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BUTT GLAZING FIXED AND RETURN PANELS

When the shower enclosure features a fixed panel and then a 90° return panel, the two pieces of glass are "butted" up against one another to form a butt joint. This section describes the method for correctly joining the panels of glass once they are set into channel.

There are various methods and opinions as to the correct way to do a butt-glazed corner. After years of experimentation, we believe our recommendation to be the simplest, the least frustrating, and least messy way to accomplish this. The ultimate goal is to end up with a clean joint and no air bubbles.

  • First, set the return panel, as described in Setting Glass into U-Channel. Your return panel should stand on its own since it is now captured on the bottom and rear edges with U-channel.

  • Next, set the panel next to, or inline, with the door. The front edge of the panel next to the door should overlap and line up with the outside surface of the return panel. At this time, you may want to verify the remaining space you have left for the door opening. If the door opening is incorrect, now is the time to make the appropriate adjustments before things are more permanently in place.

    Joint with Inline Panel

    Figure 29: This illustration shows the correct way to position the return panel relative to the fixed inline panel.

  • Install the mechanical stabilizer. Install the glass corner clamp at the top of the glass corner, or the optional header kit if you’ve so chosen. Either of these items will stabilize joining of the corner to prepare for final sealing. The clamp is secured in place with two nylon tipped Allen set screws. See the Installing the Header section for more information on installation of the header.

  • Secure with tape. Starting at the top and working down, apply a 1" or wider strip of a good quality masking or painters tape approximately every 6". The tape should cross the corner and attach to the outside of each panel. The purpose of this is to secure the alignment of each panel in preparation for the silicone sealant to be applied from the inside of the shower.

    Taped Joint

    Figure 30: This illustration shows how to tape the corners of the joined panels on the outside in preparation for the sealant.

  • Seal the joint with silicone. On the inside glass corner of the shower, run a strip of tape on each panel from top to bottom. Hold the edge of the tape 1/8" to 3/16" out from the corner of the inside joint. Cut the tip of the silicone tube to produce the proper size of the silicone bead. Working from top to bottom, produce an even and consistent bead of silicone into the corner joint. Run your finger to smooth the bead into a 45° angle in the corner, and leave it to set up for a day if possible. If you’ve worked successfully with silicone caulk before, you will find this step easy. If you’ve failed miserably at this before, you may want to ask someone confident to do it. Clear, mildew resistant silicone (or water clear silicone) is always most recommended. We have found no reason to apply silicone to any outside surface of the corner. Our method holds fine, is easiest to do and requires little clean up if you’re careful…just remove all the tape!

    Silicone Seal

    Figure 31: Apply the silicone to the inside of the joint. Allow it to set for 24 - 48 hours.


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