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How To Easily Install Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors are created from sleek, thick glass that instantly adds an elegant look to your bathroom. They are timeless and unlikely to fall out of fashion and are almost guaranteed to raise the resale price of your home.  When you install them properly, they are watertight and as an added bonus, you will love just how easy they are to clean.  While Kohler and Manhattan are two of the more popular brands, if you take the time to comparison shop, you may be surprised that you can buy some cheap shower enclosures at a discount price that have beautiful finishes.

Keep in mind that measurements are crucial when it comes to this project so measure your wall very carefully and observe if it is level or not. The golden rule when it comes to this is measure twice, cut once !

•    Measure the wall up to five feet and make a mark on it at exactly halfway.  Be sure to write these figures down to the exact 1/16th of an inch for an accurate fit.  Don’t worry if you have a peculiar shaped room you will find that most designer brands will be happy to custom make these for you. Worth mentioning that you should research your brand at this point as well – I will write a little more on brands towards the end of this post.

•    Next, you will use a long level to check for plumb.  You will find that this is an extremely important step if you read reviews by other people who have completed this install.  If your enclosure happens to not be plumb, you will need to determine where exactly the panel needs to be more narrow or wide.

•    Draw both a bottom view and a top view sketch of your shower area.  Fill the exact measurement in and take your handy sketch with you when you buy your door at the hardware store. Of course another alternative is to purchase your frameless hinged door online – this is getting easier and easier to do these days.

•    When you are installing the frameless bypass shower doors, be sure that the hinge is directly in the middle of the hinge cut-out belonging to the door.  Use your fingers to tighten the screws before using the screwdriver, and then attack the handles.

•    Adjust your door so it is positioned properly.  You will want to shim it so you are able to leave about 3/8 of an inch on the bottom to add the sweep.  Carefully mark your position for where the holes will go for the sweep.

•    To drill the holes, you should use a ¼ inch bit.  You will want to aim to drill into a stud but if positioning does not allow, it is imperative that you use only high quality wall anchors. At the end of the day you need to think ahead – do you want to be repairing a hole in the wall and waiting a week for it to be repaired?

•    Place the screws through the hinge using the drill and then into a wall.  To make your install easier and a lot less frustrating, always begin with the outside bottom and outside top holes. This will not only save time but hassles and you progress through your install.

•    Lastly, on the bottom of the frameless shower doors you will attach the sweep.  It is very important that when you trim this, you do so on an angle.  Your goal is to have about ½ inch extension on either side of the door.  This will allow your shower to be sealed tight so you don’t leak water all over your bathroom.

Hopefully this has given you a rough guide to installing your first door. At the end of the day take your time and stick to instructions – it is very hard to go back with an installation like this!

Which Brands Are Worth Considering?

Whilst I mentioned earlier in the article that Kohler and Manhattan were 2 quality brands worth considering. In terms of a more cost effective option you could consider the Dreamline Unidoor Frameless Shower Door. There are often special prices available on this unit – a simple search for this will bring up various options. They come in a variety of looks and styles designed to suit almost any bathroom space.

Clear vs Frosted Look

One other important consideration is the choice between clear and frosted glass on the frameless shower doors itself. This is more down to your personal taste and need for privacy. For example if your shower enclosure is directly in view of the door then you might have a need for a frosted look to spare an embarrassing moment when your flatmate bursts into the bathroom. Of course an alternative would be to put a lock on the door !

If you are interested in the history on showers and how far they have come to get to the modern styles then it’s worth having a look at wikipedia.


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