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Posts Tagged ‘advise’

RE: My new frameless shower door is pulling the marble away from the wall!

Hi Chris,

My 3 piece L shape frameless shower was installed about a month ago and the original installer had a bit of trouble lining up the top corner of the L in the two glass pieces that came together above garden tub ledge and 6″ wide piece on front.  He also cut his hand and was having some difficulty with the bead of silicon that he place from top to bottom of that corner, it was a gooey looking stream down the inside corner.

He had arrived late in the day, almost 5 pm and said another installer would return and re set the panel over the garden tub ledge to make the L corner pieces match at the same height.  I gave him some band aids and he was on his way home around 7 pm.  We were to leave the shower door slightly ajar 24 hours to let silicon and installed frameless shower “set” .

We did so and noticed 24 hours later when closing the shower door that it squeaked with a low groan when oped or closed. This groan became progressively louder.  The door is connected to a marble wall insert as we didn’t change the tile, etc. we just replaced a gold framed shower with frameless.

When the second installer arrived, he didn’t reset the glass wall that sits on the garden tub ledge, but he did remove the messy silicon and placed a very nice even bead of silicon from top to bottom of the L corner and voluntarily removed door hinges and plastic trim around door edges so the squeak is gone.  Door now is trimmed on bottom & hinge side.

Follow up contact with the dealer revealed they believe a 1/4″ difference not 1/16″ in glass pieces at the joint is industry standard and does not require adjustment of any kind.

Just a day ago I noticed the caulk between the wall and marble has split as the marble wall piece has pulled away from our bathroom wall.  The shower door hinge is rubbing and the the top right corner of door now hits and grabs the plastic strip on adjacent glass wall piece while the bottom has its original space.

OMG,  can the marble piece be pushed back into place?  The bolts at the top of the marble wall enclosure piece appear to be loosening.

Do you see this occur often?  Should I have known not to replace my shower with frameless if I did not also replace the marble sheet wall enclosure?

Please help,

LS

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Hi Lisa,

I’m sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your new shower enclosure. I took a look at the photos you sent, and I see what you are talking about. It is hard for me to fault the installer of the shower enclosure for the marble surround coming away from the wall. At least, not completely. If there is a wood stud placed behind the marble where the hinge lands, the installer should have used a screw long enough to reach through the marble wall (looks like it’s about an inch thick) and into the wood stud. A three-inch screw would do the trick. If, on the other hand, there is no wood to anchor into, the installer would have used an anchor of some type for the hinge to support the weight of the door.

More often than not, there is not a stud on the other side of the tile or marble to anchor into. We often use concrete anchors for this purpose, and they work just fine. There are some secrets to achieving success with this, though. If a plastic anchor (plug) is used for this purpose, and it isn’t pushed all the way through the marble and into the wall behind it, the marble will be supporting the weight of the door instead of the wall. That could cause the marble to come away from the wall the way yours is. I am guessing this is the issue in your case. If so, the solution is as simple as pulling the screws, replacing the existing plugs, and pushing them backinto the hole far enough to be anchored into the wall behind your shower. Longer screws could be used, if needed, to reach back there.

Let me know if this helps,

Chris
Showcase Shower Door

Curb-less Showers and Enclosures

Hi,

Great blog.  I am a homeowner with zero knowledge of showers.  We are custom building our house and my architect wants to put in a curbless shower in our master bath. Glass, frameless with a hinged door (to swing in and out). The shower is not huge. My friend tells me curbless showers can cause a lot of problems.  Something about the linear drains being impossible to even clear the hair out of and flooding.  I’m concerned that a curbless shower won’t allow us to use a bathmat in front of the door because there won’t be enough height. Yes, I am one of those people who gets bothered by the puddle of water that drips off the shower door when you open it.

Would you put a curbless shower into your new master bath or do you think the potential problems are not worth it?  My architect tells me that “no one” who builds a new house would put in a shower with a curb.

Thanks for your advice!

Elisa

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Hi Elisa,

Thanks for your question. There is no doubt that curb-less shower enclosures are the latest thing in the business. I work on these types of showers frequently, and they do have their issues… Like the ones you point out in your email. Architects, designers, and other professionals (people who don’t actually do the work) will often recommend things based on “what’s hot” rather than what is practical. I think your architect is overstating it when he says that no one uses curbs anymore. That’s just not true.

There are some great benefits to having a shower with no curb. We are all getting older, and curb-less showers are obviously easier to get in and out of for those with limited mobility. If that is the idea behind making your shower curb-less, it is a good one! You may also want to consider making the door opening as wide as possible for the same reason. As with most things, there are pros and cons to having a curb-less shower. My advice is that you do it the way YOU want it, and don’t allow yourself to be pressured into doing it some other way.

Best wishes!

Chris Phillips – Owner

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

http://www.ShowcaseShowerDoor.com

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RE: Glass Door Off Kilter

Hi Chris

Love your blog!

Quick question.  I have two homes with high end frameless glass shower doors. On two occasions I have left shower doors open for a few days, returning home to find the doors hanging too low (and not able to fully close).  This has happened at each house.

I assume this is because the doors are very heavy and weight of glass puts extra pressure on hinges making door sag off kilter.  Is this possible?

My contractor tells me no.

Your thoughts?

Michelle

2015-01-30 13.25.24

Frameless shower doors to have a tendency to settle a bit. The hinges are held in place by friction, and if the screws in the hinges aren’t tightened enough the glass will need to be readjusted from time to time. I offer a one-year warranty on shower doors, and offer to make this adjustment for free during the first year after installation.

It is possible that the house itself has settled a bit, but it is more likely that the hinges need adjustment. I’m surprised that your contractor would tell you otherwise… this is a common occurrence. It’s pretty easy to adjust the door. The secret is torquing down those screws nice and tight!

