Archive for August, 2014

RE: 3/8 inch frameless hinged shower door


I just saw your youtube video and thought I would take you up on your offer to answer a question.

I have an older, one piece fiberglass shower stall enclosure (attached pictures) with door dimensions of 65 x 28 1/8 inches. It currently has a piano hinged older aluminum shower door that is showing signs of corrosion. I have an opportunity to purchase a frameless 3/8 shower door 65 x 27 5/8 inch for the cost of $150 but I am concerned about the following

  • Weight of the door and the fiberglass structural strength to support the weight of the door. The fiberglass enclosure has a 3 x 2 1/2 inch door frame and a 3 inch curb. It does appear to be hollow. There is an available wall stud in line with the enclosure frame. If I can get 6 inch screws I could mount the door hinges through fiberglass and into the wall.
  • The 4/8 inch difference between the width of the opening and the width of the door

I know my options would be to remove the fiberglass enclosure and install tile but

  • I am short on funds at the moment
  • i am concerned about potential water leaks to the unit below (we have been having a series of small 3.0 earthquake lately and like the idea of a sealed unit
  • I may have to sell my condo and needed a quick and inexpensive upgrade to the bathroom

My questions:

  • Is a 1/2 width clearance ok when installing a frameless shower door? I am assuming the hinge side clearance should be as close as possible to prevent water leakage and I know I could purchase clear plastic trim for the side and bottom of the door.
  • Is this door too heavy for the structure of the enclosure and if so can I reinforce it will a full height flat metal strip that would reduce my width clearance by an 1/8 of inch to only 3/8th?
  • I can purchase a 65″ x 2″ chromed or nickled flat bar and secure it to the fiber glass frame and the stud in the wall with screws every 6 inches to increase the structural integrity of the fiber glass frame and then secure the door hinges over the metal strip and into the stud..


It is difficult to find a prefab door that is only 65 inches high and still looks good at this price point. The doors with an adjustable width have a fixed height or if they are at the right height they really look cheep. My current piano hinge door if it was new looks better than the pivot doors they have on the market. There are partial frameless doors that look ok but again difficult to find the right size and color at a price in my budget.

Any suggestions or referrals would be appreciated



Hi Dan,

The frameless door that you have selected is about the right size (width) for your opening. I normally allow 7/16” clearance overall in the width. It looks like your configuration will allow for ½” overall, which is fine. If, indeed, you are able to use screws long enough to anchor into a stud, the weight will not be an issue. The standard height of manufactured “semi-frameless” doors is a little more than 65” (around 66-1/2” or so). As far as price goes, I don’t think you can beat the deal you are getting on the frameless door.

Waterproofing is a different issue entirely. If you are concerned about leaking, you don’t want to install a frameless door. They are designed to be used where small amounts of water seepage is “no big deal.” You can add various types of plastic seals to prevent leaks, but it is just about impossible to prevent all leaks.

Let me know how things work out,

Chris Phillips – Owner

Showcase Shower Door – CCL #957120
1970 17th Avenue #C – Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 464-3899 – FAX: (831) 477-0760



Re-using Shower Doors?

Dear Chris,

I read your post where a blogger wanted to replace the trim on their current glass doors with aluminum and reuse the glass.  I see that you warn not to do this. However, I do have a similar question.  Is it possible to reuse the entire door and surround.  My door is trimmed in silver/aluminum (whatever it is) and I actually like it.  The problem is that I do not like the builder’s grade shower stall that we have . We are hoping to replace it with tile.  Would it be possible to reuse those doors if they were to be kept whole? I have attached a picture for your review.  I may not be the best at my description.







Hi Kenya,

It may be possible to reuse your shower enclosure. It will have to be removed very carefully to prevent destroying the materials or breaking the glass. The opening where the enclosure is installed will need to be nearly exactly the same in order for the old materials to work. Normally, I discourage this, because it rarely works out… If the shower stall ends up being ½” bigger or smaller after the work is done, the old enclosure won’t work.

On the other hand, you have nothing to lose (other than the time and effort put into trying it). So, why not?

Good luck!