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Posts Tagged ‘euro style’

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

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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

Glass to Glass Hinges and Fixed Panels

Hello,

I saw your blog and I wanted to know if you think our shower doors are safe. We got them installed today and because the hinges are not attached to the wall the entire panel moves when you open the door. It takes effort to open the door. The track is adhered to the walls and saddle with silicone. Will that soften over time? My fear is this thing will fall down over time.

Thank you for your input.

Jennifer

photo 2         photo 3

Hi Jennifer,

I know exactly what you are talking about. There is a standard formula for the maximum width a fixed panel should be if it has a door hinging from it. It varies a little depending on the thickness of the glass (1/2″ or 3/8″). If the panel exceeds the recommended width, the whole enclosure will move the way that you are describing.

I can’t make a judgement call based on your photos since there are a lot of factors that I am unable to determine. Chances are that your shower enclosure is safe. I doubt that the force required to open the door will soften over time. The hinges are spring loaded to cause them to center themselves… that is the resistance you feel when you pull on the door.

It is also possible to add additional support to the top of the fixed panel if you feel you might need it. You can talk to the original installers about that.

Best wishes,

-Chris

RE: Shower Door Question – Frameless Door Hinges

Chris,

I have a frameless shower door that swings freely in both directions. There is no catch and no sweep on the bottom of the door. For the first several years after installation the door would always return to rest at an exactly centered position when closed. If moved an inch or two in one direction or the other, the door would always return to exact center. Over the past several months the door began to no longer rest in a centered position. Instead, the door has it begun to rest in a slightly open position. The gap is getting larger as time goes on. Now the door is resting in a position leaving a gap of an inch or so between the door and the adjacent glass panel. Any idea what might be causing this? Is there something I can do to adjust the door or the hinges so the door will once again rest in a centered position? I’ll call a glass company for a service call if necessary but if there is something simple I can do I’d rather try that first.

I appreciate any assistance.

Thank you,

Brian

hinge

Hi Brian,

Most likely, your hinges are suffering from soap build-up, or are just wearing out. Frameless shower door hinges come with a three-year warranty. The manufacturers of these hinges don’t recommend using any kind of lubrication on them. Since they are out of warranty anyway, you may want to consider trying some type of lube and see if it helps. I would go with a silicone spray rather than WD-40… I think you will get better results that way. If all else fails, you can have the hinges replaced, but that won’t be cheap. It sounds like your hinges are still working, just not self-centering the way that they used to.

Let me know how things work out,

-Chris

Glass Panel Problem

hello, we have a problem,  we installed a glass panel with silicone in the track,   Is there a solvent or some product that will dissolve the silicon,  we tried lacquer and it didn’t work,   Any ideas other than breaking it,  don’t want to do that. As we just had it all tiled,,

Thank you,

Marge and Ron

 

Suction Cup-1 Dremel-Multi-Max-MM40

 

Hi Marge,

 

Great question! There are some products that claim to cut through cured silicone… these solvents usually require leaving them to work for 24 hours or so. I can’t say that I have much experience with using them, as I normally don’t have that much time to spare working on a job. You can give that a try, and it may work for you… just look in the paint department of your local do-it-yourself store, or ask for help.

A more sure-fire way to get the glass out in one piece will require a couple of tools. One is the trusty glass vacuum cup shown above. There is little chance that you are going to have any luck with getting the glass out whole without one of these. It will allow you get the kind of grip on the glass that you need to pull it out of the track as the silicone loses adhesion. The other tool I would recommend is a multi-tool with a very thin blade. I like the Dremel brand multi tool. It’s affordable, and does a great job. This will allow you to get a thin blade in between the glass and aluminum channel, and will make the job much easier.

All that being said, be sure to do everything possible to WORK SAFELY! The glass may break, no matter how careful you are. That is just the nature of glass. Even if the glass is tempered “safety” glass, it can still cut you! Be careful, and if you have any doubts at all, call in an expert.

Thanks for your email,

-Chris

Help.

Hi Chris:

I was so happy to see your website and was wondering if u can give me any advice.  I have a fixed shower panel where it is secured at the bottom with U Track type of metal. My contractor guys forgot to seal it in the beginning so water got in and leaked outside.  After I informed them of the problem they came back and put clear silicon seal around the bottom.  Everything was good for about 6 months.  And now I’m noticing black stuff (I’m assuming it’s some kind of mold) inside the silicon seal and INSIDE the track!  Is there any way I can clean it out?  and after cleaning it out (hopefully) how do i seal again?  Is silicon caulking enough? or is there any kind of seal strip i should add?

thank you very much for your help!

Charlotte

20140503_000206

Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for reading my blog. It looks like the caulking was applied after the water was already in the channel. Once the mold began to grow, it was trapped inside. Since the glass is clear, the mold is highly visible… In order to fix the problem, the glass is going to need to be removed from the channel. I would clean it thoroughly, and use bleach to make sure that the mold is completely eliminated. Only then should the glass be replaced, and the silicone seal reapplied. Make sure that the glass and channel are nice and dry before you do so. There is also a type of silicone that is “mildew resistant.” This is the type you are going to want to use. It has a fungicide in the formula, and will help to prevent the mold growth. Apply the silicone where the metal and glass meet to prevent water from entering the channel.

Best wishes,

-Chris

Shower Door Issues – Buyer Beware!

Hi Chris,

I was so happy to see your web site and hope to find some answers to some of our shower questions.   In the master bathroom we installed a frameless shower door  with L shape panels. After about 3 weeks the door was hitting the glass panel.  We had the installer come out and all he does was tighten up the screws in the wall.  It works for about a month and then we have the same problem. We have done this several times which resulted in a cracked tile.   I have also noticed the wall the shower door is attached to is now bowing a little in the middle. Is there a fix to this?

Secondly, in our other bathroom we are experiencing major water leaks coming from underneath the door.  Our installer says we have a water problem not a installation problem.  I’m not sure what he meant by that but either way he will not be  return to our home again.  My husband and I would like to take down the shower door and panel (after spending so much money and time into it) because it just does not work.  The problem we are having is that the U channel our installer screwed on to the wall is full of silicone and we can not remove the glass panel from it. We have scraped as much silicone out as we can but it is not budging.  Is there anything we can use to detach the panel from the U channel?

Thank you for all your help!

Mike

Hi Mike,

I’m sorry to hear that you are having so many problems with your shower doors! The silicone is a very strong adhesive, as you have found out already… Without actually being there, it is kind of hard to know what to do, but I’ll try to give you a couple of suggestions. I would try a very thin putty knife, something thin enough to slide in between the aluminum and the glass on the inside of the channel. Try running it all the way up and down both sides of the glass to see if that is enough to allow the glass to come loose. This is a situation where I would use a glass-setting vacuum cup, but you probably don’t have one. It would allow you to get some leverage on the glass and apply a lot of pressure to try to get it loose.

One other option, if you can’t get the glass out of the channel, is to try to get between the channel and the tile to cut the screws off. A thin saw blade may allow this, but it is also likely to mar the tile. Give these things a try, and get back to me and let me know if you are having any success.

Best wishes,

-Chris