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DIY Center  >> Shower Guide to Success >> Constructing the Opening Download Printable PDF Version


  • All vertical and horizontal surfaces of the shower itself should be plumb and level to within 1/8". Out of square cuts are required for each piece of glass that needs to fit into a non plumb and level opening. Each out of square cut adds additional cost to the product.

  • All sill areas (where the bottom of the glass rests) should be sloped slightly toward the interior of the shower. This will allow all water landing on these areas to return to the inside floor of the shower, and ultimately the drain.

  • All surfaces of the shower that will come in contact with the glass should be covered with a waterproof material (tile, marble, granite, solid surfaces, etc.) Avoid attaching glass or channel directly to drywall or water-proof underlayment board. These materials were designed to be used underneath other waterproof materials, so use them for what they are intended.

  • Should you choose a decorative accent strip for the inside shower walls, try to choose one that does not have heavily textured or severe raises in the finished surface, such as many "listello" tiles. Should you do so, make certain they are not placed in areas where edges of the glass or channel would come into contact. It is best to create a starting and stopping point for these decorative tiles. These types of applications can adversely affect placement of the shower door and the type of hinges that can be used.

  • Provide solid wood backing behind any wall surfaces where the structural components of the shower enclosure (hinges and headers) are to be fastened. A typical 28" wide x 80" high door in 3/8" thick glass weighs close to 80 lbs, while ½" thick glass approaches 120 lbs. It is imperative that the hinges be securely attached to solid backing.

  • Be certain that the finish surfaces on the interior of the shower walls (tile, marble, granite, solid surface) are securely fastened to the wall substrate board. When these materials develop a crack when being properly drilled, 80% of the time it is related to poor installation of these finishing materials.

  • Avoid using glass composition tiles at any wall surfaces that require holes to be drilled, such as door hinges. If you have had success with glass tile installed at these areas, it's more likely due to luck than anything else!

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