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Posts Tagged ‘clips’

Silicone Free Shower Enclosure

From: Belinda Shaw

We are in the process of getting a quote for a frameless  shower.  I recently saw a post from your archives about not using silicone around the base of the glass to seal from water.  “Frameless shower enclosers are not designed to be completely water -tight.”   I am very interested not using silicone due to the mold that can occur after time. I am concerned that our contractor will not be cooperative in not using a sealer.  He also likes to use the u-channel instead of the brackets to hold the glass in place.  I like the look of brackets instead of the u-channel.  Can you send me more information about not using the silicone to seal and any info on use of brackets over the u-channel?  Thank you for your help in this matter.

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Hi Belinda,

I’m glad you asked that question. The bottom line is that you have the final say whether your shower enclosure gets caulked or not. If you have come to terms with the fact that your shower may “leak” a little when you used it, you are a good candidate for a frameless shower enclosure. There are some advantages to using channel rather than glass clamps. One factor is that the channel will make the enclosure hold water a little better. Some people think that the channel gives the enclosure a cleaner look, as the clamps are a little bulky. It’s a matter of personal preference…

On the other hand, glass clamps are the preferred choice of designers and architects. Many people feel that this is the definitive look for a frameless shower enclosure. Again, you are the one who gets to decide. If you do go with the glass clamps, don’t try to fill in the gaps with clear silicone. It completely defeats the purpose of going frameless. You want the clean “glass only” look, with just a little hardware as needed. One thing we have been doing recently is using a dry silicone tubing to fill gaps where needed. If too much water is escaping, and the gaps between the glass and tile are large enough, you can use the silicone tubing instead. This just gets stuffed into the gaps, and looks really clean. If you ever want to replace it, you just pull it out an replace it. There is no cutting it out and scraping off the residue.

Good luck with your shower enclosure! I hope it goes well, and you end up with the shower that you really want.

-Chris Phillips

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: 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

Installing Shower Panels Without Using Glass Clamps

Hi Chris, so glad I found your amazing site.  I live in Toronto, Canada and have been renovating our main bathroom for about six months now.  My wife and I have decided to finish the shower enclosure with a W36″ X H92″ X D1/2 tempered glass panel (floor to ceiling) without a door.  Can we install this on the tiled floor/wall and ceiling with just silicone or should we use clips as well? A crown molding will be installed after for aesthetics that should help hold it in place.

Kind Regards,

Robin and Juliet,

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Dear Robin and Juliet,

I wouldn’t try installing the glass without using clips. Silicone is quite structural, and is probably strong enough to the panel, but it would be pushing the limits a bit. If you have a groove cut in the tile that the glass could rest in, I would feel comfortable with forgoing the clips. We often “hide” a dark colored channel in the tile that is invisible once the glass is installed, yet holds the glass quite firmly.

Thanks for writing,

-Chris