Posts Tagged ‘environment’

RE: Glass Shower Doors and Surface Treatments


I happened upon your blog and am very impressed with the wealth of information there!

I just had a new shower enclosure (corner) put in, and am wondering whether it is necessary to treat the glass with some kind of sealant. The prior glass would get cloudy pretty quickly (I’m not sure whether our water is “hard”, or it was soap residue) and I found myself cleaning it every week, which was sometimes difficult to do since the only way I could get it really clean was to use a scour pad (non-scratch, of course!).

I saw on your blog that you recommend the “Liquid Diamond” product, but am not sure which one to order for my needs. Can you help? And, can you tell me whether this product needs to be reapplied, or how it is maintained?

Thank you so much for your time! (I am located in New York City).



Hi Miriam,

It’s a good idea to use some type of product to protect your shower glass. Nothing will prevent water spots from forming on glass, but you can prevent water stains from ruining your shower door. There are a couple of different options available. You can purchase “Rain-X” or a similar product and apply it yourself. My experience is that this type of product needs to be reapplied every few months. The great thing about the Liquid Diamonds product from Diamond Seal Systems is that it doesn’t require regular applications. The maintenance is pretty simple, and primarily consists of refraining from using harsh cleaners. If properly cared for, the Diamond Seal treatment will never need to be reapplied. There is probably a certified installer in your area.

Thanks for reading the blog,

Chris Phillips – Owner

Showcase Shower Door – CCL #957120
1970 17th Avenue #C – Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 464-3899 – FAX: (831) 477-0760


To Silicone, or not to Silicone?

Good afternoon!

I’m hoping you can shed some light for me. We are in the final days of finishing our new home with our semi-custom builder in Oklahoma.
We paid quite a bit in the beginning to upgrade our standard shower door to a 3/8 inch frameless shower door to avoid the build up of mildew and mold through the years on the silicone. The frameless shower doors I’ve always seen have just the brackets and hinges on the sides of the door as well as the side and base of the panel. They initially installed a semi-frameless door with a partial frame on the panel. They immediately ordered a new panel when I pointed out that it wasn’t frameless. I also addressed the silicone concern with the superintendent of our build and he said the silicone would all be cleaned up. Well they installed the new panel yesterday with brackets and then siliconed around the exterior surfaces of the panel. The glass company told our superintendent they had to leave it that way.

Is this true? And what purpose does the silicone serve in this situation?

Thanks for your help!

Amanda Sackett


Hi Amanda,

I’m sorry to hear about the mix-up with your shower enclosure. Silicone sealant is added to the joints between the glass and tile (the perimeter) to prevent leaking. There is no other reason for adding it. I ALWAYS try to talk people out of using silicone on frameless enclosures of this type. Frameless shower enclosures are not designed to be completely water-tight… They are meant to be used in bathrooms that are tiled in such a way that, if a small amount of water escapes, it’s no big deal. If people feel that waterproofing is a huge factor, I direct them towards using a channel around the perimeter rather than the brackets. It makes re-caulking the enclosure much more easy to do (when the silicone starts to mold) and looks much “cleaner” than a thick bead of clear silicone between the glass and the substrate.

I think you were absolutely correct to direct the contractor NOT to use silicone, providing you understood the fact that it would allow more water to escape from your shower. For me, the rule of thumb is that, it is easier to add silicone later (if needed) than it is to remove it when it is not!

I hope you find this helpful,


Drilling Holes in Tile for Shower Enclosures – Preventing Leaks

Chris, I am so glad I discovered your site!

We live in Birmingham, AL and are in the final phase of a major double bathroom remodel. We went very modern with barrier free entries to the shower enclosures. When the glass installers put the glass panels in place, they drilled and secured clips on the floor to hold the glass. When they installed the clips they penetrated the shower pan and now the showers BOTH leak to the basement. They have agreed to repair this but we have a question for you. There are other issues as well – this was a total redo so everything is new, including the walls and as such one of the baths walls is not plumb so they are on the third glass panel trying to make it work. We are six months into a three month project, but do believe the contractors are trying their best and are willing to see this through with them.

I see on your website and others that people everywhere install glass clips in barrier-less showers and surely they do not have water leaking into the floor beneath. The least of our worries is water coming out from under the glass into the bathroom… in fact we do not want sealant because it is unsightly. What has our contractor overlooked? They are willing to fix this problem… unfortunately I do not know enough whether to require them to take out all of the tile and replace the shower pan or use silicone in the screw holes as they are suggesting. They are slathering silicone everywhere and destroying our “look”.

Thank you for any input or suggestions. – Do you travel for installations? OR consultation?




Hi Rollins,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your shower doors. I am glad to hear that your contractor is working with you to solve the problem. Anyone can make a mistake… the key is being willing to stick with it to the end.

Putting silicone in the screw holes is the solution to the leaking problem. We will usually apply the silicone to the screw and then run it into the hole. This is an effective way to seal the screw hole. There is no need to slather silicone all over the place, though.

