Posts Tagged ‘glass doors’

Re: Advice on Shower


My husband and I bought a small townhouse in the Shelter Lagoon complex in Santa Cruz. The previous owner installed a shower in the small half bath upstairs. There is a drain in the floor with no shower pan. A shower curtain hangs from the ceiling. We’re concerned about whether the current configuration will keep all water inside the bathroom, but we’re not sure there’s room for a glass enclosure. Is this a project your team could advise us on?

Esther Hill

Hi Esther,

Thanks for getting in touch. While I would love to be able to install a shower enclosure for you, I think you may be correct about not having enough room for one. The toilet is so close to the shower that a piece of glass in that location may be too close to allow comfortable use of the toilet. In addition, there is a building code that specifies how much clearance needs to be allowed between it and an adjacent wall.

Many bathrooms are being designed in such a way as not to require waterproofing. It’s a European design concept, and requires a bit of a mental adjustment for Americans. The idea is that water spilling out of the shower isn’t really a big deal, to put it simply. If the floor and walls are tiled, as is the case in your situation, a little water escaping the shower can’t really do any harm.

If you absolutely do want some glass in the room, a hinged panel in that location would allow it to swing into the shower area a bit, thus allowing some elbow room, and satisfying legal requirements.

I hope this is helpful,

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


How big is too big when it comes to the gaps…


You provide great information in response to questions.  I’m hoping you can help me with one I have.  We just had a frameless shower installed.  All walls are tile, the curb is solid granite.  The glass is 1/2 inch with one panel fixed on top of a half wall and the other panel is notched and joins the panel on the wall (90 degree angle) and continues down to the granite curb. It’s a large space so we didn’t need any door.  My question is about the notched panel. The tile is square edge but the notch is curved. The glass of the notch rests on the top of the half wall, but where the glass goes down the wall to the granite there is a gap of at least 1/4 inch that the installer filled with silicone. It seems too wide and way too much silicone to me.  But I’m not the expert.  Your thoughts?


Hi Denise,

Thanks for your question. How big is too big when it comes to the gaps in your frameless shower enclosure? I’m sure different people will give you different answers… In my opinion, 1/4” is borderline. Generally speaking, we aim to have 1/8” gaps between the glass and the tile. Where the hinge side of the door meets the wall a 1/4” gap is normal. You have the back plate of the hinge, which is 1/8” thick, and the additional 1/8” clearance there. The gap from glass to glass (where the strike side of the door meets the fixed panel at the vertical gap) is normally 3/16”.

It’s important to keep in mind the limitations of the fabricator and the installer. The standard tolerance for frameless shower glass is plus-or-minus 1/8”. This is the industry standard… Although an installer may aim to make all of the joints 3/16” or less, it is not always possible if the glass is not fabricated exactly to specifications. In your case, I would have to say the ¼” gap is acceptable. If it were 3/8” or more I would not be satisfied, but there is little that can be done to prevent what you are describing. After all, it is only 1/16” larger than the ideal.

I hope you find this helpful,


Buying Shower Doors and Enclosures Online

More and more people are shopping online these days. It is a convenient way to shop for a lot of different items. People even buy shower doors online, if you can believe it! There are a lot of options available, and some are actually quite good. Showcase Shower Door Company carries a full line of shower doors and enclosures manufactured by Fleurco. They are some of the finest shower enclosures you will find anywhere. We can offer our customers a complete package including the shower pan, glass, hardware, and instructions. All of this delivered right to your front door!

There is the challenge, however, of getting your shower enclosure installed once it arrives. We offer the service of installing customer-supplied shower enclosures for people in our area, whether they buy it from us or not. Wherever it is that you live, there is a good chance that there is a qualified shower enclosure installer available in your area. We here at Showcase Shower Door Company are taking steps to put together a network of quality shower door installers in different parts of the United States. We hope to be able to refer these experts to people who need their services. This will also allow shower enclosure manufacturers who sell their products across the country to take advantage of the skills of qualified installers in every area. Anyway, it’s something we are working on, and I’ll let you know as things develop.

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.


RE: Just One Bracket (?)


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?



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,


Recent Installation

Love your blog. We recently had an install where the door and supporting panel were installed but the panels were 1/8″ shorter than the rest of the shower.  The company wants to grind the other two panels to remedy the situation.  My preference would be got the two panels be remade and reinstalled.  What is your opinion to grinding to attempt to fix the problem.


Image result for tempered glass   Image result for tempered glass

Hi Jim,

This is a great question, and is definitely worth addressing. Most people probably know that tempered glass cannot be cut, drilled, or otherwise fabricated. All of the cutting, notching, and other modifications are made to the glass first. Tempering is the last step in the process. What many people may not know about tempered glass is that it is possible to remove a small amount of material from the edge of the glass by grinding or polishing. It is a risky proposition, and can result in the glass shattering into thousands of tiny pieces.

One method for removing a small amount of glass from the edge is to put the glass through a glass polisher. These machines are designed to create a finished edge on glass, and remove a small amount of material in the process (about 1/16 of an inch). This could be done on each end, and that would achieve the 1/8” reduction in size that is desired. Years ago, I was able to send a tempered glass panel back to the manufacturer to get this procedure done. It is really the only effective way to accomplish what is being discussed. At some point, the glass fabricators began to refuse to do this, though. If a piece of tempered glass does break in the process of going through the polisher (a process known as “running down” a glass panel) the results are somewhat catastrophic. The machine needs to be shut down, taken apart, cleaned out, etc. Not a good thing…

I think your instincts are correct. The panels should be remade and reinstalled. We all make mistakes sometimes, and the solution is to replace the glass. No one likes to do it, but it is the proper solution.

Thanks for your kind words, and keep reading!


Sagging Framed Shower Door – Can it Be Repaired?

Dear Chris.

My shower door is sagging and the gap at the top of the door is wider than the gap at the bottom of the door.  There is also some black plastic coming out of the hinge area of the piano hinge on the shower door. Can I just replace the hinge or do I need a new shower door?



framed-02     framed-01

Hi Don,

The type of shower door you are describing is what I call a “manufactured” shower door. These are also known as “standard” shower doors. They have a gasket that runs the entire length (height) of the glass, and the panel is held in place by friction. On the inside of the door there are usually a few screws that are tightened down to cause the aluminum assembly to clamp down on the glass, holding it in place.

Over time, the glass may begin to slip out of the channel that it is being held by. The most common cause of this is people hanging their wet towels (bath mats) over the door to dry. These doors just aren’t designed to hold any extra weight at all. Once the door starts to fail, there is no amount of tightening the screws that is going to hold the glass in place any more. In short, you really do need a new door.

That being said, I have had success in the past with taking the door apart, cleaning out the aluminum very carefully, and replacing the rubber gasket with silicone (wet silicone out of a caulk tube). The silicone was able to hold the glass even though the vinyl gasket had failed. It is quite a bit of work, and you will have to gauge whether or not it is worth the effort.

Thanks for writing!