Are you looking to upgrade your shower with an all new custom glass shower enclosure? Get ready to see your bathroom in an entirely new light, with more open space and a modern, updated look. You might not even recognize the space!
Before starting your project, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the aesthetic elements you want and the structural elements you need to ensure your shower is attractive and functional. After years of providing custom glass for frameless shower enclosures for customers all throughout Raleigh, we’ve seen several design flaws that contractors have overlooked. You don’t have to be an expert in shower enclosures or custom glass, but you can use these design tips to ensure that the contractor you choose is building your new enclosure the right way. Learn more below!
Tip 1: Angles to Use
Plan for your shower to be built using 90°, 135°, or 180° angles. Why? Most shower hardware is designed to accommodate these angles, so by planning ahead with this in mind, you can ensure you have a properly functioning enclosure and that installation is cost-effective.
Tip 2: Support For Shower Doors and Hardware
Make sure the wall where you plan to install your hinged shower door has the proper studding support behind it – double 2×4 is best, though single 2×4 is acceptable. And always provide wood studs or blocking where doors hinge or panels are anchored, especially if metal studs were originally used in the construction of the wall.
Tip 3: Shower Curb
Do you want to install your shower enclosure on a curb, or would you rather have it flush with the floor? Eliminating the curb can be beneficial to planning a handicap accessible shower enclosure, though keep in mind that the curb can help prevent water from leaking or pooling on the floor of your bathroom.
Tip 4: Slope of Curb
You want to make sure the curb or lip around the bottom of the shower is slanted inward at a 5-degree slope (also called a “pitch”) so water is able to flow in toward the drain. (This slopes help funnel the water. A level curb would cause standing water, and a curb that’s angled away from the drain would cause water to leak out onto the bathroom floor.)
Tip 5: Slope of Shower Seat
If your new shower plans include a built-in shower seat, make sure that the seat slants toward the drain at a 5-degree slope. This allows any water that flows off the seat to funnel right into the drain. (If the seat were level, water would stand.)
Tip 6: Plumb Walls
In order to prevent gaps, uneven joints and hinge “bind,” any wall that meets a door or glass panel must be precisely vertical (also called “plumb”). Walls more than 1/4″ out of plumb not only cause unsightly gaps in your new shower enclosure, they’re also more likely to leak.
Tip 7: Minimum Width of Glass Panels
Each glass panel should be at least 4 1/2″ wide, which is the minimum width for tempering glass and supporting the hardware. The door must be at least 22″ wide but no more than 36″ wide.
Tip 8: Glass Tiles
When designing your shower enclosure, avoid any plans that involve mounting door hinges and glass clips onto glass tiles. Breakage is likely to occur in these situations (even after installation), which delays the completion of your project and can add additional charges for repairs.
Tip 9: Soffits
The eaves along the top of your shower are called “soffits.” In order to avoid an uneven look, your soffits must line up perfectly with the angles in the curb below.
Tip 10: Shower Head Position
Insider tip: If possible, make sure to position your showerhead toward tiled walls or fixed panels. This minimizes leakage. Whatever you do, never place your showerhead opposite another door or opening unless you have a low-flow showerheads, or one that points straight down to the floor.
Tip 11: Raised Tiles and Overhangs
When installing a shower door, the goal is to ensure that nothing interferes with the door’s movement and to leave no gaps between the door and the wall (such as raised decorative tiles or overhanging tiles). Keep in mind that your tile can be modified to allow for door operation, but you may need to apply a filler, which can negatively impact the look of your finished product.
Tip 12: Curb Tops
Solid pieces of tile, marble and granite are ideal for the top of a curb. Tiled curb tops increase the chances of leakage, which can cause water to collect and mold or mildew to build up. The shower door seal functions best on a smooth surface.