Semi Frameless Shower Leaks: Curb is out of level and outsloping

0901teacherFebruary 16, 2013

I really need help. I just had a tiled shower installed. Now that the semi-frameless door is on, I've discovered that it leaks like a sieve onto the bathroom floor. The 60" tiled curb is out of level by 3/4" and very slightly outsloping causing water to run in the grout lines like a canal.

My glass company suggested installing a metal threshold from CR Laurence, here's the link:

I'm worried that water will wear away the silicone on this piece causing it to leak over time.

The tile installer offered to redo the curb - leveling it and sloping it into the shower. He wants to use the remaining tile.

The glass company said they can't alter the shower door because it is tempered safety glass and that another new door would need to be purchased if this was done.

Would someone please give me some advice? My questions are:

1. Should I accept the metal thresold? Will it hold up over time?

2. Should I have the tile installer redo the curb? If it's level and slopes inward to the shower will it be ok to use tile (grout lines) or should I use a solid surface instead?

3. Is the glass company telling the truth? Can the door be adjusted or would a new door need to be purchased?

I'm desperate and would really appreciate your advice. I've asked the only other companies in my town and they don't want to be involved because they work with the tile installer. (They do say that if the curb was reconstructed to be level and inward sloping that should fix the problem but they don't answer the questions above) I know the tile installer didn't do a bad job deliberately - he used a preformed, waterprood curb that comes level. He said he's used it in hundreds of showers successfully. My house is old and crooked. I know that contributed to the problem but it's like the perfect storm. I feel so uninformed and helpless. I don't want to make the wrong choice and regret the $8000 I've spent on this very pretty -leaking shower.

I would appreciate any help or guidance you can offer.

Jean a.k.a. a desperate kindergarten teacher, who didn't really want to learn about leaking showers.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not sure I understand why having the tiler redo the curb means you will need a new shower door. But yes, the glass company is telling you the truth, tempered glass cannot be cut.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for responding. I was thinking that through this morning. Don't you think the tiler can redo the curb and keep the door the same? I'll talk to them tomorrow. I measured the glass - both sides - the stationary side that is in a uchannel and the door - the measurements seem consistent across the 60in width. I don't understand the problem.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am guessing that perhaps the door was measured for and cut AFTER the curb went in? I only have semi-frameless, and have a clear rubber gasket in a metal sleeve at the bottom of my glass door, which I assume you don't have? Perhaps there will be no room for the door to swing if the curb ends up higher?

Is it possible to make sure the new level curb is lower, not higher, and then have a rubber gasket put on the bottom of the door? I know that may not be the look, but perhaps form over function in this case?

I don't know how well that metal threshold would stay in place over time, though I guess it could be re-siliconed if it fell off.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, at first I thought that threshold went on the bottom of the glass door! I see now it is to go over the curb! But then I wonder how your door clears the added height? Can you post a pic of your present curb and bottom of door?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you have a clear, removable plastic/silicone gasket along the bottom of your shower door? If not, get one and see if that helps. If you do, you can get clear plastic spacers from the glass company to adjust how tight the seal is.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We had our shower measured last week and our curb is also sloped outward. It is a stone slab and was chipped during the original install by the fabricators. When they brought out the replacement piece, my husband decided he wanted to install it himself to try to get less of a gap between it and the tile on the face of the curb than the installers had originally.

He swears it was level when he installed it, but it seems to have settled slightly at a slope. The person who came to measure suggested the same metal threshold. I'm not thrilled about it, but we are going with it. At this point, I think the granite would crack if we tried to remove it. It's been set for a couple of weeks now. Since my husband did the last install, I can't lay any blame with the fabricator and have them redo it. Install of the shower door is scheduled for Wednesday. I'm just hoping it is not very noticeable with the door closed.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had to add a threshold and it solved my leaking problem. It totally disappears when the door is closed. I have had it several years with no problems.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the curb is pitched outward and you add a stop on top of the curb, you're simply going to have water pooling on top of your curb. With grout lines on top of the curb, that could be problematic.

To repair "as is", I'd recommend your installer shoot a couple of lines from side jamb to side jamb, across the face of the glass wall that contains the door. Use these as reference lines to show the bottom edge of your current door, or the top edge of the curb. Either or. He just needs a reference for an existing elevation. .

Then pull the glass, pull the curb cap, clean up the curb, and reset the curb cap at the same elevation but pitched into the shower. Then reset the glass.

It's not difficult, but it does require thought and patience to properly execute the repair.

