Frameless Glass Shower Enclosure Design Tips!
Upgrading to a new glass shower enclosure can be a painstaking process… but with a little bit of meticulous planning, your new shower install will go seamless. The shower design process and pre-planning helps so that moisture is kept INSIDE the shower, leaks are avoided and mold does not form.
Tip 1: The Shower head Position
While it may be common sense, the position of one’s shower head is one of the most vital things to consider when designing your glass shower enclosure. To minimize leakage, you never want your shower head positioned facing the opening of the shower door. You want the shower head to be facing the tiled walls or fixed panels. This will help keep the water inside the shower enclosure, and not on your bathroom floor. In the illustrations above, the first two examples are ideal. Avoid what is shown in the third example.
Tip 2: Raised Tiles and Overhangs
When dealing with odd overhangs and raised tiles, one might wonder the best way to keep the water in one's new shower.
For one, to avoid gaps between the wall and the glass, use a fixed glass panel in your shower design and notch the tile so that the panel can be lined up flush against the wall. The maximum width and depth for notching raised tile is ¾” (depth) and ½” (width). To notch overhangs deeper than ¾” depth, you will need to consult a tile professional. Keep in mind that the enclosure may in some instances still require the use of a metal filler (pictured above right) between the glass and the buttress wall.
Another thing to consider – frameless glass shower enclosures are sealed with a clear silicone. You may be anxious to jump into your brand new shower, but the setting process takes 24 hours. This is to ensure the moisture stays locked in the shower area, and the frameless hardware is fully settled.
Tip 3: Curb Tops
To decrease the likelihood of leaks in your shower enclosure, make sure that the curb top you use is a solid piece of tile, marble, or granite. Avoid a shower curb that is tiled with grout. Water collects in the grout joints and it may be an area where mildew can form. While it may be more expensive, having a solid piece of granite for the curb top (sans any grout lines) fixes this potential problem. See the third picture above to see the ideal curb top for your glass shower enclosure.
Tip 4: Pipes and Wiring
This tip is especially helpful if you're installing a shower in a new section of your home, perhaps an unfinished basement or an expanded bathroom. Be wary of any plumbing pipe and electrical wiring where you will be anchoring your shower enclosure. Anchoring screws may puncture anything behind the studs or walls.
Other tips: Use a glass and mirror company that fabricates their own glass. If there are ever any snares in the installation process, a flexible glass company will be able to fabricate your tempered shower glass in less than a day.
These tips will ensure your shower enclosure avoids leakage and mold, and is easy to clean and maintain. Not to mention, being diligent in your shower enclosure design, ensures that the installers run into zero problems come installation day. One thing is for sure, you will be amazed how a frameless glass shower enclosure is sturdy, lacks ugly and bulky hardware, and keeps the water inside!
About the Author
Shahab Shokouhi is a Writer at Dulles Glass and Mirror -- a manufacturer of commercial and residential glass products including tempered glass, glass top, and glass top desks.