how to install a shower door

shower door installation by a professional
Tools Needed
1 4-foot level
2 Nail gun or hammer
3 Metal filings
4 Finishing nails
5 Tape measure
6 ¾-inch chisel
7 Philips-head screwdriver
8 Driver or drill
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Materials Needed
1 Safety Glasses
2 Gloves
3 Garbage Bag
Total Cost
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Estimated Time
3-5 Hours
Skill Level: Expert
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

Beautiful Shower Doors

Installing a shower door is usually the last step in the installation of a new shower in your bathroom. This installation will take only a couple of hours as long as you use the right measurements, tools and organization. It is not as difficult as you may expect.

With our shower door installation guide you will learn what tools and equipment are needed for the proper execution of this job, and exactly how to hang the door without any problem.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Plan and Take Measurements

Taking Measurements Of Shower Door Dimensions

Carefully measure the width of your shower opening, at least, in 3 places: up to a five feet, threshold and halfway in between

  • You need to use a filler strips for any walls that are more than five feet, and also exceed vertical by half an inch. The strip should be similar in color, to ensure the door is plumb.
  • From the exact position on the threshold where your door will pivot, precisely measure the distances to your bath fixtures and other potential obstacles that the door may hit when it swings.
  • Make a sketch of your shower in plain view (from above) and also in terms of elevation (side view). Jot down all these measurements and head into the bathroom.

Cut the Base Track to Length

Cutting Shower Door Track

After measuring the length of the threshold of the shower, use a saw to cut off the base track so that it fits tightly between the walls of your stall. Using a file smooth over the cut ends. Thoroughly vacuum the metal filings instantly so they do not scratch your shower base or bathroom floor.


Set Up the Base Track

person installing the bottom track for a shower door

Keep the base track on the floor and take out your tape measure. Ensure it is centered from back to front. Using a pencil, place marks on the threshold along the edges of the base track close to each end. This will enable you to easily reposition it, in case it slides during jamb installation.


Mark the Hinge-Side Jamb

person using a pencil to mark measurements on a shower frame

Along the sides of your shower opening that is used for supporting the shower door hold a piece of jamb tightly against your wall such that its lower end is wedged into the track. Do not move your track, with a 4-foot level keep adjusting the jamb until it is plumb.

Stick a pencil or pen through the screw holes of the jamb to mark the walls. Remove the jamb gently, and on every pencil mark make a tiny divot with a hammer or punch and nail set. The tool chips the glaze of the tiles enough and help in preventing the drill from wandering.


Drill Holes for the Wall Anchors

person using a drill to drill holes in a shower door frame

Drill holes carefully at every mark with a 3/16-inch-diameter drill bit. Tack a plastic anchor into all screw holes. Be careful and use a plastic mallet so that you don’t mar the walls. Position the jamb meticulously against your wall such that its screw holes nicely align with plastic anchors. Hammer a 1½-inch steel pan-head screw into every hole.


Hang the Shower Door

Person Hanging The Shower Door

Lift your door and position it so that its attached hinge rail swings out, and place the hinge rail in the jamb. Secure the door in its place, checking its strike-side edge using your level to ensure it is plumb. In case it is not, slightly pull out the hinge rail from the jamb at the bottom or top.

When the shower door is plumb, the hinge rail will still be securely engaged in the jamb—there is a complete ½ inch of adjustment for the plumb between the 2 pieces. Request a helper to hold the shower door in place, and make four 8/32-inch holes through the hinge rail’s holes and into the jamb. Secure the hinge rail firmly to the jamb using several ½-inch steel pan-head screws.


Install the Final Side Jamb

Shower Door Parts

In case there is no side panel, place the magnetic strike rail on the last side jamb. Holding the jamb and rail close the shower door until it aligns with the base track. Keep adjusting the jamb until it is flush against your wall. Place marks on the wall along the jamb then remove it from the rail. Keep the jamb aligned with a pencil line and then mark the locations for screw holes. Drill holes for plastic anchors and tack the jamb to your wall.

For installing the side panel, place the jamb on one of the edges of the panel and the strike rail on the other edge. Slip the panel in the track. Closing the shower door mark the wall alongside the jamb. Remove the magnetic rail and jamb from the panel and firmly attach the jamb. Slip the panel back into the base track and jamb.


Screw the Frame Together

screwdriver being used to screw in the shower door frame

Install the shower door handle. Align the exterior handle with the door frame’s holes. Attach the door’s interior handle then tighten the screws. Secure the assembly by making a hole. Then drive a ½-inch screw through the base track’s exterior, where it meets the vertical frame member. Repeat the same process on the interior of this header. Keep the screws centered on the aluminum extrusions.


Your shower door has been installed. For making your shower enclosure completely waterproof, you can apply a bead of clear and mildew-resistant silicone caulk along the outside and inside edges of the base track. Applying silicone along the interior edges of the left and right side jambs is also important.

Immediately smooth out the silicone after application to create an even and neat joint. This will add to the aesthetic appeal of your newly installed door. Now feel free to hop in the shower, you deserve a nice long shower after this job.

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