Archive

Posts Tagged ‘shower questions’

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

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

Shower-14.jpg

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-using Shower Doors?

Dear Chris,

I read your post where a blogger wanted to replace the trim on their current glass doors with aluminum and reuse the glass.  I see that you warn not to do this. However, I do have a similar question.  Is it possible to reuse the entire door and surround.  My door is trimmed in silver/aluminum (whatever it is) and I actually like it.  The problem is that I do not like the builder’s grade shower stall that we have . We are hoping to replace it with tile.  Would it be possible to reuse those doors if they were to be kept whole? I have attached a picture for your review.  I may not be the best at my description.

Thanks

Kenya

 

shower

 

 

Hi Kenya,

It may be possible to reuse your shower enclosure. It will have to be removed very carefully to prevent destroying the materials or breaking the glass. The opening where the enclosure is installed will need to be nearly exactly the same in order for the old materials to work. Normally, I discourage this, because it rarely works out… If the shower stall ends up being ½” bigger or smaller after the work is done, the old enclosure won’t work.

On the other hand, you have nothing to lose (other than the time and effort put into trying it). So, why not?

Good luck!

-Chris

 

RE: Glass Shower Doors and Surface Treatments

Hello,

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).

Miriam

 

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

http://www.ShowcaseShowerDoor.com

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