Frameless Shower - U channel or clamps?

nziegler773June 25, 2012

I am putting in a frameless shower enclosure and need some hardware advice quickly! The company I am working with asked me if I wanted the non-door panels (above the knee wall) to be attached with a u-channel or clamps. We will be using the CRL Pinnacle hinges. I have no idea which to pick. Is one better looking? When I look on the web for photos all I see are pictures of the clamps or the U-channel parts, not installed so I can't really tell. How about ease of maintenance?

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treasuretheday

I had assumed that we'd get clips for our pony wall glass since that's what I've seen most often. Instead our glass pro suggested a u-channel at the wall and just silicone at the ceiling and ledge. I couldn't be happier with how clean and unobtrusive it looks.

We have CLR pivot hinges...

The u-channel is barely noticeable...

Having the glass siliconed at the ledge merely requires a quick wipe to clean. It might take a little more effort if you need to have a u-channel there but I'd still much prefer it to clips. For me, less hardware is better.

This is a pic taken before the room was finished but it shows the shower's overall appearance the best...

Check out this previous thread for some other info/options...

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous thread about u-channels & clips

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:45PM
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KevinMP

I did something very similar to the above post, although I'm still waiting for them to replace the glass with starphire (which should be in sometime this week). But, as long as you're using chrome/polished nickel (or some other silver finish), the u channel is not that noticeable. In chrome it practically disappears.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:08PM
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millworkman

The company I work for uses "mini-clips" as opposed to the channel and I really think it looks much cleaner and a lot less metal

Here is a link that might be useful: Mini-clip pic

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:33AM
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KevinMP

Those mini clips look like broken up pieces of u channel, which should make them cheaper than regular clips. But you still have the problem that you have with clips: gaps that need to be filled with silicone to prevent water from running underneath the glass. Unless your shower is large enough for water not to be an issue, that's the reason that I went with the U channel: it was substantially cheaper than adding four clips because of the materials and the labor, avoiding the appearance of silicone between clips (which I would have needed given that my shower has body sprays and is only 5' x 3'), and you really don't even notice the channel. That being said, I would never put the metal around the door or threshold like some do.

I'd price both so that you can make an economic decision, and then, depending on that and whether you want to look at silicone (if your shower configuration requires it), make the decision between clips, mini clips, or the u channel.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:35PM
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phiwwy

Good question. I prefer the look of the clips. I feel that the uchannel takes away from a frameless shower (although the above pix are gorgeous!).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 1:42PM
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millworkman

While I agree that the clips are essentially short pieces of channel two or three clip properly spaced look much better then channel all the way around, just too much metal for me.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:56AM
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treasuretheday

I think this is largely an aesthetic decision and up to individuals' personal preference. For me, my eyes go right to the clips...

Traditional Bathroom design by San Francisco Architect Thomas Saxby Architect

especially if you're using ORB...

Traditional Bathroom design by Boston Design-build ARCHIA HOMES

whereas a narrow channel blends in and becomes less noticeable, particularly if you are able to limit it to just where the glass attaches to the wall.

Contemporary Bathroom design by Seattle Kitchen And Bath Kayron Brewer, CKD / Studio KB

The most important hardware to avoid, to me, is the metal header bar at the top, which really defeats the idea of a "frameless" shower.

Traditional Bathroom design by Philadelphia Tile Stone And Countertop StoneMar Natural Stone Company LLC

It really comes down to what you're comfortable with and what works best in your particular configuration. Don't hesitate to meet with several glass pros to get their input. It wasn't until I met with my third guy that I found out that a single uchannel at the wall with silicone at the top and bottom would work in my application. I'm glad that I did.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:27AM
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millworkman

I agree if you use that type of clip we generally always use what is called a "mini clip" and is much less obtrusive then that type of clip. It is essentially about the same size as the channel just approximately 2 1/2" long.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:16PM
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treasuretheday

Do you have a picture of a shower using mini clips? I'm all in favor of minimizing shower hardware so I'd love to see how the mini clips look installed in a shower.

I do love a beautiful shower door handle though (like Kevin's) and have no problem with them being noticed!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:48PM
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pharaoh

Nice photos! the orb shower looks like a hardware display , eekss.

Even though i thought i wanted clips, i actually now prefer the channel. as mentioned by TOD, channel actually blend in.
avoid the header because you want to see a clear floating glass edge at top.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:31PM
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davidro1

if you are willing to be a fussy customer, you can order a panel of tempered glass that is exactly the right size to fit a space AND have it siliconed into that space without using any metal hardware at all. Insist, and get someone who agrees to do it.

They have to measure well, and maybe even make a template. Or, you do.

I did this.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:30PM
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jfrischmann

hi davidro 1! I am very interested in your post..I have heard about "structural silicone" is that what you used? Is it just normal silicone? Many thanks!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:11PM
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millworkman

Silicone alone will NOT hold a shower enclosure in place period!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:12AM
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