Question?

To whom it may concern. Not sure about the protocol here but I will ask away…

Please find attached a picture of the finished white carrera marble bathtub wall with an end view of the mosaic and ½” pencil tile that borders it. The pencil tile protrudes 3/8” from the finished tile wall. Obviously, there was no consideration for the installation of a swinging shower door.

I inherited this project (from my daughter) after the tile was installed. I have reviewed your website / blog and although some situations touch upon this subject they do not go far enough.

I need to install a 34” x 60” swinging shower door that sits “on top” of the tub but is anchored to the side vertical wall by two hinges. Fairly standard door design, includes a towel bar, and swinging hinges. Thinking out loud, I think there are three (perhaps more) ways to approach this:

  • Notch the pencil tiles to accommodate the glass and the arc of its swing. Indeed this is both tedious and requires great precision with an angle grinder. This approach is most referred to on the blog, but not exactly;
  • Notch the glass itself (prior to tempering) to accommodate the border and anchor to the wall business as usual. This adds about $75 – 100 to the cost of the door. Additional water escaping would be minimal.
  • Place a “block” (say white PVC) under each hinge (1/4”+) to move the glass away from the pencil tiles so that the door is free to swing. This approach introduces more water escaping at the wall since the gap has been increased ¼” between the glass and shower vertical wall for the total height of 60”, but is the simplest.

Whatever guidance you can provide would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,

John

Jen's Bathroom Bull nose_20141213_151609

Hi John,

There is actually a fourth option that you didn’t mention in your email. I am assuming that the accent tiles in the photo are installed at both sides of the opening. That would mean that you need to deal with this issue on both edges of the glass. The way I would recommend dealing with this would be to use three glass panels (see the sketch below)

sketch

This would allow you to make simple notches in the tiles to accommodate the fixed panels without any additional fabrication in the glass where it meets the wall. You would end up with a door that swings freely, has standard gaps, and doesn’t have the abnormal cutouts that notching around the tiles would leave you with.

Hope this helps,

-Chris

RE: Shower Panel Implosion

Chris

Nearly four years ago we remodeled our bathroom and purchased a frameless shower.   Tuesday when I was in the kitchen, there was the sound of an explosion.  I ran upstairs to find the panel next to the door had imploded.   I never knew this could happen and have googled and found out that it is possible from a defect in the glass,  they way it was installed, movement of the house.  I also found on the web that some glass shower companies are now offering a lifetime warranty on spontaneous imploding glass.

I called the company (I am in the Denver area) that installed the glass and asked them if there was any such warranty.  Their glass supplier is Oldcastle and they do not have such warranty.

The panel that broke rests solely on the tile and then is glue to the other panel at the corner.  There is a 90 degree corner clip at the top of those two panels.   My concern is purchasing another panel from the same company and having the same thing happen again in the future.    I am wondering what your thoughts are as to why the panel just imploded.  The location of the weak point  (just from the ripple pattern in the glass..see last picture)appeared to be about 6″ inches from the side that would be adjacent to the door, and it about 4″ up from the tub deck.  There is a cutout in the marble edging of the tub deck for the glass.

Should the glass have been mounted in a recessed track in the tile, or is that really just to protect against leaks.  We had no leaks.  I spoke to a different company in Denver and they said they always install the glass in either a visible channel or recessed channel, and she felt it was because the glass was directly on the tile.

Should the panel have been supported by another support to ceiling?  Could the glass have not been in the marble cutout correctly, such that there was a pressure point, and not enough silicone on each side?

If you think this was by house movement what are your recommendations for preventing it again.  At the same time I am concerned about the remaining pieces that did not break, the door and the piece on the tub deck.  If there was a some sort of flaw in the glass these likely were made in the same batch.

Thanks

Janet Bender

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Hi Janet,

I’m sorry to hear about your shower panel. It is true that tempered glass can break spontaneously. This is very rare, and is caused by “inclusions” in the glass. An inclusion is a bit of material that is not glass, but is instead a contaminant that is “included.” These inclusions are almost always nickel sulfide, and are microscopic in size. These tiny specks of material can lay dormant in the glass for years, and then cause a fracture out-of-the-blue.

We sometimes install shower glass in a channel and sometimes using glass clamps. This is strictly a matter of personal preference. I did notice that you said in your email that the panel was resting “solely on the tile…” If that is actually the case, it may have caused the glass to break. The glass should always set on a plastic or rubber setting block to isolate it from actually touching the tile. If there is no padding (with shower enclosures this is usually a clear plastic block) then you have an improper installation. The plastic blocks will prevent breakage from house-settling or even small tremors.

I hope you find this helpful,

Chris

Subject: Blog- wow!

Hi there,

I never write fan mail to shower cabinet specialists. Never. Just wanted to let you know that you are doing the internet the way the internet is supposed to be done for business. Your depth of information and ability to field questions (and even when there is no monetary gain in it – like questions from Australia) is so much better than anyone else in your field. We all want to do something ourselves if possible and you give straightforward advice and query/doubt resolution.

If I had you in my mothers neighborhood, you would be getting the call to advise, design and install her new walk-in shower without hesitation.

Kind regards,

Charlie

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Hi Charlie,

Thank you so much for your nice thoughts and kind words. As you can see, I LOVE shower doors! It’s a lot of fun creating them, installing them, and just talking to people about them. If there is something that I can do to help people have a great shower door experience, I am happy to pitch in. Even if there’s “nothing in it for me.” I feel very blessed to be able to do something that I love for a living, and enjoy being able to help out when I can.

Have a great 2014, Charlie!

-Chris

Visit ShowcaseShowerDoor.com!