Home > Shower Questions from Visitors > Can I replace the aluminum in my shower enclosure and reuse the glass?

Can I replace the aluminum in my shower enclosure and reuse the glass?

Hello,

I m living on Miramar Florida, i plan to sell my house but I need to repair the existing aluminum gold shower door trims of my two bathrooms, the house was built in 1997 with the original shower door enclosures and i would like to fix them if its possible without changing everything.Is that possible?

Regards

Cyril

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Hi Cyril,

This is probably the most common question I am asked. Basically, “can I replace the aluminum in my standard shower enclosure and reuse the glass.” The short answer is “no.” Since I do get asked this question a lot, I am going to address this in detail now. That way, I can always just share the link to this article later.

Many people mistakenly believe that the glass in their shower enclosure is the most expensive part, and that they can somehow save money by reusing it, and replacing the aluminum extrusions. There are five or six reasons why this is not going to work, but there is no reason to cover all of them here… we’ll just look at a couple:

First, the most expensive part of your shower enclosure is the labor. The second most expensive part of your enclosure is the aluminum. That’s right! Your glass is actually the least expensive part of your shower enclosure! The standard enclosure that is bought “off the rack” from a home improvement store or a glass supplier is manufactured in a factory. Sometimes in China, or some other foreign country. The workers who build these enclosures in factories, even if they are located in the US, are paid a relatively low wage. The work is considered “low skill.”

The person who installs your shower enclosure, on the other hand, is a skilled worker. He earns a much higher wage. To hire the higher wage earner (an installer) to do the work of a lower wage earner (a factory worker) is not a cost efficient use of resources. Even if you could hire someone to track down the particular brand of aluminum from the manufacturer (there are dozens if not hundreds of different ones), how good a job will that person do at duplicating the parts of your enclosure that need to be replaced?

If the best possible result is achieved, you will end up paying more than your enclosure was worth when it was new, in order to hire someone to refurbish your used shower enclosure. What will you have when you are done? A used shower enclosure! What could you hope to save in terms of dollars? $100? $200? I doubt it. You could try to do the work yourself, but is it really worth trying? What if it ends up worse than before? What if you break a piece of glass? What if the shower leaks when you’re done?

You already have a used shower enclosure. The only reasonable options are to clean it up as best you can, or replace it.

Best regards,

-Chris

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