Archive for August, 2011

Tile Dilemma with Sliding Frameless Glass Tub Door

Hello Chris –

I have found your website most informative and helpful, and appreciate your experience and goodwill! We would currently like to install a new frameless glass sliding tub door across our standard 60 inch bathtub. We have an existing architectural detail that is challenging us. The tile listel and borders on either side of it protrude out where the sliding doors need to meet flush with the sides of the other tiles. I have enclosed some pictures that highlight our dilemma. Do you have any experience with a similar situation? Should a tile person cut a channel in the area of concern? If so, should the channel be lined with metal or finished in some other way? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Barbara and Scott

The protruding tile border near the top of the tiled bath enclosure requires slots to be cut into them on both enclosure sides so that the shower door can be installed flush with the vertical enclosure wall.

I’ve attached photos of the existing bath enclosure and of the proposed shower door.

So that the slots have a more finished look, I proposed to also install aluminum or stainless steel “U-brackets” inside the slots to cover the exposed cut tile. The U-bracket sides could be shaped (by me if necessary) to match the contour of the tile header. Does this sound reasonable to you? Or would the tile person create a “finished” surface to the channel?

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards,

Scott and Barbara

Dear Scott and Barbara,

Thanks for writing. Yes, this is a common issue, and normally, the trim tile does get notched for the glass to sit flush with the adjacent tile. I have never seen a situation where the area was inlayed with a channel, the way that you are proposing. It sounds like a pretty good idea, though.

The biggest challenge is always getting the notches laid out correctly, assuring that they are in the proper location before the cutting begins.

Feel free to contact me if you have any additional concerns.

Thanks again,

Chris Phillips – Owner


Letters from Our Visitors

Over the past few months, I have been receiving emails from visitors to the website who have shower door related questions. Here is an example of one recent exchange:

Dear Chris,

Just studied your great web site. I have a question for you.

I have the standard 60 inch wide walk in shower and want to replace the sliding framed doors with one fixed clear glass panel and one hinged panel.

Can the fixed say 30 inch wide by 82 to 84 inch tall panel be attached to the wall with two or three of the typical glass panel attachments, and likewise to the floor WITHOUT any top support and still be steady ? Should both panels be 1/2 inch thick in order for the fixed panel to be steady?

Thanks in advance for your advise to a former California resident, now retired in Florida.


Herman Bergman

Hi Herman,

Thanks for writing! I guess “steady” is a relative term. 3/8” glass does flex a bit, especially when it is more than 80” tall. We install 3/8” glass that is over 80” tall on a regular basis. If the glass is tempered, it is definitely strong enough for the application.

On the other hand, it really isn’t that much more expensive to go ahead and use 1/2” glass instead. Half inch glass will give you the added strength that you are concerned about, and also an added touch of elegance that is really worth it.

I hope this helps,