Installing the glass panels in your frameless shower enclosure is relatively straightforward. In this post we’ll discuss some potential issues you could run into.
For our discussion, consider the following scenarios:
- A door and panel configuration with no header
- A panel, door, panel configuration with header
- A panel, door, panel configuration with no header
- A door, panel, return configuration
Door & Panel
The door and single panel with no header configuration is probably the easiest. First, secure the channel to the wall using screws and plastic anchors. Next, fill the screw holes with silicone. Apply a bead of silicone along the outside and inside of the channel where it touches the tile. This will create a water proof seal. Third, insert the setting blocks into the channel. The setting blocks support the glass and prevent the edges (the most fragile part of the glass) from the touching the metal of the channel. Using a partner, lift the panel into place in the channel. Finally, apply a bead of silicone between the edge of the glass and the channel. This will lock the panel into place. Allow 24 – 48 hours for the silicone to dry.
Panels with Header
When your configuration calls for a header, the installation process is basically the same. However, you’ll notice that the glass panels are slightly taller than the glass of the door. The panel glass fits into a small groove in the bottom of the header. Some thin vinyl is usually provided to create a water tight and snug fit with the panels and header.
Door, Panel, Return
When you introduce a return panel into the configuration, the inline panel and the return panel need to be joined together carefully. First, install the return panel as described above. Next, install the inline panel in a process called butt glazing. The edge of the return panel should be butted up against the inline panel. If a corner clip is provided, use it to secure the panels. Otherwise, duct tape can be used as a temporary securing device. Install the panel into channel as described above. Along the butt edge of the return and inline panel, apply a bead of silicone inside and out to create a seal. Allow the butt joint at least 24 hours to dry. If using duct tape, remove once the silicone has dried.
Panel, Door, Panel Extending to Ceiling
When your panels extend to the ceiling as in the picture above, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. The left and right side panels should be installed and completely secured (allow the silicone to dry) before trying to install the door. If the panel that supports the door is not completely secured, the weight of the door will cause the panel to shift out of place. Once the channel is installed along the top, bottom, and wall sides, move each panel into position in the door opening. Then slide the respective panel to the left or right and into the channel. Secure as discussed previously. Repeat for the panel on the other side. Though the door should not be installed until both panels are secured and the silicone has dried, remember to test the location of the door and panels together before actually securing the panels permanently.