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Posts Tagged ‘bathroom shower door’

Installing Customer-Supplied Shower Enclosures

We get calls from people who have purchased shower enclosures online and are looking for qualified technicians to install them. In the past, we have made it our policy to avoid installing customer-supplied shower door kits. There are so many different types of enclosures made by various companies… We have found it to be a good idea to just avoid the pitfalls of getting involved with installing them. We have vendors who can supply any type of enclosure that we are not able to manufacture ourselves, so it has made sense to us to install only the doors and enclosures the we sell.

Recently, glass barn door style shower enclosures have become very popular. I first became familiar with these types of enclosures when Cardinal came out with the “Skyline” series enclosure. This was the first frameless sliding enclosure of that type (to the best of my knowledge). It wasn’t long before other manufacturers began to make similar products. It took a while, however, to find any that matched the quality of the Cardinal version.

Today, they are common, and are likely all being made at the same factory overseas… We have started to take orders to install enclosures for people who have purchased them elsewhere, having become so familiar with them. There are other, even more innovative frameless sliding shower enclosures that have come on the market. One such product is the “Essence” series enclosure from C. R. Laurence. It utilizes 1/2″ tempered glass, and has no cross bar at all. This enclosure has become my favorite sliding shower door to install. It’s AWESOME!

For more information, feel free to get in touch.

-Chris

http://www.ShowcaseShowerDoor.com

RE: Just One Bracket (?)

Chris,

As shown in the attached picture, our contractor installed our new glass shower panel using only one bracket (along the tiled wall near the top of the panel).  A clear adhesive (supposedly “the best material in the business”) was also used along that tiled wall, as well as along the bottom of the panel where it meets a plank tile threshold atop – hopefully – proper shimming).

I can’t find another example of just one bracket being used on anyone’s glass shower panel, anywhere on the internet.  Should I be concerned, not just for aesthetics, but also for safety?

Thanks,

Bill


Hi Bill,

We use shower door engineering software from C.R. Laurence to design our enclosures. In order to meet their minimum standard for structural support at the bottom, two brackets or a channel securing the bottom edge are required. I am aware that other shower door companies sometimes use one clamp at the bottom and two clamps on the vertical edge of the glass, but never one single clamp on a panel like the one shown in you photo. This is the first time I have ever seen something like that.

Silicone really is about the best material in the business… I’m guessing that is what was used here? The truth is that the silicone alone probably does have enough strength to keep the panel secure without any other mechanical fasteners. But the only legitimate reason I can see for someone doing it that way would be for looks. It doesn’t sound like you particularly like how it looks, though. I think the most logical explanation for this is that someone forgot the cutouts for the clamps at the bottom of the glass panel, and now they are pretending they meant to do it that way.

Whenever we sell a frameless shower enclosure, we supply a sketch of how it will look when completed. It is a good policy to make the contractor do that for you. Then you can compare the finished product to the sketch and see how close they are to one another. We all make mistakes sometimes. When that happens, it is best to just do the right thing and buy new glass. It never pays off, in the long run, to try cutting corners.

Thanks for writing,

-Chris

“Headerless” Shower Enclosures

Many people who are having frameless shower enclosures installed are looking for the least amount of hardware possible. The challenge to keeping the hardware minimal is greatest when the door hinges from a fixed panel. The stress that is going to be placed on the glass needs to be taken into consideration. When a door hinges from a fixed panel, all of the weight of the door will be supported by the glass, in many cases. There is also the added stress created by the door when it swings in and out, and the initial stress of moving the door past center when the hinges are self-centering.

In many cases, this type of configuration requires additional support at the top of the stationary glass panel. There are a few ways to address this; by using a header, a support bar, or simply extending the height of the fixed panel all the way to the ceiling. The use of top and bottom mounting hinges allow much of the weight of the door to rest on the floor or curb. The top hinge only needs to take the amount of weight required to hold the door upright, and allow for the door to hinge.