Your questions:

1) No.

2) Yes. But only if he thinks he's capable of doing the repair. To keep your existing door "as is", he'll need to reinstall the curb with the same left-right slope as it has now, so the reveal between the door and the curb remains the same. But he'll have to pitch the curb int the shower instead of it pitching into the bathroom.

3) The door can not be recut. Often times hinges can't be moved on the glass door itself, because the door may have cutouts in the glass itself to accept the hinges. Some glass doors have hinge cutouts, some hinges simply clamp over the glass. I don't know which hinges you have.

But the entire assembly (hinges and glass door) could be adjusted upward if need be by redrilling new hinge holes in the shower wall. But any elevation adjustments to the door would have to be mirrored in the glass panel adjacent to the door.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Add this to my previous:

If the glass will be pulled, then work out the scope of work and responsibility ahead of time. In writing.

In a perfect world you'd have the glass company come out and remove the glass, then when the repairs are done, they come back out to reset the glass. That'll usually cost $$$.

That money does not come out of your pocket. Your tiler can pay for them to do that. He may insist he can do it himself, with the caveat that he is accepting full responsibility for damage to any of the glass panels. And that's where the problems arise. Will he pony up $500 or $2500 for new glass if he shatters a panel?

I'd let him have that responsibility only after he gives you a deposit of the $500 or $2500 that the replacement glass would cost. The glass breaks, you have cash on hand for new glass.

If the repairs go fine with no damage, he gets the full amount back.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Monogoct is correct about water pooling on top of the curb. However, we squeegee the glass after every shower and so just squeegee the curb at the same time. Nothing is perfect in this life.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I see tile folks do this all the time. Now when ever I measure for a shower door I look for this issue before ordering any glass. The curb idea works and pooling is not a problem if, when you are done showering, you open the door to the inside first and then open outward to get out. The sweep on the door will act as a squeegee and clean off the curb.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are having this same problem, although for us I don't think the curb is slanted outward, just that we were stupid and used our 2"x2" floor tiles to cover the curb. There are a lot of grout lines, and when a shower takes longer than usual the water pooling on the other side of the threshold is quite a lot.

We've been living with this for 2+ years and it has really gotten to me. Our current practice is to keep a handtowel in the shower and just wipe up the floor after every use. I would really prefer a more permanent fix.

I've been thinking about filling in the grout lines with silicone so that any water collecting there cannot sneak out under the door. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Use a clear vinyl dam strip which gets siliconed to the tile on the curb.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much, millworkman. Do I need to adjust the installation of the door? It has a sweep mounted on the bottom. The door swings out of the shower.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No a water dam or dam strip is a clear vinyl strip that gets applied at the curb where the door closes. Will look for a picture shortly, here are some options but could not find exactly what I was looking for.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This ism the threshold that goes under the door and can also be used as a dam strip. At some point I hope to find then picture of exactly what I am speaking of as well.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The sweep we have is just like the one you pictured in your post at 10:35. Even with the two vinyl flanges hanging down there is plenty of room along the numerous grout lines for water to seep under the door. I like the idea of the vinyl dam in your next post but I'm not sure how to make that work without interfering with the swing of the current sweep. Perhaps the company that installed the glass walls can replace the sweep with something that works better combined with the dam?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can certainly ask!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 6:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Trying to Match.....
I am trying to match a set of Dornbracht Madison lav....
Patricia Kuehne
Tall toilet brands?
Looking for suggestions, need taller than the standard...
Finishing touches – Towel Ring location, need opinions
Hello. My bathroom is starting to come together and...
Need advice on best mirror/sconce option in small master bath
My husband and I are FINALLY renovating our master...
Shower help for new build
Hi everyone! I have been lurking on this forum for...
Sponsored Products
Hydromassage Chrome Hand Shower With Silicone Jets and 5 Functions
FontanaArte | Kodo 3099/120 Wall/Ceiling Light
$310.00 | YLighting
Vigo Industries Frameless Neo-Angle Double Door Shower Enclosure - 47" x 47"
Modern Bathroom
Unbranded Shower 6 in. Recessed White Trim 11233AT-15
$35.40 | Home Depot
Tec Concealed 2 Outlet Triple Thermostatic Shower Valve (Slim Plate)
Hudson Reed
32 x 32 Stone shower base Mongolia black basalt - CORAL BLACK
Neptune | Cache Square Alcove Shower Base
$645.00 | YBath
Economy Add On Shower Tub Filler
Signature Hardware
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™