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Attaching Enclosures to Cast Iron Shower Pans


I have a Kohler Salient Porcelain enamel cast iron shower pan. My wife wants a frameless pivot door for this. With a 60″ opening, is there adhesive strong enough to bond to the pan without a mechanical screw connection? One installer claimed he “routinely” screws into the cast iron base. I am concerned about chipping and rusting. Any suggestions?



Hi Jeffrey,

Your shower opening is going to require a fixed panel and a door. The door will not pose any problem, as the hinges will be anchored to the wall, and not to the shower pan. The fixed panel is the part that is going to be at issue. You have a couple of standard options for your fixed panel… it can be attached using glass clamps, or it may be attached using a channel. I would say that, in my experience, people are evenly divided between these two options. There is no doubt that the channel offers a more waterproof solution than the brackets, but many people feel that the clamps give the enclosure a more “frameless” look. Either way you should be able to avoid drilling your pan, if it’s really important to you to do so.

If you decide to use an aluminum “U” channel to secure your fixed panel, you can definitely have the bottom channel glued into place with silicone or a high-strength epoxy. That is providing the vertical channel is anchored to the wall using screws. If using glass clamps, you can place them on the vertical wall edge only, and use clear silicone to secure the bottom edge. A third option is the “saloon door” style enclosure. In this configuration, both panels are hinged, eliminating the need for any bottom attachment.

Now, all of that being said, I also routinely use screws in cast iron tubs and pans. Using stainless steel screws and plenty of silicone to keep the area dry is the key. You shouldn’t have any issues, providing the installation is done properly.

Thanks for writing,

  1. james delvalle
    February 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

    what glass doors should i use for a kohler 60×30 cast iron shower base salient style, please help

    • February 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Hi James,

      I have used epoxy to attach u-channel to cast iron shower pans in the past, and have had good results. I have always used that method in conjunction with a vertical u channel that was attached to tile or granite with screws. I then used silicone along the vertical edge to make sure that the glass is secure in the channel, even if the glue at the base ever did come loose somehow. So, to recap, that would be a u channel glued to the base (horizontally.) And a u-channel running up the wall vertically (fastened with screws, and a bead of silicone in the channel the bonds to the vertical edge of the glass.)

      Another option, if you are installing a frameless enclosure, is to use hinges on the fixed panel instead of a channel. Then you can just run a bead of silicone along the bottom edge of the “fixed” panel to keep the glass from moving. The hinges will support the weight of the glass, and eliminate the need for any type of anchor at the base of the glass.

      I hope you find this helpful, and let me know how the project turns out.

      Chris Phillips

  2. Jeremy
    September 1, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I’m hoping to be able to install a cast iron shower receptor (Kolher Purist), but I need a double threshold, as I’m replacing a neo-angle shower with two walls. In your professional opinion is this possible? Thanks!

    • September 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Jeremy,

      I’m not sure that I understand your question. What do you mean by double threshold?


      • Jeremy
        September 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for the reply. My GC has stated that the Kohler cast iron shower pans are “single-threshold” while I need one that has a “double-threshold.” According to my GC, this means the Kohler pans need to have three walls (i.e. alcove shower?), while we need a pan that could have two walls (in similar fashion to a neo-angle shower). Due to the pan needing three walls, I’ve been thinking the only way to install said pan would be to build a knee-high wall (pony wall?) to be the third wall. In short, could I go from a neo-angle shower to a semi-alcove shower, where one of the three walls is a short pony wall?

        My only other alternative idea would be to use a different solid-surface for the pan – leaning towards Corian, but also considering Swanstone and Cultured Marble….clearly trying to avoid tile and grout issues on the shower floor.

        Thanks for any and all information and my apologies for my use/mis-use of terminology and my ignorance!


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