While devising a construction plan for your ideal glass shower enclosure can often be a daunting task, Owen Sound Glass Service is here to make it a little bit easier for you with some helpful construction tips. While these are to be treated as recommendations only, you can rest assured that we have the years of installation experience to back them up. Throughout the years, we’ve overcome many obstacles in the installation process. We feel these tips will ensure more satisfaction with the final product.
When constructing a glass shower enclosure in Owen Sound, you must consider the following:
Mouldings, Track & Clips
Glass is heavy! Shower glass needs to be installed safely and securely. This is not to say that truly “frameless” showers are impossible. New glues and industrial adhesives are getting better and better every year. In almost every case, mouldings, track or clips are required.
When designing your glass shower enclosure, you should always consider the mass of the glass pieces first. While mouldings, track and clips don’t seriously affect the sightline of a glass shower, they do add a great deal to the overall safety factor. We can also match the finish of your shower’s mouldings, track and clips to the same colour used on your fixtures to further reduce the visual impact.
Wires, plumbing and in-floor heating are all things we need to know about prior to installing mouldings.
If you can, try to use 2x4s or 2x6s where you’re going to mount the glass, especially around the door. Be aware that hollow walls and ceilings will need plugs, which may put additional stress on the adhesives. The stronger your structure is, the less movement will be possible in your framing.
Plumb straight lines are your best friend when it comes to working with glass. However, it’s not the end of the world if your walls are off slightly. Glass can be custom-cut, either off-square or from the template, in order to deal with curved or bellied walls. Be aware that thicker (more visible) moulding or track may be required with curved or bellied walls.
Again, plumb straight lines are always best. Because the glass has to be installed with plumb lines to keep the vertical grout lines straight, you’re going to have to use a straight edge to ensure your surface is even at all times. If even one tile is caught sticking out of the wall, your entire edge will be out that far. We do not recommend grinding the glass or tiles to get the glass to fit properly, as this can be a bit risky.
By sloping the sill inwards a few degrees, you can allow the water to run back into the shower enclosure, rather than allowing it to pool next to the glass or out from under the door.
Notches & Overhangs
Watch for overhanging sills if you have any protuberances such as a knee wall, step or bench. We will likely have to fill in the voids with mouldings or notch them to fit the glass. Straight sills are recommended.
Owen Sound Glass Service uses double-acting doors, which means they can open both inwards and outwards for your convenience. When installing the door, we first check for any obstructions that will be in its swing path. These obstructions can include showerheads, cabinets, facilities and other doors. Because a towel bar on the door might damage your wall at full swing, we recommend installing a limiter or a bumper, or possibly relocating the towel bar to a sidelite or nearby wall. If you decide a sidelite is the way to go, be sure to leave plenty of room for cleaning.
Because glass takes time to heat up, you might want to consider buying a steamer that is one size larger than the required one for your shower’s volume. This can help compensate for the coolness of the glass and for any heat loss through the gaps around the door. A steamer fills your shower with a gentle flow of steam. Plastic mouldings are not usually needed unless you have a high-volume fan running outside of your shower.
Don’t aim body jets at your door or you will be unpleasantly surprised by excessive shower leakage.
While this may seem like common sense, if you want us to install a glass enclosure, please be sure we can get the glass into your house. We usually recommend modest-sized pieces instead of larger pieces due to the unique challenges presented by circular stairwells, low ceilings, tight corners and narrow hallways. If your home is under construction, try to consider any future obstacles should you ever need to replace your glass enclosure.
Types of Glass Shower Enclosures
There are several different types of glass shower enclosures for your consideration:
Consisting of a glass panel mounted on hinges or pivots, this is the preferred installation for steam showers
An inline shower usually has a straight wall of glass, one door and one or more sidelites
A door, one or more sidelites and a single-return panel comprise the typical corner shower
Cleaning Tips for Glass Shower Enclosures
A new glass shower enclosure installed by Owen Sound Glass Service can be a beautiful sight to behold. However, some maintenance is required on your part to keep that shower from becoming an unpleasant eyesore. Having an effective cleaning regimen doesn’t have to be time-consuming. We recommend implementing a simple daily regimen after each use to ensure your shower looks great and continues to function well.
Cleaning tips for your consideration:
Daily Regimen Tips
The most important cleaning tool to add to your belt is a good, old-fashioned squeegee. While you can easily spend more than $50 on a fancy one, you don’t have to. A less expensive one will get the job done just fine. But it’s important that you remember to actually use your new squeegee.
Water is glass’ natural enemy. Water contains many minerals, and these minerals leave unsightly deposits when they dry. Over time, these deposits can become permanently etched in your glass. It is recommended that you thoroughly wipe down the shower after every use. While this may be thought of as an unwelcome chore at first, you’ll find that it will become almost like second nature to you over time.
Thorough Cleaning Tips
Thorough cleaning is required every once in a while. Your shower enclosure’s interior will need to be cleaned more frequently than the exterior. We recommend using a quality non-abrasive, non-ammonia-based glass cleaner. Be aware that mould and mildew can lurk in small, damp spaces and pay extra attention to all nooks and crannies, including your mouldings, hinges, pivots and any other moving parts. You may want to leave the door open every now and then to allow the circulation of fresh air.
While the mouldings installed with your shower are durable and corrosion-resistant, be aware that their finish is too delicate to use harsh cleaning chemicals, abrasives, scouring pads, sandpaper, etc. Don’t leave cleaning agents to dry on their own – always remove any excess before declaring that you’re done cleaning.
Major Cleaning Tips
Sometimes major cleaning will be necessary to maintain your glass shower enclosure. The sweep at the bottom of the enclosure’s door may need to be removed and cleaned thoroughly at least twice per year. Sometimes you might even need to replace it altogether, depending upon its condition. If you bring us the old one, we can custom-cut a new one for you. Other items that may need to be replaced over time include the silicone beads and hinge screws, which may also need to be retorqued.
Never Use Harsh, Abrasive Cleaners
Never use harsh, abrasive cleaners that can scratch or stain your enclosure’s surface, even if you’re trying to clean its grout and tile. An easy rule to remember is that if you have to wear gloves or eye protection when using the cleaning agent, keep it off your glass.
Should you ever have any additional cleaning questions or concerns, be sure to contact us!