Be sure to document everything, and have an environmental inspector come in after a few months to make sure that you don’t have any mold issues. I do work as a consultant, and do travel when an out-of-area customer feels that it is worth their while to pay my expenses. Let me know if there is an additional service I can provide.

Best regards,

Chris Phillips – Owner
Showcase Shower Door – CCL #957120
1970 17th Avenue #C – Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 464-3899 – FAX: (831) 477-0760

Getting it Done Right the First Time

I have to redo my shower enclosure because the installer did not waterproof the wall and it started leaking into the basement. My question is how do I remove the glass? Use a knife and cut the seams, or is it a special too that I need? I looked on you blog and didn’t see this answered. …I have to take to doors out completely to repair the shower because the installer didn’t waterproof and after 15 years the wood under the tile was all rotted.

Any help would be appreciated.





This is a serious issue, and needs to be addressed. I am always hesitant to talk about how badly a shower enclosure installation can turn out if done incorrectly. I never want people to think that I am using scare tactics to make a sale. Any time a customer tells me that another company has given them a much lower bid for a project, I have to wonder what corners they plan to cut in order to do it for so little.

I had 20 years of experience in the commercial glazing (glass) industry before I started Showcase. I have seen all types of glass systems, and a wide variety of problems. A water leak is one of the most common, and potentially serious issues in the glass business. Water has an amazing ability to penetrate even the smallest opening. Once water finds its way in, it will increase over time. The result is rot, mold, rust, etc.

Bathroom renovations can be very expensive. You don’t want to have to do it twice. There are a lot of areas where you can save money when doing your bathroom remodel. If you buy inexpensive fixtures, they will be easy to replace when they wear-out in a few years. A shower enclosure is not. Don’t compromise on your shower glass. A frameless enclosure can last 20 years, easily! Budget enough to buy a good shower door from an expert installer. It may save you a BUNDLE in the long run.


Adding New Aluminum to an Old Shower Enclosure

Read your blog and hope that you can help. My husband and I are HOPING to retire next year and want to “freshen up” our house a bit before we put it on the market in the spring. I have searched the web extensively, but can’t seem to find out if it is possible to order metal strips to replace the existing SHINY GOLD frame on our shower enclosure — as opposed to replacing the entire structure, which costs major $$$. Do you have a resource for purchasing replacement frame strips????

Trina & Ted Williams
Franklin, TN


Dear Trina and Ted,

This is actually a fairly common question. Customers ask me pretty frequently if it is possible to reuse the glass from a shower enclosure and replace just the aluminum. Of course, the glass lasts virtually forever, while the aluminum framework starts to break-down after about ten years or so. People are usually pretty surprised to learn that the aluminum frame on the shower enclosure is actually the most expensive part. There is too much work involved to disassemble the enclosure and reassemble it using the old glass and new aluminum. There is no chance of saving any money by doing this.

It is possible, however, to install new aluminum strips over the old metal. In the glass industry this is known as “cladding.” The finish you are looking for (bright gold) is available in a couple of different sizes. The first is a 5/8″ wide strip with a beveled edge on one side. The second is a 1″ extrusion that is “L” shaped. A combination of these two shapes should be satisfactory to clad an existing manufactured shower enclosure. The aluminum strips are actually designed for use in the installation of mirrors, and come in 12′ lengths.

Now, hiring a glazier to come out and do the cladding would end up costing at least as much as the enclosure is worth. It is possible to do it yourself more affordably, though. You can purchase these parts from Showcase Shower Door. I will be happy to give some instructions on what you will need and how to do the work.

Happy New Year!


Clarvista, Showerguard, and Diamond Seal


I am wondering if you could give me the information explaining the basic difference in Diamond Seal and Clarvista Glass? I understand that Clarvista is comparable to Showerguard Glass but need to be sure of the differences?

Thank you,



Hi Jana,

That is a great question. I have to admit that I don’t know a great deal about Clarvista or Showerguard, but my understanding is that they are basically different brand names for the same product. Years ago, when I first began looking at hydrophobic glass products and coatings, Showerguard was one that I considered. I never did use it for a number of reasons. One: it was just WAY more expensive than the competing products. Two: The samples that I was sent by my glass supplier looked very different than clear glass to me. Three: it came with a ten-year warrantee, and couldn’t be re-treated to improve performance if the need ever did arise.




At the time that I first started specializing in shower doors, there were a couple of competing products. One was called “Diamon Fusion,” another was called “Tekon.” I actually steered clear of using these products, for the most part, until it was clear which product was the best. Eventually it became obvious that Tekon (now called “Diamond Seal”) was by far the best product. Diamond Seal comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warrantee, and the folks at Micro Med (manufacturers of Diamond Seal) stand behind their product 100%. This means that if a customer has a problem with the treatment (something that almost never happens) I am able to send them to the Diamond Seal people directly. That, in itself, is a huge source of peace-of-mind for us at Showcase Shower Door.

It may be that Clarvista offers all of the same warrantees and services, but if they do, I am not aware of it.

I hope this helps!


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.