Frameless shower door help!

azpenJune 9, 2012


I'm at the final step of remodeling and am being very indecisive about the frameless shower configuration. Any help and advice is appreciated, especially if you have any positive/negative experience with your own shower door. Here's a picture of the remodeled shower:

The bathroom door faces the shower. The picture shows it in full open position. The cabinet is to the right of the shower, about 5" away from the edge of the tiles. Tiles go up to but not including ceiling. The easy part is where the door will go (right of tub) but apparently having that little perpendicular piece on the right is messing things up.

Here are my questions:

1. Should the door open on the left or right when facing the shower from the outside? Opening door on left allows me to put a towel bar on the glass left of the door for easy access after shower, but it maybe less roomy to enter the shower with the tub on the left. Also when the shower door is fully open it will be sticking out further from the vanity, kinda feels like boxing yourself in. If I open the door on the right, someone suggested putting a hook on the glass to the right to hang towels temporarily.

2. I prefer completely frame less doors but to be structurally safe the piece of glass supporting the door hinge needs to either go all the way up to the ceiling or there needs to be a support bar added (smallest would be 6" bar at 45 deg angle between glass and perpendicular wall, like this: To allow for better ventilation, I don't think all the glass should go up to the ceiling so the glass would not all have the same height. I could have all the glass going up to the ceiling except the door or just the panel of glass supporting the door. Which do you think looks worse? uneven glass or support bar?

3. Do you think it's necessary to have a small panel of glass to the right of the door before the perpendicular glass so there's a miter edge and the door doesn't close on top of the other piece of glass? That makes door is narrower (~25" instead of ~29") but it also avoids it hitting the bathroom entrance door when both are fully open.

Anything else I missed? I'm probably over thinking this but this will be a place that's used a lot so I really want to get it right.

Thanks a lot!!


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Have you talked with the glass installers? It seems that would be a good place to start. Also, the glass company I'm working with gave me a catalog to look at handles. Other parts of the catalog have all sorts of interesting pieces that are meant to be used in interesting scenarios like yours. There was a 90degree Polycarbonate Strike Jamb pieces which says it's 'designed to seal between the door and the fixed panel on a 90degree enclosure. Attach to the fixed panel on the strike side." My point is that I bet they have seen this situation before and can give you some options.

I think you could do a thick piece between the tub and shower that extends a few inches beyond the tub. Then hinge the door to that piece. Then have a fixed piece of glass on the short side. The door and the short side close at a 90degree angle. But that's just an idea. I'm not a professional, nor have I actually done my own shower yet.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! We actually have talked to a bunch of glass installers and they came up with a variety of suggestions, which is partly why I'm more confused. =/ Most suggested door opening on the right, but that may be because the hinge for the 90 deg one is hard to find or very expensive. I will likely go with door opening on the right, but I still need to decide between support bar and glass to the ceiling. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The support bar is really yuck. We have glass to the ceiling but that is because we have a steam shower too. We have a transom over the door so it doesn't trap moisture. Our door also pushes all the way in or comes out...this way we can open out to reach the controls to start the shower. We swing the door in after the shower so the stall can dry. I always thought the door should open away from the spray to keep it drier outside the shower, but the first consideration is can you reach the controls without standing in the spray.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:18PM
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For my personal preference, I would want the door to rest against the tub when in the open position -- I would be forever walking into it were it to open on the vanity side!

I don't have any experience to offer an opinion on the height - although Annie's transom suggestion seems to be a reasonable one - added structure plus ventilation.

Your shower tile is really beautiful - could you tell my what type it is? We are just in the planning phases for our MB and your tile is just what I'm looking for. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I wonder if you might be able to use a pivot hinge if you decide to take the glass all the way to the ceiling. We absolutely did not want a header bar so this was the best solution for us.

I'd definitely recommend using a hinge that swings both ways.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Hope you can help me. Just had a frameless shower door installed. There is about 1/2 in. space at the top of the door on the side that swings in and out. The fixed panel on the other side goes all the way to the top of the frame. (there is a frame at the top, but not at the bottom or sides. This does not look right. I asked the man who installed it and he said it is supposed to be that way. Can you help? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Thanks for all your advice. The pivot hinge would be great except I think I should have some space between the top of the glass and the ceiling to allow steam to escape, especially since the top of the shower is not tiled. Right now I'm leaning towards opening the door on the right, opening towards the tub. Hopefully a towel hook is easy enough to use or I can put towels on top of the vanity temporarily.

Lbrook - I'm really glad you like my tile. I fretted over which tile to pick for a long time. It's called metropolis blanc by Eleganza Tiles. Here's a link with more information: I've actually seen it in quite a few showrooms.

benflower - I think there has to be some gap between the top of the door and the frame on top, since the door has to swing open & close. 1/2" does seem on the large side to me though...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:30PM
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