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Posts Tagged ‘aptos’

Applied Frames for Existing Mirrors

One issue that is common to bathroom mirrors is the pealing of silvering around the edges of the glass. This phenomenon is known as “black-edge,” and is especially a problem near the coast. It is a type of oxidation that happens (like rust)… I won’t bore you with all of the technical mumbo-jumbo.

There are couple of ways to address this problem before it happens. One is to treat the edges of the mirror with an industrial sealer. This prevents moisture from compromising the reflective layers of the mirror and prevents black-edge. The other method, which we prefer, is to provide copper-free mirrors that are very resistant to the contamination that causes this problem.

Aptos Mirror Frame-01  Aptos Mirror Frame-02

But what if your mirror is already showing signs of the hideous mirror disease? Is there any way to fix it? Sadly, no… There are really only two options. One is to remove and replace the mirror with a new one. The other is to use an applied frame. These mirror frames are made to be installed on existing frameless mirrors, and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. I had my doubts about them, and haven’t really suggested them much in the past… The cost of having them installed is about 25% less than just replacing the mirror with a new one, in most cases. I didn’t really see the point…

Aptos Mirror Frame-03 Aptos Mirror Frame-04

Then we actually installed some of them on a job in Aptos, California last week. I was really impressed with the high quality of the product, and the way the frames looked after installation. Having had first hand experience with these applied mirror frames, I really like them, and would recommend them to anyone. Even though the cost savings isn’t that significant, the experience for the customer is very low-impact, which is important when it comes to renovation. There is virtually no mess of any type, no dirt, no noise, and the work can be accomplished in a very short amount of time. Best of all, the result is a beautiful framed mirror instead of the old mirror with bad edges.

For more information, give me a call at (831) 464-3899.

-Chris

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Frameless Shower Enclosures for Bathtubs

These days there are more and more people requesting frameless heavy glass enclosures for their bathtub showers. Several years ago, people began asking if this was a possibility… today, this is pretty common. There are newer innovations that incorporate sliding glass panels with heavy glass enclosures that are suitable for bathtubs. Among these are the “Skyline” series enclosure by Cardinal, and the “Serenity” series by CRL. The latest sliding frameless enclosure is called the “Essence” series enclosure. Click this link – http://youtu.be/EmSJPjmRGBI – to check it out.

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The enclosures shown in the photos above were designed, manufactured, and installed by Showcase Shower Door. These enclosures are designed according to customer specifications, and include Diamond Seal treatment as a standard feature. Diamond Seal helps to prevent water spotting, and protects glass from the permanent damage that hard water can cause over time. If you need help with ideas for your tub enclosure, or just have questions, give me a call any time at (831) 464-3899.

Showcase Shower Door – Our New Location

Wow! I can’t believe how long it has been since I updated my blog. There has been so much happening in the past 30 days that I have been forced to prioritize everything that I do, and I’m afraid that my blog simply didn’t make the top 20 (sorry.) My wife, Tiffany, and I (along with our dog Cecilia,) relocated our residence this month. The move went very quickly and quite smoothly, thanks to our awesome friends. They showed up in droves to help us load, unload, and move our stuff! We are really blessed to have such a great bunch of people in our lives. At the same time, we moved our business delivery address to a different part of Live Oak (in Santa Cruz.) The new delivery location is working out great for us. And in addition to all of that, we also signed a lease for our first commercial building, right here in Santa Cruz! The new 1200 square foot location, at 1970 17th Avenue, is large enough to house our shop, office, and showroom.

         

Of course, we just moved in, and all of those things are still in the process of getting set up, but we are operating out of the new store right now. We’re fixing up the front “showroom” area, where we will be able to meet with customers, display some product samples, and stuff like that. We still need to get our sign for the front of the building, and finish getting stuff organized, but we are making excellent progress. We have been staying pretty busy with installations at the same time, so the move has been a bit challenging. I’m not complaining, though… You guys know how much I love shower doors, so this is a pretty exciting time for me. Expect a lot of new and exciting things to be happening at Showcase Shower Door in the coming months. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as things continue to happen. Thanks to our loyal customers who continue to make our business a success!

Time for a Comment?

Hello, I came across your website/blog when looking for opinions on mounting a frameless shower door through glass tile.  If you have a moment to offer your opinion I would appreciate it but I also understand if you don’t have time to opine on a project in Minnesota.

The wall is 2×4 stud-1/2” backer board-acrylic modified thinset-1/4” 4×4 glass tile.  The opening is 57” and 32” of that will be dual-swing door with 2 heavy duty hinges and the other piece will be fixed with a metal base and single high wall mount bracket.  The installer said they can try to install it but they might crack the tile, which is understandable.  However, I was wondering if you have ever used or thought about using a metal spacer that the installation screw can pass through and sink into the stud.  If the spacer were an 1/8” proud of the glass tile, passed through the backer board and into the wood a set depth it would then compress the wood stud as it was tightened rather than the tile.

