Posts Tagged ‘santa cruz doors’

Letters from Our Visitors

Over the past few months, I have been receiving emails from visitors to the website who have shower door related questions. Here is an example of one recent exchange:

Dear Chris,

Just studied your great web site. I have a question for you.

I have the standard 60 inch wide walk in shower and want to replace the sliding framed doors with one fixed clear glass panel and one hinged panel.

Can the fixed say 30 inch wide by 82 to 84 inch tall panel be attached to the wall with two or three of the typical glass panel attachments, and likewise to the floor WITHOUT any top support and still be steady ? Should both panels be 1/2 inch thick in order for the fixed panel to be steady?

Thanks in advance for your advise to a former California resident, now retired in Florida.


Herman Bergman

Hi Herman,

Thanks for writing! I guess “steady” is a relative term. 3/8” glass does flex a bit, especially when it is more than 80” tall. We install 3/8” glass that is over 80” tall on a regular basis. If the glass is tempered, it is definitely strong enough for the application.

On the other hand, it really isn’t that much more expensive to go ahead and use 1/2” glass instead. Half inch glass will give you the added strength that you are concerned about, and also an added touch of elegance that is really worth it.

I hope this helps,



“Suite” Shower Doors and Enclosures

Work was completed, on schedule, at the Beach Street Inn and Suites in Santa Cruz last month. To date, this is the biggest job that we have performed, and we are really happy with the results. Installing 12 heavy glass frameless shower enclosures in the rooms being renovated at the Beach Street Inn (formerly Terrace Court Motel) was certainly a test of Showcase Shower Door’s ability to supply and install a large number of high-end shower enclosures (not to mention mirrors and glass table tops) in a short period of time.


 As owner of Showcase Shower Door, I personally installed each enclosure, with the help of my assistant. I’m not bragging… that’s just the way we do things around here. I install every heavy glass shower enclosure myself, and have done so for years. I intend to continue doing this for as long as I can. How else can I possibly maintain the highest standard of quality Showcase is famous for? Standard tub enclosures and manufactured (1/4″) shower doors are another story. My helper is qualified to install those, but I take a “hands on” approach to these beautiful European style shower doors and enclosures.

Today, I am 45 years old, and figure I can keep installing glass for at least another 20 years, or so. My dad, Chris Phillips Sr., was working in the industry until he was 70, so I feel an obligation to hold up the family tradition. Showcase Shower Door also got a nice mention in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on April 28th for this project. Thanks, Santa Cruz, for making Showcase Shower Door number one! We know that it is you, our beloved customers, who are truly responsible for our success. We couldn’t do it without you!

Replacing a Shower Enclosure with a Frameless One

Some people want to know whether they can upgrade their existing shower enclosure to a European style “frameless” shower enclosure without having to replace their tile. We recently had a customer who had upgraded their bathroom, and had some regrets about having settled for a standard, manufactured shower enclosure. The biggest challenge to replacing a “semi-frameless” shower enclosure with a true frameless one is hiding the screw holes in the tiles. In some cases, the previous installer will have drilled the holes into the grout lines. When this is the case, you can simply fill in the missing grout with little effort. This, however, is rarely the case. There is also the issue of removing the silicone sealant, and discoloration due to the “weathering” of the tile, granite, or marble.



Here are some before and after photos of a shower enclosure that we recently replaced with a 1/2″ frameless shower enclosure. We were able to remove the old enclosure, clean up the silicone sealant, and locate the new shower door and fixed panel on top of the area where the old enclosure used to be. We were also able to find silicone caulk that matched the color of the tile, and used it to fill the holes in the tile left behind by the previous shower door installation. Even though the glass is clear, it is impossible to see the old holes through the glass. As you can see, the improvement is pretty incredible.

What to do about mirror “Black Edge”

Do you have a mirror in your bathroom that has started to develop dark, cloudy looking discoloration at the bottom? Your mirror is suffering from “Black Edge.” The silvering on the back of your mirror has been infiltrated by a type of contaminant that has begun eating it away like a cancer. It is actually more like rust… The back of your mirror has begun to oxidize, and the black edge will continue to spread over time. The mirrors that we install are treated with a product that seals the edges of the silvering, protecting them from the dreaded black edge. Unfortunately, most glass contractors don’t.


If you have a mirror that is very important to you, due to sentimental value, you may be able to have it re-silvered. This can be expensive, and it is almost always more economical to replace the mirror. Showcase Shower Door does not provide re-silvering, but we can replace the mirror that you do have. We can also add a frame to your existing mirror to cover the edge that has turned black. We work with MirrorMate frames, which allows us to install a frame in the style and color of your choice without removing the existing mirror. This is a great way to make the old mirror look new again without spending a lot of money. Even if there is nothing wrong with your existing mirror, a MirrorMate custom frame adds a touch of elegance to an existing mirror. Click here to download a flyer.

The Skyline Series Heavy Sliding Glass Shower Door

This is a very modern and popular option for shower enclosures. It is a completely frameless, heavy glass sliding door for your shower stall. The enclosure that you see here was installed in Santa Cruz, California. The glass is 3/8″ clear, and the hardware is brushed stainless steel. The enclosure is manufactured by Cardinal Shower Enclosures, located in Livermore, California.

The fixed panel is installed using a solid stainless steel bar that spans the width of the shower stall. There are additional stainless steel fixtures that fasten the stationary glass panel to the wall (to the right in this instance.) The sliding panel has rollers that are attached through holes that are cut in the glass. These rollers allow the door to glide along the same solid stainless steel bar that helps to support the fixed panel.

The result is a heavy glass shower enclosure with a rolling door that is truly frameless, and has minimal hardware of any kind. The gaps around the fixed panel (which are also minimal,) are sealed using clear RTV silicone. The gap where the door meets the wall is sealed with a polycarbonate edge seal. There is no hardware at the bottom of the enclosure with the exception of a small guide for the sliding door.

Shower Screens for the Bathtub Shower Combination

October 12, 2010

One option for a bathtub shower combination is called a “shower screen.” A shower screen can be any thickness, typically from 1/4″ to 1/2,” and can be fixed or on hinges. Some shower screens are made using obscured glass, while others are clear. Fixed shower screens can be mounted using a U channel or with glass clamps, also called brackets. They commonly have a rounded edge in the uppermost corner away from the shower head. This is not necessarily the case, though.

This particular shower screen is located in Soquel, California. It’s 1/2″ thick, and is made using clear tempered glass. The glass panel has a radius, or rounded corner, and is installed using hinges. Even though the toilet, which is installed right next to the tub, is higher than the deck of the tub, having the shower screen on hinges allows for limited movement. This makes cleaning the glass more convenient and comfortable.

Clear Glass Handrail System in Felton, California

September 26, 2010

I had an opportunity this month to install a lot of glass in a very nice windscreen in Felton, California. We did this job for a customer that I have been doing work for over the years. He is a master craftsman in his own right, and I am really honored that has has used me to do the glass work at his home a number of times before. We installed a frameless shower enclosure in one of his bathrooms, a frameless shower screen in another, as well as a 1/2″ sliding interior partition door suspended by a tack in the ceiling. As you can imagine, it is a very nice home…

The glass in this particular windscreen is 3/8″ clear tempered. The stanchions (vertical posts) are custom made from steel tubing and powder coated. The posts actually penetrate the redwood deck, and are bolted into the structure below for added strength. As you can see, the homeowner has a beautiful view of the valley from his backyard, and this guardrail system does a great deal to help to preserve it.