Thursday, May 2, 2013

Be An Expert - The Easy Way...

There are quite a few details to consider when preparing your bathroom for a frameless shower enclosure. If you go about it the wrong way you could face significant leakage, soaring costs, or even worse, a malfunctioning shower door. Listed below are some simple tips that can help you avoid unneeded headaches and expenses.

Breaking the monotony of patterned tile can be achieved with subtle flourishes like an overhang. While this might bring some welcomed visual dynamics to a shower enclosure, it can cause major problems for your door or glass panels. For knee walls, make sure there is no overhang on the hinged side of the door which might interfere with its range of motion. If you’re going with just a door, overhanging decorative tiles can disrupt its movement, so make sure your tile is flush. In order to reduce labor costs, avoid overhang on seats on which a fixed panel will rest. This eliminates the need for notching the tile where the panel meets the vertical portion of the seat.

Showerhead Placement
Some people are hesitant to go with a frameless shower because they imagine their bathroom floor turned into a tiled floodplain as endless water escapes through the gaps between the glass. This doesn’t occur in a properly designed and sealed enclosure. The main culprit of spray out is a poorly placed showerhead. Never position your showerhead directly across from the door since the hinge and handle side gaps are the only unsealed ones in the unit. This would allow water a straight shot through the 3/16” openings out of the enclosure. You want the shower stream flowing perpendicularly to the door so any water that does hit the gaps is coming at an angle, making the pathway for water loss negligible.

Panel Width
Whether you’re remodeling or starting from scratch, it’s fun to get creative with your shower enclosure design. Customers come up with some pretty elaborate layouts knowing that the glass can all be custom ordered to fit their unique design. One major logistical consideration to bear in mind when planning a frameless enclosure is that the minimum width of tempered glass panels is 3½”. Another point of note is that 3/8” panels wider than 38” are susceptible to roller distortion. Roller distortion is a wavelike aberration that occurs in the glass as a result of the cooling process. If it is present in panels around 38”, it will most likely be very subtle, but it can become quite extreme as panel widths substantially increase. If your design requires panels wider than 48” you’ll want to consider ½” glass for its resistance to roller distortion, as well as, safety concerns.

For an expanded guide, with many other tips and helpful illustrations, visit our BUILDER'S GUIDE TO FRAMELESS SHOWERS.