Replace Framed with Frameless Shower Doors?

jaxoJune 14, 2013

I want to replace the sliding shower door with a nicer frameless shower that swings instead of sliding. The new glass door will be suspended by hinges.
I want to make it as easy as possible to clean and not have to deal with frames and tracks anymore.

The issue I see is what is the exposed tile going to look like when the frames and tracks are removed? Glue/silicone stains? Screw holes??
I think the screw holes can be easily filled it with some kind of caulking, but I can foresee lots residue when the old frames are removed.
Is there any sure way to clean the tile up so there is no way to tell there used to be different doors installed or would I need to plan on retiling after removing the old doors?
I don't have any spare tiles, so I don't know if I will be able to find matching tiles in that color.


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ruthie51

I'm sorry, I don't have an answer to your question, I just wanted to say that the semi-frameless enclosure you have now is really very nice. And your shower and shower doors look sparkling clean.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

It looks like smooth tile to me and easily cleaned with a single edge razor blade if any silicone caulk remains. Perhaps the new frameless hinges could be installed to cover the old holes. Get a glass shop to come in and confirm, but I think you will be fine with the switch. Frameless glass is thicker (3/8 to 1/2") than 1/4" framed, and you will most likely be able to cover all the previous holes. Swinging is so much better than sliding.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:52PM
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jaxo

The main reason I want swinging doors is to make it easier to clean. I don't have time to squeegee the doors every time the shower is used, so I just clean the shower once a week on the weekends. I use Bar Keepers Friend to clean all the soap residue and water spots off the shower door glass and it works perfectly except that the BKK residue gets into the tracks and when I slide the doors it sounds a bit like nails on a chalkboard until all of the powder residue washes out of the crevices a day or two later.
There are also parts of the tracks that cannot be cleaned because the glass is in the way no matter which side you slide the doors to. The doors would have to be removed to clean out the plastic spacers that keep the doors apart.
I was thinking of getting Hydroshield or Diamondshield glass sealant on the new doors, but they said you still need to squeegee the glass after every use of the shower to maintain it and BKK would remove the protection.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Have you ever used a product called "Clean Shower"? After every shower you spray the glass and tile and you get no hard water build up. We've been using it for years and it works!. No grit. Not recommended for natural stone, but great for ceramic tile, and yours looks like ceramic to me. I will NOT use a squeegee. In our new master bath I insisted on porcelain tile and quartz for all surfaces, as well as obscure patterned (bamboo) glass so I can simply spray this stuff with a few squirts after each shower.

This product is worth a try before you change out your glass.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:32AM
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ceezeecz

Babka, I saw 3 different manufacturers each with a product having that name - "Clean Shower". Do you know who makes the one you use?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:49AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Here you go... The label says Church and Dwight Co, Princetonj NJ.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:33AM
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millworkman

Look at "Showerguard" by Guardian. Lifetime warranty, it is actually in the glass mfg process as opposed to applied so it is on all surfaces. It is a little more expensive than the applied product and you do not need to squeegee it every day.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:16AM
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jaxo

I may look at Showergaurd or anything else that is similar and does not require you to baby the glass out of fear you will scrub the protective coating off.
Ideally, I would be able to clean the glass by just rinsing off any soap/shampoo that gets on the glass by using the shower hose attachment before stepping out of the shower and letting it air dry. Then on weekends, the tile can be scrubbed with bathroom cleaning products and the glass cleaned with any glass cleaner and towel dried to remove any spots.
I don't have time to deal with cleaning the shower 7 days a week.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:32PM
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jaxo

Ease of cleaning is a major reason for changing the doors, but it is not the only reason. I want nicer doors with thick glass anyway and I don't want to have to worry about bumping my head on the top frame.
Even though these sliding doors have minimal frames, I will prefer how the bathroom will look with no frames around the shower doors at all.
With a fixed piece plus a swinging door, there will be no frames and no tracks. That should be the lowest maintenance possible for this bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:41PM
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writersblock

Getting back to your original question, this may be of interest:

Here is a link that might be useful: young house love removes shower doors

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Thanks for that link, Writersblock! We have sliding doors over the tub in our guest bathroom which we've been using while the master bath gets remodeled. Seeing that there were just those two small holes on each side ofthe tiled walls after the frame was removed means that those doors will come down sooner rather than later. Goodie.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 1:15AM
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jaxo

I decided to replace the doors with this style and got Shower Guard treatment.
This should be the easiest to clean possible since I have the special glass that water spots will not stick to plus no tracks to collect gunk.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:28PM
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kindle

@jaxo...how much did this end up running you? we have been wanting to get rid of our sliding doors for a while and this may be a perfect solution
Great job!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:26PM
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jaxo

It was around $1800.
It's more than normal because I got the glass extra tall, extra thick and got the Shower Guard treatment.
I probably could have just got the standard height. The main reason I had extra height on the old doors was so I didn't bump my head on the top rail. Since there is no longer a top rail, this doesn't matter any more. Maybe the extra height will cut down on any overspray outside the shower.
The Shower Guard doesn't work the way I expected it would. I expected the water to just run off in sheets with no beading or spots, but their is plenty of beading.
There are no spots "sticking" to the glass, and they guarantee that water spots will never etch permanently into the glass and it won't develop pitting that makes the shower door glass get harder to clean as it ages.

it still takes some elbow grease to get it spotless. I am just not super impressed yet because I thought it would be easier to keep clean than it is. If it doesn't get any harder to clean in a few years than it is today, then I'll be impressed with it at that time since I'm not going to squeegee the glass between cleanings since it isn't supposed to be needed as long as you clean it regularly (scrub it clean of soap scum on weekends etc.)
I don't have any more tracks to clean and it's also easier to clean since I not longer have a section of the doors that overlap each other, so I like it much better overall.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Linelle

jaxo, is the vertical thing (with the photo) the door handle? At first I thought it was something on the wall of the shower and I couldn't figure out how you opened the door. :) Is there some magnetic thing to get the door flush with the fixed part?

I have a shower this size with by-pass glass doors. It takes me 30 seconds or so to squeegee them both EVERY time I shower. It's mildly annoying, but I don't have to scrub or polish them.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:13AM
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carra

I've been told that glass shower doors (no matter what type) need to be squeegeed, which is why we didn't bother to get any expensive coatings. Honestly, it takes less than a minute to do!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:45AM
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jaxo

There is a clear plastic channel that I have slid down the side of the fixed panel that makes the doors door line up when you close the door. So, the door only opens one way now. It has to be removed if you want the door to swing both ways, but without it, it is annoying to fiddle with it to get the door to line up perfectly with the panel when you shut it.

I will not be squeegeeing. That is the whole point of getting this glass treatment.
The Shower Gaurd treatment is supposed to be different from the others because it is not a "coating" that wears off after a while. It is fully embedded and baked into the glass during manufacturing. You don't need to use "special" cleaning products to clean it like the others. They give you a long list of approved cleaning products you can get from any supermarket.
The old doors I got from Lowes had a coating on them that was amazing for about a year and then it wore off and the glass was just like any other glass. Waste of money. The last couple of years, I had to use Bar Keepers Friend to scrub the soap scum and spots off. It worked, but is was messy and the BKF residue got into the tracks no matter how much I rinsed.
This product originally had a 10 year warranty and the company recently changed to lifetime.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Linelle

One thing I found to really clean glass shower doors is a mix of Oxyclean and water (like pancake batter). It's a mess, you're gonna get wet, and it takes some rinsing to get it all off...but the glass will sparkle.

I still think a quick squeegee every time (every time!) will keep the glass looking really good with very little effort.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:25PM
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