry bit or a wood bit for acrylic and fiberglass curbs. Set the brackets in place using the stainless steel screws provided with them.
For the Fixed Panel, set the U-Channel and Wall Brackets
Measure the height of your fixed panel and cut the U-channel length to match. Then drill three holes through the channel’s back side. Place the U-channel against a wall, with its bottom against the curb, and mark the holes.
For tile and stone walls, drill pilot holes using a masonry bit or a wood bit. Take off the tape. Then, tape a screw anchor into each hole if there is no wood behind the wall. Attach the U-channel to your wall. Double-check that it is level.
Use brackets to align the brackets against the plumb line. Mark the holes with tape. The pilot holes should be drilled. After that, remove the tape and tap in anchors (if needed) before screwing the brackets to your wall.
Place the Fixed Panel
To install U-channel, you will need to remove the tape from the curb and place plastic shims along the curb to protect the bottom edge of the glass. The door usually comes with shims. To hold the panel, use a caulking gun to place a thin layer of silicone caulk in the U-channel groove. Use a helper to lift the glass and push the other edge into the U channel as far as possible. Then, place the bottom edge on the shims.
To ensure that the panel is parallel to the curb, measure from the edge of the curb. Use a utility knife to trim the shims flush with the door. Then, seal the bottom edges of both panels’ sides with silicone caulk. Caulk the U-channel at the wall’s intersection on both sides.
Use brackets to attach one of the gaskets supplied. Next, place the panel’s edge against the brackets in front of them so that the brackets align with the notches on the sides and bottom. Attach the other half of the bracket with a gasket and screw them together using an Allen wrench.
Attach the hinges to the door
Each hinge should be taken apart. Place one of the gaskets on each hinge. Then, center the hinges over the door notch and screw them together using the provided screws. To stop the hinge from moving when you pull it on, tighten the screws.
Hang the door
Frameless glass shower doors are slightly shorter than fixed panels to allow for the installation of a door sweep at the bottom. Two wooden shims should be placed on the curb. Then, align the door with the line drawn on the wall by placing the shims on top of the curb. Your helper should hold a level on top of the fixed panel, extending it over the door opening. Then adjust the shims so that the door’s top is flush with the bottom.
Mark the holes to attach the hinges to the wall. Then, drill pilot holes along the lines. Take off the tape. If necessary, tap in screws anchors. Place the door on the shims again and attach the hinges to your wall with screws.
Adjust The Gap
From top to bottom, the gap between the fixed panel and door should be uniformly 3/16 inches. If the gap is too large or tapered, loosen one or both of the hinge screws to allow for the door to be pulled out. To secure the door, tighten the hinge screws until the gap is consistent at 3/16 inches (or according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
Before you use the shower, let the caulk dry completely (typically for 24 hours).
Install the Door Sweep
If your door comes with a U-shaped rubber, or plastic door sweep, you can install it by opening the doors, fitting the end on the outside corner, and then sliding the door open. Door sweeps can be easily removed for cleaning.
A frameless glass shower installation is not something you can do by yourself. You should hire a professional to install frameless shower doors. Even the smallest error can cause a crack or chip in your new shower doors. Even the smallest error in measurement can result in a shower door that is not properly fitted or opened and closed correctly. This installation process could be very costly.
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