How to Install a Shower Door
Contractor Rich Rosenfield's step-by-step guide to creating a tempered-glass enclosure
"Done right, nothing beats a shower enclosed in glass," says Rich Rosenfield with pride, as he wipes the glass-and-metal door to a spotless shine. Rosenfield has just spent an hour and a half installing this enclosure, one of about 40 he puts in every week for Banner Glass Shelmar of Waltham, Massachusetts.
Tempered-glass shower enclosures are permanent and easy to clean, and have a sleek transparency that makes a bathroom appear bigger. And when properly installed, they keep water where it belongs.
These enclosures come in two types: framed and frameless. The frameless systems, while elegant, require thicker glass, expensive hardware, and flawless fabrication. Framed units weigh and cost less, and can take more abuse.
He also says that frameless enclosures are much more challenging to install, whereas hanging a framed door and side panel is a project most homeowners can complete in an afternoon.
Shower Door Overview
•Measure the width of the shower opening in at least three places: threshold, up to 5 feet, and halfway in between.
•Any wall that's more than ½ inch out of vertical over 5 feet will need a matching filler strip so that the door can be made plumb.
•From the point on the threshold where the door will pivot, measure the distance to bath fixtures or any other potential obstacles that an outswing door might hit.
•Draw a sketch of the shower in plain view (looking down from above) and in elevation (side view). Fill in all the measurements and take it with you to the showroom.
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