By using manufacturer’s recommended clamps, it is possible to hinge a door from a fixed panel without additional support at the top. There are limits to the size and weight of the panels, of course. There have been some great new innovations over the past few years that allow an even more seamless installation then was ever possible before. If you need a frameless shower enclosure, or just have questions, be sure to get in touch… We can help!

Recent Installation

Love your blog. We recently had an install where the door and supporting panel were installed but the panels were 1/8″ shorter than the rest of the shower.  The company wants to grind the other two panels to remedy the situation.  My preference would be got the two panels be remade and reinstalled.  What is your opinion to grinding to attempt to fix the problem.

Jim

Image result for tempered glass   Image result for tempered glass

Hi Jim,

This is a great question, and is definitely worth addressing. Most people probably know that tempered glass cannot be cut, drilled, or otherwise fabricated. All of the cutting, notching, and other modifications are made to the glass first. Tempering is the last step in the process. What many people may not know about tempered glass is that it is possible to remove a small amount of material from the edge of the glass by grinding or polishing. It is a risky proposition, and can result in the glass shattering into thousands of tiny pieces.

One method for removing a small amount of glass from the edge is to put the glass through a glass polisher. These machines are designed to create a finished edge on glass, and remove a small amount of material in the process (about 1/16 of an inch). This could be done on each end, and that would achieve the 1/8” reduction in size that is desired. Years ago, I was able to send a tempered glass panel back to the manufacturer to get this procedure done. It is really the only effective way to accomplish what is being discussed. At some point, the glass fabricators began to refuse to do this, though. If a piece of tempered glass does break in the process of going through the polisher (a process known as “running down” a glass panel) the results are somewhat catastrophic. The machine needs to be shut down, taken apart, cleaned out, etc. Not a good thing…

I think your instincts are correct. The panels should be remade and reinstalled. We all make mistakes sometimes, and the solution is to replace the glass. No one likes to do it, but it is the proper solution.

Thanks for your kind words, and keep reading!

-Chris

http://www.ShowcaseShowerDoor.com

We Fix Botched Shower Door Installations


We were recently contacted by a gentleman who had a shower enclosure installed in a neighboring community (Santa Clara).The job went terribly wrong, and he needed some help. He was looking for advice about what to do about the poor glass fitting and bad caulking job done by the previous glass contractor. My advice to him was to have the original contractor come back and clean up the mess.



After a couple of weeks, he contacted me again and told me that he wanted me to come and redo the installation for him. Apparently, he was tired of dealing with the existing contractor, and just wanted it to be finished. Although I don’t normally do work in that area, I agreed to come out and see what I could do for him.



The silicone used by the other shower door installer had gone bad, and hadn’t really adhered to the tile anyway. I’m happy to say that we were able to take out the glass, and reinstall the enclosure using parts that the previous contractor had provided. It feels good to be able to make a bad installation turn out right.

Check out our website at showcaseshowerdoor.com

RE: Replacing Shower Door Hinge Gaskets

How difficult is it to replace the gaskets in the frameless glass shower door hinges? Do you have to take the door all the way off or can you do it one hinge at a time and leave the other two hinges attached?  If you do have to take the door all the way off, do you also have to unscrew the hinges from the wall or can you leave the hinges attached to the wall and just remove them from the glass?

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You may be able to do them one at a time with the glass in place. It will be a little more challenging with three hinges rather than two, but the gaskets are pretty thin, and should be easy enough to change in a small space.

I normally have one guy inside and one guy outside. I put wood shims under the glass to make sure it doesn’t shift when the hinge cover plate comes off. You should be able to remove the two screws in the cover plate without removing the four screws that anchor the hinge to the wall. If you wet the gaskets with a little rubbing alcohol they will slip right into place, and get a good seal.

Let me know how it works out,

Chris Phillips – Owner

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

IMG_4543      IMG_45481

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