Archive

Posts Tagged ‘edge seal’

Clear Plastic Edge Seals on Frameless Shower Enclosures

Hi Chris,

We are having a frameless shower door installed soon. The installer came to measure the dimensions of the shower, which are 36 x 28 x 36 with the shower door opening in the middle. The installer said that we have to have a header on the top because the door opens in the middle. From what we have been reading this is correct. Our main concern is that he said that we have to have plastic stripping down each of the side panels and at the opening between the door and glass panel.

We were really excited to have a frameless door and now it seems like these plastic strips down all of the panels will be a detraction. We have been reading that silicone can be used if leaking in this small shower would be a concern.

Our question to you is, should we let him put in the plastic strips? We went from being excited about having this glass door installed to dreading these unsightly glass walls with plastic strips?

Thanks,

Diane and Keith

Image result for shower edge seal     Image result for shower edge seal

Dear Diane and Keith,

Thanks for the question. I am in agreement with you about the plastic strips (edge seals). Although they are available in clear poly-carbonate, and blend in fairly well, I always try to avoid them. As you point out in your note, they do detract from the beauty of the shower enclosure. There are, of course, certain instances where they are unavoidable, but this is rare.

The most important thing to keep in mind about frameless shower enclosures is the fact that they are NOT watertight. They are not meant to be. This is a topic I cover in my blog regularly… here are two articles from last year where I talk about this:

https://showcaseshowerdoor.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/re-38-inch-frameless-hinged-shower-door/

https://showcaseshowerdoor.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/to-silicone-or-not-to-silicone/

If your installer is going to try to make your frameless shower enclosure hold water by adding plastic seals to the glass, he is fighting a losing battle! There is the temptation to sell the most expensive product to a customer (for obvious reasons) regardless of whether it is the right solution for their particular situation. It is sad, but it does happen. If you need a shower door that is water tight, don’t buy a frameless one. You will be sorry! Wait until you have a bathroom that is suitable for a frameless enclosure before you install one. Your shower door salesperson should know the difference.

Thanks for reading my blog!

-Chris

http://showcaseshowerdoor.com/

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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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Gap Spacing in Frameless Shower Doors

Hi Chris

We’ve had our bathroom remodeled and I have a question about the frameless shower door. The glass was custom measured but when the door was installed the gap between the door and the adjacent glass isn’t uniform. It is 1/8″ at the top and 3/8″ at the bottom. I’ve asked the contractor to replace it. This doesn’t seem unreasonable. Also they put a plastic sweep along the edge. I think they did this to try and mask the gap. Is a sweep needed and normal?  Most pictures I’ve seen don’t have them.

You will also see in the picture silicone along the base of the shower glass we had the tile laid at a slight angle to allow Water to flow into the shower so I didn’t think this silicone is needed.  Your experience?

Thanks,

Brad

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Hi Brad,

Sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your recent shower enclosure installation. I think it is reasonable to reject the 1/4″ difference in size of the gap between the door and fixed panel. The industry standard is 1/16″ – but I think even that is pushing it. The edge seal along that edge is probably there to hide the condition you are describing. I never use a plastic seal there unless it is requested by the homeowner.

I also try to avoid using silicone whenever possible… Again, unless the homeowner requests it, I won’t. A frameless shower enclosure is not intended to be completely water-tight. They are to be used in showers where a small amount of water escaping is acceptable. These are issues that I am careful to discuss with my customer at the time of the sale. I explain the options and always try to dissuade my customers from making me caulk the shower. In some spots it is unavoidable, but I will let them make that call. It is way easier to add silicone later, if it is needed, than it is to remove it after it has been applied.

Seals in Steam Shower Enclosures

The frameless door in my steam shower is supposed to go to the ceiling. It was installed with a plastic edging that causes the door to scrape the ceiling so hard the paint comes off. I took off the plastic edging but there is now a gap at the top of the door. Is this normal? How should it have been done?

Virginia

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Hi Virginia,

When people get a new steam shower they often think that the enclosure needs to be air-tight. Not only is this untrue, it is a bad idea. While it is obvious that you want to trap the steam inside of the shower so you can enjoy the hot, steamy goodness of it all, it isn’t necessary to become obsessed with the tiniest bit of steam escaping. Only you can decide if enough of the steam is staying in the shower.

It is always a challenge to keep the maximum amount of steam in while making the door operate correctly. It sounds like, in your case, it required removing one of the seals. You have to decide if the steam shower is functioning the way you think it should without it. If you feel that too much steam is escaping, it may be possible to attach an edge seal to the ceiling of the shower, rather than the glass. Sometimes that is a solution…

Let me know how things work out, OK?

Chris

RE: Adhesive for Frameless Shower Doors

​Hello,

I’ve been reading the info on your website and wonder if I may ask a question.

I would come to your shop but we live in Rochester, NY.

We have a frameless shower door and the seal is coming loose. Can you recommend an adhesive so I can attach the seal?

Thank You.

Kind Regards,

Jeff

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Hi Jeff,

The adhesive used for that purpose is clear VHB (very high bond) tape. CR Laurence provides a few different sizes of this tape that works excellent for shower door edge seals. If you want to get some of the VHB tape from CRL, you can visit your local glass shop and see if they have some in stock. If they don’t have it, they can certainly order it for you. Otherwise, you can try your local home improvement store. They will most likely have some clear VHB tape in stock. You may have to trim it to size, and that may be a little tricky.

Let me know how it works out for you,

-Chris

Shower Issues Down Under

Chris, thanks for taking the time to put up so much information on your blog. The internet is amazing in it’s reach – even her in Sydney, Australia.!

We have an old frameless glass shower that has a glued on PVC type strip with a felt seal to stop the water escaping. Over time it has gone moldy and is quite disgusting and impossible to clean (the felt) . I want to remove it , but am unsure of what to use to get it off. So far a screwdriver has just resulted in the hinges developing a creak after I applied down ward pressure to lever off the strip.

Any suggestions.? Also a replacement strategy / recommendation would be great.

Much appreciated and happy to show you around if you ever make it down under.

 

P912WS_16524

    

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your kind words. Glad to know that people are reading my blog in Sydney!

I would use a solvent to soften the glue before trying to remove the plastic strip. Something like “Goof-off” or “Goo Gone” should do the trick. These are products that you won’t have to worry about harming your glass in any way. Try to get the stuff in underneath the strip, between the plastic and the glass, if you can.

As far as replacement… I have never seen what you are describing before. The standard seals for frameless doors these days are all-plastic. Usually polycarbonate, acrylic, or a combination of both. They should be fairly easy to find, I would imagine, even in Australia. Check with your local glass shop. If you can’t find anything, let me know, and we’ll see if we can figure out how to get you something.

Thanks again, and best to you and yours!

Chris