Fix for leaking frameless, curbless shower

DesertDenizen201July 14, 2012

Our contractor suggested a curbless, frameless shower with bypass glass shower doors, 81" high x 60" wide. The shower is 39" deep, with a central drain. Of course, this is not working on many levels:

  1. The shower is not wide enough to contain the splash zone. The water travels down the side edge of the glass door, hits the shallow curb, and at least 50% of it flows outside the doors into the bathroom.

  2. The only support for the bypass doors is the overhead frame and a small 2"x2" plastic support for both doors in the middle of the shower door run.

This plastic support really offers very little support to the bypass shower doors. They are extremely wobbly and difficult to slide. I really don't know how we would clean them, even with one person holding the door while another person cleaned.

Before I discuss this with our contractor, I would sure appreciate any ideas I can get from Houzz. One possible fix is to make the sliding shower doors semi-frameless, installing a narrow frame on the walls and curb. Of course, we would then lose the advantage of the very low curb for handicapped access, which we don't need now, but is the main reason we decided on a curbless shower in the first place.

The second approach would be to change to a hinged door design. We have room for this, and would just have to give up some towel bars on the wall where the door would outswing. This would involve removing the shower door rail, which would leave the screw hole through the tile, painted-on water proofing, and Kerdi cement wall. Could we just patch this hole or should the damaged tile be removed and waterproofing fixed? Also, we have not installed support wood for just any shower door installation. Should this involve removing more tile and Kerdi to get support back into the wall? I sure don't want to tear up or compromise our brand new shower.

So, what's the best fix, including any and all suggestions other than above.

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Is the existing curb pitched slightly into the shower?

If not, that would probably be the easiest fix. You could even do a mock up prior to doing any work to make sure that the drips flow into the shower.

For glass doors, I highly recommend wood framing behind the hinges so the hinge screw threading finds solid purchase. Glass doors are heavy. You want the top hinge well-secured.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 6:57PM
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And if you don't have solid wood support in the wall for the hinges -- consider pivot hinges at the top and bottom if your door extends all the way to the ceiling.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Thanks so much for this advice, especially about needing the wood behind the wall. If we can ever get in touch with out contractor again, we're leaning heavily towards installing frames on the wall and the curb. The curb has been siliconed in, instead of thin set. The floor is pitched slightly inward, but this does not begin to take care of the amount of water flowing out.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Pictures may help as i am quite confused by your description of the shower layout and possible issues!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:02PM
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