Posts Tagged ‘trackless shower doors’

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.



“Headerless” Shower Enclosures

Many people who are having frameless shower enclosures installed are looking for the least amount of hardware possible. The challenge to keeping the hardware minimal is greatest when the door hinges from a fixed panel. The stress that is going to be placed on the glass needs to be taken into consideration. When a door hinges from a fixed panel, all of the weight of the door will be supported by the glass, in many cases. There is also the added stress created by the door when it swings in and out, and the initial stress of moving the door past center when the hinges are self-centering.

In many cases, this type of configuration requires additional support at the top of the stationary glass panel. There are a few ways to address this; by using a header, a support bar, or simply extending the height of the fixed panel all the way to the ceiling. The use of top and bottom mounting hinges allow much of the weight of the door to rest on the floor or curb. The top hinge only needs to take the amount of weight required to hold the door upright, and allow for the door to hinge.

By using manufacturer’s recommended clamps, it is possible to hinge a door from a fixed panel without additional support at the top. There are limits to the size and weight of the panels, of course. There have been some great new innovations over the past few years that allow an even more seamless installation then was ever possible before. If you need a frameless shower enclosure, or just have questions, be sure to get in touch… We can help!

Frameless Shower Enclosure Channels


I have seen frameless showers with the glass resting in metal channels where it contacts the tile, you have also discussed recessing the channel into the tile (butting the tile up to both sides of the channel). Are there any pros and cons to having the channel on top of the tile vs recessed. I can imagine if on top, the channel weep holes will drain water, but if recessed it seems it wouldn’t and enable mold growth.

Thanks for all the great advice.

Connell Smith

shower-1     shower-2

Hi Connell,

I think that your assessment of the options is pretty good. It’s actually kind of unusual for people to do the recessed channel with shower enclosures… there are some issues with preventing water infiltration. If you do imbed the channel, you are going to need to add a lot of silicone to prevent any water leaking into the floor below. Once water gets in, there will be no way for it to get back out again. On the other hand, having the channel on top of the tile will allow for weep holes (as you described), and go a long way to prevent water damage in the future.


Chris Phillips

Glass to Glass Hinges and Fixed Panels


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.


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,


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

Frameless Shower Enclosures for Bathtubs

These days there are more and more people requesting frameless heavy glass enclosures for their bathtub showers. Several years ago, people began asking if this was a possibility… today, this is pretty common. There are newer innovations that incorporate sliding glass panels with heavy glass enclosures that are suitable for bathtubs. Among these are the “Skyline” series enclosure by Cardinal, and the “Serenity” series by CRL. The latest sliding frameless enclosure is called the “Essence” series enclosure. Click this link – – to check it out.

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The enclosures shown in the photos above were designed, manufactured, and installed by Showcase Shower Door. These enclosures are designed according to customer specifications, and include Diamond Seal treatment as a standard feature. Diamond Seal helps to prevent water spotting, and protects glass from the permanent damage that hard water can cause over time. If you need help with ideas for your tub enclosure, or just have questions, give me a call any time at (831) 464-3899.

Completely Frameless Heavy Glass Shower Enclosures

Good morning Chris,

We are installing a few frameless unit in my house in Hollywood. In all cases, with no doors……just a fixed panel. I am experienced with construction, but certainly no expert with glass showers.

We are confident our hot mop was properly installed and will be effective.

We are floating the floors and the walls.

I will install a fixed panel with a carrera marble floor……and a 4 X 4 X 3/16″ glass walls.

I would like to eliminate the “clips” that hold the glass and simply “inset” the glass in the floor and wall.

SO I would have most of the floor and wall tile installed but leave an uninstalled space to install the glass.

I will secure the glass with a top quality silicone and bond to the concrete dry mud pack substrate and to the lathed and floated wall then the tile installer comes back and installs the tiles around the glass.

Do you have any recommendations to ensure success on this project?

Great Blog!
Rudy d
Hollywood Hills

Hi Rudy,

Whenever I do an installation of the type you are describing, I will “hide” a channel in the substrate. I would use the process that you described in your email, but would add the step of including a “U” channel for the glass to actually sit in. You can then float the tile to be just a tad bit higher than the channel, thus hiding it completely. Using dark channel (oil rubbed bronze or black) will make it hide even better.

The reason I suggest this is because the aluminum channel allows me to control the waterproofing process completely. I can fill the corners and joints of the channel with silicone to insure a good seal. Otherwise, I am never really at ease about whether I have successfully sealed the enclosure at the base. The end result is a really clean look that people love.

Thanks for writing!