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I need professional advice, shower door install

Posted by bullielove ( on
Fri, Aug 9, 13 at 9:20

Ok so twice now the shower glass door guys have come and tried to install the glass door (bracket side) it is a seamless glass door with a hinge. The 1st time they cracked the bullnose piece of porcelain tile at the point where the screw went into the tile, the shower guy tried to say there must have been an area behind the tile with not enough thinset.

Tile guy said the ceramic tile is low density and the face glazed is fragile and there has to be proper care in installing the bracket, proper drill, proper drill bit, use of a shim etc.

2nd time shower door guy tries to install once tile is fixed and now tells me the shower wall tile is not flush with the bullnose piece therefore the bullnose piece bumps up a little and thus is causing cracking.

I dont know what to believe, i dont know what to do, should i call another glass installer? Another tile person?

The shower company is owned by a friend and gave us a great deal (his cost)

Thanks for any advice.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

I think the shower installer should be talking to the tile guy directly.

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

How about pictures as it is impossible to tell from a description alone.

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

here is a pic

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

How about backing up a few feet and giving us several pictures of the entire shower as well as closeups not quite so close up. Is there a GC involved? Did you hire the glass co and the tile setter independently of each other? Was there any coordination between the trades as to what was going to be installed? Were there architectural drawings that were given to the trades? Did anyone do shop drawings showing the products in relation to each other?

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

I presume there is proper purchase for the screw threads behind the tile. A wall stud, for example.

Here's my recommendation since this is a fail times two.

Have them remove the bracket and drill an oversized hole the depth of the tile, the thinset, and if the backer board is frangible or compressible, the depth of the backer board as well. In a typical situation that might be 1/4" + 1/8" + 1/2", or 7/8" depth total.

So drill a hole 3/8" in diameter (or whatever diameter your sleeve is) and 7/8" depth (or as needed per the explanation above).

Insert a metal sleeve bushing into that oversized hole. The goal is for the sleeve to be at least flush with or just slightly proud of the face of the tile.

Here's an example. Not the perfect size or proportion, but a quick grab off the internet to define "metal sleeve":

Aluminum or copper is fine, if steel I recommend spot priming them for corrosion protection.

Install the sleeve into the oversized hole. Then install the hinge bracket. The sleeve will transfer the compression forces from the hinge brackets directly to the studs, bypassing the fragile tile, grout, and backer board.

Just an idea.

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

The shower guy should be using a 'core drill' - this drills the outer circle of the hole. Using a carbide tipped drill bit can crack the tile.

The Brutus drill has a little resiviour that gets stuck to the wall with double faced tape. Then it gets filled with water, which cools the bit.

I've used it as a DIY'er for towel bars.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile Core Drill

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

My impression was that there is not a problem with drilling the holes, but that the cracking is occurring when the screws are tightened down.

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

I would concur with mongo's assessment and fix..

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

Here are some more pics. it is not cracking when they drill the holes, it is cracking when they are tightening the screws from what I understand.

RE: I need professional advice, shower door install

I am a professional shower door installer. I can give you my opinion on whats happening.
These hinges are supplied by CR lawrence. They come with a set of screws, and some plastic shields. It appears to me that the correct shields were not used. The holes in your tile are too small to revieve the screws provided. A screw is a wedge, and puts pressure on the surrounding materials. Small hole+big screw=crack

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