how to fit a shower door

how to fit a shower door
Tools Needed
1 Stainless steel screws
2 Hammer
3 Nail set
4 Tape Measure
5 Tape
6 Rubber Anchors
7 Drill
8 Silicone Sealant
9 ½” stainless steel screws
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Materials Needed
1 Screwdriver
2 Felt-tip marker
3 Masking tape
4 Utility knife
5 Wood shims
6 Petroleum Jelly
7 Scissors
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Total Cost
$50-$150
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Estimated Time
3-4 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person installing a shower door

Enclosed shower doors are a great alternative to the traditional shower curtain, providing a sleek and stylish look that keeps water inside the tub while making the bathroom appear larger. The doors are fairly easy-to install, after which homeowners can expect many great years of use ahead. Total costs for the project is less than $500 when you opt for do-it-yourself work.

Learn how to fit a shower door using the step-by-step instructions below. In less than half-day, new shower doors can be installed in your bathtub with no professional help needed. When installing the shower door, take your time and never rush through the project. Slowing down a bit ensures the shower door is installed correctly the first time around, reducing time and expense spent on the project. Framed and frameless shower door options are available, although the frameless option is far more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to install.  Framed enclosures are durable, inexpensive, and easy-to install, even for DIY newbies.  Step-by-step instructions for both framed and frameless shower doors are found below.

Learn how to fit a shower door and instantly transform your bathroom into a customized space that you love, enhancing privacy and value as you go. The details below make it simple to transform your space in no time flat. Several tools and supplies are necessary to install a shower door in your bathroom. Gather all the items needed to complete the job before you begin to prevent unnecessary delays and inconveniences. Most frameless shower door kits contain all the necessary hardware to install the door, including handles, seals, and gaskets. Use the instructions below to install the single wall-mount shower door, keeping the manufacturer's instructions in mind.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Attach the Shower Door Hinges

variety of shower door hinges

Inside the frameless door package you’ll find several hinge packages. Open each package, choosing a gasket that fits your glass. Gaskets fitting both the ½” and ⅜” glass are included in the package. The ⅜” doors require the thicker gaskets, while the ½” shower doors work best using the thin gaskets.

  • Place wood shims on the shower curb
  • Lift the door onto the shims, aligning it with the opening line made during the measuring process
  • Place the door level so that the hinge mounting back plates are flush to the wall. Use your marker to mark the hinge mounting holes on tile. Remove the door to drill holes, but do not remove the shims
  • Using ¼” - 5/16” plastic anchors, drill a hole at least 2” deep, though the anchor size determines the actual depth of the hole. Place the anchors into the hole. Remove the anchor head with the utility knife, ensuring the back plate is flush to the wall.
2

Install the Shower Door Anchors

person installing shower door parts

Grip the shower door with both hands, carefully placing it back onto the top of the shims. Ensure the holes in the shower door are properly aligned with the holes in the wall. Use the screws provided in the installation kit to secure the hinges and shower door into place. If leaks develop after installation of the door sweep, check for built-up grout or consider re caulking the shower door area.

The door sweep is the rubber strip that lines the bottom of the shower door. For smooth shower door operation, install a door sweep when you’re fitting the shower door. Measure the length of the shower door. Take the measurement to the hardware or home improvement store when purchasing the door sweep to ensure correct size. A pair of scissors can also easily cut a door sweep that is too long. Coat the bottom of the door sweep with petroleum jelly, then fit it into the tracks. Secure the door sweep into place, testing the door for proper movement when finished.

3

Install The Track

person preparing and cleaning the area where they will install a shower door track

Before adding a framed shower door, clean the tub area, removing at dirt, grime, or grout stuck onto the surface. Purchase an aluminum track from the local hardware store. Measure the threshold length, and then use the hacksaw to cut the track to appropriate size. The base track should fit securely between the stalls. Use a file to smooth the ends of the track.

Put the track on the threshold, using a tape measure to ensure that it is centered. Use a pencil to mark each end of the track so that it can be easily repositioned should it slide or slip out of place during installation.

4

Attach Support Brackets Or Frame

glass shower door frame

Place the magnetic strike rail on the side jamb. Close the door until it aligns with the base track, holding the jamb and rail to keep them in place. Adjust the jamb until it is flush, marking the wall at the proper position. Remove the jamb from the rail. Align the jamb with the markings that you made and with the screw holes. Drill holes for plastic anchors. Screw the jamb to the wall. If you want to install a glass side panel, you can place the final jamb onto a panel edge and the magnetic strike rail on another. Fit the glass panel into the base track and stick the jamb against the wall.

Although not required, header installation is the next step in fitting a shower door. To set the header, measure and cut the aluminum track, sliding it over the jamb hinge and the side panel. Create a 7/32” pivot hole into each end of the jamb, securing it with a screw. Replace the magnetic strike rail back on the strike jamb, making adjustments so that the rail and magnetic strips on the door create an airtight seal when closed. Use screws to secure the magnetic strike rail onto the strike jamb.

Next, add the door handles to the shower door. To add the handles, align the outside handle to the holes found in the door frame. Place the handle on the inside, tightening the screws. Drill a pivot hole to stabilize the handles, securing with a ½” stainless steel screw at the vertical frame member. Repeat the process on the inside. Center the screws so they do not hit the glass panel.

5

Hang The Shower Doors

person hanging the shower doors

Place a jamb piece along the wall on the supportive side of the shower door, ensuring that it fits into the track when lowered. Use a level to adjust the jamb til plumb. Mark the holes for the wall using a pencil.  Remove the jamb, and make a divot where each pencil mark was made. The hammer and nail set can help create the dicot. Using a 3/16” masonry drill bit, drill holes at each mark you created. Plastic wall anchors should be placed into each hole. Use a hammer to avoid damaging the walls.  Align the jamb with the holes and plastic anchors. Drive 1 ½” stainless steel screws into the holes.

With the hinge positioned to swing out, raise the door and place the hinge rail into the jamb. Ensure the strike-side edge is plumb as the door is held in place. Pull the hinge rail out at the bottom or top if it is not plumb. There should be a ½” adjustment between the pieces. Drill four 7/32” pilot holes in the hinge rail. You may need someone to hold the door as you drill the holes. Use ½” stainless steel screws to secure the hinge rail to the jamb.

6

Silicone Caulk Protection

completed shower door installation

Remove the vinyl sweep from the drip rail. Cut to fit the door width using a hacksaw. Use a file to round the ends. Replace the vinyl sweep into the groove of the rail. Use pliers to crimp the ends closed to hold the sweep in place. Use stainless steel screws to secure the drip rail. One final step provides superior protection and peace of mind in your shower door installation. Add a bead of silicone caulk to the inside and outside edges of the shower door track. Smooth the silicone caulk immediately after it is applied. Use the utility knife to remove excess once the caulk dries.

Conclusion

Whether installing a framed or frameless shower door, it’s a DIY project you’ll feel rewarded for completing. Use the above instructions and you know how to fit a shower door as well as any pro.

How To Fit A Shower Door

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