How to Install Your Frameless Glass Shower
Part One: Doing it Yourself, or Not?
Six things to think about before you begin
When creating the perfect bathroom, getting your shower door installed right at the end is the thing that can put it all together and finish the job. Because it’s so important and the job can often be difficult or contain problems that you may not have foreseen, it might be wiser to forego doing it yourself—even if that seems like the cheaper option—and spend just a bit more money hiring a professional to either do the job or assist you in doing it.
Issues to Consider
1) Hiring a Professional
As previously mentioned, because of the difficulty and problems that can pop up while attempting to install any kind of glass shower door, we recommend and encourage even a more experienced handy-man—or handy-woman, for that matter!—to instead heavily consider hiring a professional before any more steps are taken.
They’ll make the job easier, do it in a professional, quick manner, and remove hassle for you. It’s the best way to install your shower door without having to do any of it yourself. If you’re concerned about the layout of your bathroom, the handling of materials or the use of tools, the idea of hiring a professional only gains merit the more inexperienced or unsure you are of your own skills. Even if you’re good with your hands, it’s still a good idea to think about it.
2) Are You Prepared for the Job?
If you’re going to install it yourself and not call a professional, it’s necessary to have some tools with you to get the job done. A lot of them are fairly common, but a couple might need to be purchased or dug out of the shed or closet if you haven’t used them in a while.
These are the tools below:
3) Keep the Position of Everything in Mind
It can be easy to want to rush off and get it done, but that way lies madness. The configuration and position of the shower door depends on which kind you’re installing. One particular thing you have to look out for is keeping the shower head in its correct position.
If you’re installing a rolling/sliding door, keeping the shower head near the inner panel makes more sense to keep the outside of the shower waterproof, as seen here:
Alternatively, if you are using swing doors or door and panel configurations, it’s better if the hinge is opposite of the shower head, as seen in this image:
4) Make Sure You Measure Correctly
This is another thing that you have to be careful about if you’re doing it yourself, instead of letting a professional do it for you. Measurements change and depend on the type of door that’s being installed. Use masking tape to make it easy to see markings, and follow the specific instructions depending on what door you’re installing.
And, finally, 5 & 6:
Considering Your Wall Materials & Protecting Your Shower Door
These two kind of go hand in hand, but basically, just be careful about where you’re mounting your door, and understand exactly what kind of materials you’re using. The shower door can be expensive, and if you want to have a nice one for a long time, it’s best to do it right the first time and not install an insecure door that’s not properly prepared, or is hanging wrong… which is why, once again, you should hire a professional, right? Best of luck to you, though, if you’re not doing that. Just be careful about your materials and the health and integrity of your shower door.
Now, those were just the considerations before installing it yourself.
When it comes to measuring, there’s a bit more you should now. Check out the tips below.
Part Two: Measuring Everything
Tools For Measuring that are Necessary
Ensure That Your Shower Walls Are Complete Before You Measure
This one is just more common sense, but it makes good sense to make sure that your shower walls are complete before you start measuring and thinking about putting in a door.
Make Sure to Measure the Opening Width in Three Spots
This requires your tape measure. Make sure you measure lengthwise across the bottom, middle, and top of your shower for the inline opening. When measuring with a return, measure at the center of the curb (the centerline). Don’t forget about the body of the measuring tape. You want your measurements to be as accurate as possible with no mistakes.
Guarantee That Everything is Level and Plumb
Grab the best, most appropriately sized level you’ve got, and check your walls and surfaces. If anything is out more than 3/8″, you may need a tapered filler when installing framed and semi-framed doors. You can order custom-sized fillers for that.
Measure for Height
This actually requires two different measurements. Check the maximum height, by measuring from the top of the threshold or tub deck all the way to the top of your tile or fiberglass walls.
Additionally, should you so choose, you can measure your own requested height for a custom size, meaning you’d measure from the top of the threshold or tub deck (again) to as tall as you’d like the door to be.
Part Three: Installing the Frameless Glass Shower Door
You’ve thought it over and considered it, and decided to install it yourself. You’ve measured the door and your shower entrance and you’re finally ready to put everything together.
Well, first, it’s a good idea to have a list of what you’ll need to work with in order to get this accomplished. View list of tools you need below, plus an optional one or two:
Wooden Shim Drill and masonry bit
Stud finder Vinyl sweep
Level Wall anchors
Another Person (Assistant)
That last one is one of the most important, though it’s optional. You may find the door awkward to handle, and no one wants to drop and break the product they just purchased. Having an assistant can make this go a lot easier, quicker, and smoother, and save you frustration and worry to boot, as well as a lot of stress.
Step One: Make Sure the Door Fits
Pretty self explanatory, right? But it’s important. Even if you already measured before and you’re sure, now that you’ve actually physically got the door, check again just to make sure. It would be a huge hassle to go further onwards and then discover that, no, the door actually doesn’t fit. So measure, and make sure it fits, and then move on. Also be careful if using seals, because you have to account for their width.
Above all, the opening should be roughly .25 inches wider than the door.
Step Two: Prepare the Door for Installation
Get the hinges and door handles ready. Attach them using your screwdriver to the glass shower door. Attach the hinges in the center of the cut out in the glass, for the widest range of movement for adjustment. Tighten the screws by hand, and if your door came with gaskets, apply them now.
Step Three: Align the Door into the Correct Position
This is the part where the wood shim comes in. It is a piece of wood use to elevate large fixtures, and usually found in home improvement stores at many widths. You don’t need a large shim to raise the door from the ground. Something like a .225 inch shim will work fine. Position it correctly on top of the shim in the desired position, and make sure it’s level.
Step Four: Drill Holes
Use the masonry bit to drill pilot holes in the tile. Of course, mark the spots with a pencil before you drill and make sure they’re in the correct position. Use the stud finder to ensure the screws attach properly to the stud.
Push the best quality anchors into the pilot holes and screw the door into place.
Step Five: Place the Vinyl Sweep (Final Step)
Place the vinyl sweep on the threshold, and check and test the door a few times to make sure it works well.
That’s it. Enjoy your new shower door!