When you are in the initial stages of designing a frameless shower enclosure, it is important that you consider all the facets of the job. This includes potential problems that may arise, and any safety issues that you should be aware of. It is interesting that in the many years we have taken phone calls from our shower door customers, we often hear customers say that they have a design problem that could have been prevented with better preparation. We encourage you to review the information on these next two pages carefully (and many times) to assist you in completing the project in an efficient and safe manner, while maximizing your profit because of the sound decisions you have made in the planning stages.
Common Installation Problems and Solutions
DO NOT HINGE A DOOR OFF OF A FIXED PANEL USING GLASS-TO-GLASS HINGES, IF THE FIXED PANEL IS NOT SUPPORTED AT THE TOP. If a door is to be hinged off of a fixed panel using Glass-to-Glass Hinges, one of the following criteria must be met:
(A) The door must be hinged off a fixed panel that is secured at both the curb and the ceiling with either U-Channel or Glass Clamps. (B) If the fixed panel does not go to the ceiling, the top of the panel must be secured with a Header System or a Support Bar.
If the design allows, using Wall Mount Hinges instead of Glass-to-Glass Hinges (to avoid swinging a door off of an unsupported fixed panel), is a good solution. A door swinging off of an unsupported fixed panel can cause the panel to wobble or flex, and be unsafe.
ALWAYS ADHERE TO MANUFACTURER’S SPECIFICATIONS CONCERNING BOTH WEIGHT AND DOOR WIDTH CAPACITIES WHEN DECIDING THE PROPER AMOUNT OF HINGES TO USE ON THE DOOR. It may be tempting to cut corners and save on hardware costs by stretching manufacturer’s recommendations of hardware limitations. This is not a good business decision. Also, by no means should you ever put four CRL Hinges on a door. You will note that all of our recommended specifications addess the use of two or three hinges.
WHEN USING WALL MOUNT HINGES, PUT A STRAIGHT EDGE ON THE WALL THAT THE HINGES WILL BE MOUNTED ON. Remember, the wall can be out of plumb, but it has to be straight. Hinges operate on a pivot point, and pivot points must align with one another. When the pivot points are not aligned, and are clamped to a heavy piece of glass that will not flex, the glass can slip when the door swings. By identifying this condition when measuring, you can avoid the problem by either using Top and Bottom Pivot Hinges (to avoid the wall completely), or plan on putting a shim plate behind the back plate of the hinge that is closest to the wall, pushing it out so that it aligns with the pivoting point of the other hinge/hinges.
MAKE SURE THAT WHEN USING WALL MOUNT HINGES the wall has a wood stud behind it, or the surface substrate is strong/thick enough and secured sufficiently to accommodate proper screw anchors.
WHEN USING WALL MOUNT HINGES, AND THE SAME WALL HAS A TOWEL BAR MOUNTED ON IT, design consideration must be given as to whether that Towel Bar will be struck by the door when it opens to a full 90 degrees. This situation can restrict access to the shower, and more importantly, with the glass hitting the Towel Bar, there is a chance of the door exploding. A possible solution is to use Top and Bottom Pivot Hinges, and inset the Hinges enough so that the pivot point projects far enough from the wall to clear the Towel Bar.
AN ALUMINUM SHOWER DOOR THRESHOLD SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN A FLAT OR OUTSLOPING CURB CONDITION EXISTS UNDER THE DOOR. We offer Thresholds in stock lengths that can be adhered to the curb with silicone under the door. The rounded, low contour of the Threshold will not harm feet when entering or exiting the shower. The Threshold helps to act as a dam, and will assist in watershed back into the shower. A Bottom Wipe can work in conjunction when positioned above the Threshold. Attention should be given as to whether the slope of the floor causes an uneven clearance gap directly underneath the door. If so, we offer Double Fin Vinyl Wipes (Cat. Nos. SDTDF and SDTDFT2) which offer two different leg lengths. Having the flexibility of the two fins allows you to deal with an uneven clearance gap. The Double Fin simply drags across the top of the Threshold to create a seal.