Thanks,

Eric

     

Hi Eric,

Thanks for taking time to contact me. I am always interested in hearing about shower door projects – especially when there is some challenging element involved. It’s not unusual to see glass tile being used in shower stalls these days. When I first started coming across it, several years ago, I was pretty nervous about it. I find that the process of drilling through the tile is the tricky part. Although it is possible to drill through glass with a standard masonry bit, I prefer to use a diamond drill or a “spear-point” bit. The key is to take your time, and keep the material cool to prevent the glass from breaking.

Your idea for using a metal spacer is pretty clever. If I understand you correctly, you are proposing the idea of a hollow metal “tube” large enough to allow the screw to pass through, preventing compression of the glass by the screw when tightened. What I do in this situation is actually very similar. I use a plastic expansion plug in the hole, which protects the glass tile by preventing the screw from coming in contact with it. The down side to using a metal spacer is that the weight if the glass pulling down on the hinge could possibly cause it to, eventually, come in contact with the glass. A plastic plug acts as an isolator, even if the sheer force of the weight of the door forces it downward.

Either way, I have found that glass tile does an excellent job of holding up against a shower door installation. Glass is every bit as strong as most tile, and is actually a very similar material. When you run screws through the hinge plate, through the tile, through the backer board, and finally into the stud, the force of the fasteners is actually spread out over the whole surface area of the hinge’s back plate. The best thing you can do to keep the glass tile from breaking is to drill the holes carefully, and keep the screws from coming in contact with the glass once the door is hung.

I hope this helps,

-Chris

Replacing a Shower Enclosure with a Frameless One

Some people want to know whether they can upgrade their existing shower enclosure to a European style “frameless” shower enclosure without having to replace their tile. We recently had a customer who had upgraded their bathroom, and had some regrets about having settled for a standard, manufactured shower enclosure. The biggest challenge to replacing a “semi-frameless” shower enclosure with a true frameless one is hiding the screw holes in the tiles. In some cases, the previous installer will have drilled the holes into the grout lines. When this is the case, you can simply fill in the missing grout with little effort. This, however, is rarely the case. There is also the issue of removing the silicone sealant, and discoloration due to the “weathering” of the tile, granite, or marble.

 

     

Here are some before and after photos of a shower enclosure that we recently replaced with a 1/2″ frameless shower enclosure. We were able to remove the old enclosure, clean up the silicone sealant, and locate the new shower door and fixed panel on top of the area where the old enclosure used to be. We were also able to find silicone caulk that matched the color of the tile, and used it to fill the holes in the tile left behind by the previous shower door installation. Even though the glass is clear, it is impossible to see the old holes through the glass. As you can see, the improvement is pretty incredible.

Protecting Shower Glass from Water Damage

I would say that the question I am most frequently asked is whether or not there is a practical way to protect shower glass from water damage. These days, customers are remodeling their bathrooms using granite, marble, and high-end tile work. They are looking for a frameless glass enclosure that will accent the beauty of the tile, and clear glass is the obvious choice. But keeping it clean and looking like new can be a real challenge. Over the years, I have seen a number of products that claim to prevent water spots. I have been keeping an eye on the industry to see which brand would come out on top. Although the different products do basically the same thing, it seems that the real challenge has been coming up with the right system to maintain the treatment.

     

Of course, I want to be able to offer my customers a way to keep their glass looking beautiful for years… At the same time, I feel that I am putting my own reputation on the line when I endorse a surface protection product. Showcase Shower Door is proud to be a local dealer of Diamond Seal Systems repellant coatings. Diamond Seal is a green technology that comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. Having worked with Diamond Seal Systems for years, I feel comfortable recommending it to my own customers. Diamond Seal delivers what it promises and, when properly maintained, continues to work indefinitely. We offer it as an option with all shower doors and enclosures, and more than half of our customers are taking advantage of this exciting new technology. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at (831) 272-2341.

Replacing that Old Shower Enclosure with a New One

Here are some before and after photos of a shower enclosure that we replaced this past week in Aptos. George and Jackie are a lovely couple of senior citizens who were referred to me by Josh McAuley of McAuley & Son Custom Tile (247-9856.) The couple had spoken to a few different companies about getting their rickety old shower door replaced, and ended up with more questions than answers. It’s not surprising that by the time I spoke with them, they were pretty much burned out on the whole process. They were also a bit suspicious of me, another contractor that, they figured, had come to sell them something that they really didn’t want, or couldn’t afford.

     

This is a 1/4″ glue-chip bypass enclosure with brushed nickel aluminum and hardware

As I told them about designs, glass types, and features available, Jackie interrupted “but the other company told me that…” I replied “Well, I’m here to tell you the truth!” I wish I had a photo of the look on their faces when I said that! George was also impressed to learn that I would be the “technician” who would install his enclosure personally. Anyway, needless to say, we made the sale, made two new friends, and they LOVE their new shower doors. Jackie got exactly the enclosure that she was looking for, and George can enjoy a peaceful existence now that his wife is completely satisfied. Sometimes people think that because we do so many fancy and luxurious frameless shower enclosures, that we are not interested in small, less expensive ones like the one you see here. The opposite is true. We are happy to replace your old existing shower door or enclosure with a brand-new Showcase shower door! Call us today!