Archive for November, 2011

Do it Yourself?

Hi, Chris.

My father is 86 years old and of the generation that fixes the old instead of buying the new. He has torn apart a framed door with fixed glass panel on a 30 year old shower in his house. As we expected, he is having a hard time finding a silicone tubing drip seal for this door. Are they not available anymore? Or will he be forced to cave in to buying a brand new door for this shower, probably also needing to be custom sized for width?

Thanks for a quick response, because the shower can’t be used now that he has hastily torn it apart, thinking he would easily find replacement parts!

Hi Karen,

There are so many different manufacturers of shower doors that it would be really hard to tell you where to start looking for parts. If the door is 20 or 30 years old, there is no chance that the same parts are still available. There is also a good possibility that the glass in the door doesn’t meet modern building safety codes either. I’m guessing that what you are talking about when you say “silicone tubing drip seal” is the rubber gasket that goes in the aluminum channel between the glass and metal. There are a lot of types of gasket (and I mean A LOT!) and it would probably be possible to find something that would work, if you had a good supplier of gaskets (a local glass shop?) and a lot of time to spend sorting through them.

If your dad is dead-set on doing this himself, I would suggest using a tube of silicone sealant from the hardware store. He could use a caulk gun to pump the silicone into the aluminum channels, assemble the door around the glass, and wait 24 hours for it to set up before reinstalling it. It probably won’t look that great, but I’m guessing that your dad’s 30-year-old shower door isn’t very beautiful anyway. I always advise people that it’s not worth their time to try to fix their own shower doors. A professional can do it so much faster and more efficiently. On the other hand, if your dad doesn’t really have anything else to do, and no-one gets hurt in the process, what the heck! There’s nothing like a good challenge.

Thanks for writing,



Impressive Advances in Glass Adhesives

Hello there!

We just replaced a shower door in a very small bathroom with no wall space for a towel bar.  Without realizing it, our contractor purchased a lovely shower door which has ‘knobs’ rather than the shower handle/towel bar.  Is there any way to retrofit a handle onto the door?  Does such a product exist?  I’ve called around many places, and then while “Googling” found your website.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Anne Forte

Hi Anne,

As you probably know, shower doors are made using tempered glass, and tempered glass cannot be cut, drilled, or otherwise fabricated. There have, however, been some impressive advances in glass adhesives. Today, it is possible to glue on a handle or a towel bar. Having at least one hole in the glass to run a bolt through helps to give you a firm anchor point. We have used high-strength glass adhesive to install handles and towel bars on a number of occasions. There are even glass hinges that are designed to be used with hi-tech glass glue. Most people aren’t ready to trust the actual mounting of their heavy glass door to glue, though. At least not yet…

There are a few types of adhesives that work excellent with glass and metal, and create a strong, permanent bond. You can contact your local high-end glass shop to get more information about the types of glass adhesives that are available. Most are activated by ultraviolet light, and take a little expertise to use. If you have any trouble finding what you are looking for, you can always contact us directly at (831) 272-2341.

Best Wishes,