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Posts Tagged ‘california shower’

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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Recent Shower Door Project in Santa Cruz

This is a project we just completed near Seascape Resort in Santa Cruz County:

Installing Customer-Supplied Shower Enclosures

From time to time I am contacted by a potential customer who has purchased a shower door or enclosure elsewhere. They have found a “great deal” on a shower door online, or at a local home improvement center. Now they need to find someone who knows how to install it for them. My policy is never to install a customer-supplied shower door. There are just too many things that can go wrong. Online suppliers and home improvement stores are there to sell shower doors to people who are capable of installing them. It’s just common sense that, if you don’t know how to install a shower door, you probably aren’t qualified to buy the right one in the first place. Chances are that the customer thinks they are going to save a little money by buying the materials from one store, and having it installed by someone else. This is a big mistake. A customer who is looking for the cheapest way to do something is a disaster waiting to happen!

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I have been doing business with a number of different suppliers for many years. There are a lot of great products available from local manufacturers. On the other hand, there is a lot of cheap crap that is made in China. Odds are that the guy who has done a Google search for “the cheapest shower door on planet Earth” hasn’t come up with a very high quality enclosure. I learned early on that it was a really bad idea to get involved in partnering with people who want to go this route. There are few things less enjoyable then being in a stranger’s bathroom with a shower door kit from some far-off land… hundreds of little parts that are made of inferior metals (or plastic instead of metal!) Instructions that were written by someone who obviously doesn’t speak English, and having the materials crumble under the smallest amount of pressure. Great! Not only have I wasted my day trying to install this piece of junk, now I look incompetent, and have to buy this guy a new crappy shower door and try to get out of this mess! No thank you!
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Recently, I let a customer talk me into installing his shower door (bought online). I told him that “I don’t install customer-supplied shower doors.” But he was such a nice guy, and practically begged me to do it. I have a soft spot for people who are in need, and it’s hard for me to say “no.” It had been years since I had agreed to install one of these things, and had forgotten what a nightmare it was to do this. I explained that it was going to be expensive. I went over the price with him a few times to me absolutely sure he understood how much it would cost. To make a long story short, after installing the shower door, the guy didn’t want to pay me. Go figure! It was just what I needed to remind me that my policy is a good one. Never install a customer-supplied shower enclosure.

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.

Video Testimonial – Ross Taylor in Soquel, CA

Another video testimonial from yet another satisfied Showcase Shower Door customer. This one is in the hills of Soquel, California. The enclosure is a 1/2″ frameless neo-angle shower enclosure. Thanks Ross!

Is it Possible to Reuse the Glass in My Exisiting Shower Enclosure?

Chris,

I was told by a friend that I could use the current glass I have in my shower to create a seamless or frameless shower.  Can that be done? I have a gold frame now, but want it frameless.

Thanks,

Terry

Hi Terry,

It may be possible to reuse glass from your framed shower enclosure to create a frameless one, but I have never heard of anyone doing it. There are a lot of reasons why used glass from a manufactured enclosure wouldn’t work well in a frameless one. Here are a few things to consider:

1) The glass in a framed enclosure is (or should be) tempered safety glass. Tempered glass is impossible to cut, drill, or otherwise fabricate. You will be stuck using the glass exactly as it is in terms of its size and shape.

2) The glass in a framed enclosure is thin. Normally 3/16” to 1/4”. Much too thin to be practical in a frameless shower enclosure.

3) Once you get the glass out of the frame, you are likely to find that the edges are much different in appearance than the rest of the panel. Since the part of the glass that has been hidden from view has also been spared from exposure to the elements, there is going to be a visible difference.

4) Consider the hazards. Even though tempered glass is safer than regular plate-glass, it can still cut you. I have an employee who had to get a few stitches from a broken piece of tempered glass. Reusing glass in a shower enclosure would be a lot of work for even an experienced glazier, and would yield results the probably wouldn’t be all that impressive.

In my opinion, it just isn’t worth the effort that it would take to take on this kind of a challenge. You may get it to work, but you aren’t going to end up with the beautiful frameless glass enclosure that you really want.

Thanks!

-Chris

Tile Dilemma with Sliding Frameless Glass Tub Door

Hello Chris –

I have found your website most informative and helpful, and appreciate your experience and goodwill! We would currently like to install a new frameless glass sliding tub door across our standard 60 inch bathtub. We have an existing architectural detail that is challenging us. The tile listel and borders on either side of it protrude out where the sliding doors need to meet flush with the sides of the other tiles. I have enclosed some pictures that highlight our dilemma. Do you have any experience with a similar situation? Should a tile person cut a channel in the area of concern? If so, should the channel be lined with metal or finished in some other way? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Barbara and Scott

The protruding tile border near the top of the tiled bath enclosure requires slots to be cut into them on both enclosure sides so that the shower door can be installed flush with the vertical enclosure wall.

I’ve attached photos of the existing bath enclosure and of the proposed shower door.

So that the slots have a more finished look, I proposed to also install aluminum or stainless steel “U-brackets” inside the slots to cover the exposed cut tile. The U-bracket sides could be shaped (by me if necessary) to match the contour of the tile header. Does this sound reasonable to you? Or would the tile person create a “finished” surface to the channel?

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards,

Scott and Barbara

Dear Scott and Barbara,

Thanks for writing. Yes, this is a common issue, and normally, the trim tile does get notched for the glass to sit flush with the adjacent tile. I have never seen a situation where the area was inlayed with a channel, the way that you are proposing. It sounds like a pretty good idea, though.

The biggest challenge is always getting the notches laid out correctly, assuring that they are in the proper location before the cutting begins.

Feel free to contact me if you have any additional concerns.

Thanks again,

Chris Phillips – Owner