Shower Enclosures FAQs
- Frameless shower enclosures are available in 3/8" and 1/2" thicknesses. The most commonly used is 3/8"; taller and wider enclosures may require 1/2" for safety reasons. Enclosures Unlimited highly recommends allowing our experienced Estimator make those determinations on-site.
- Frameless shower doors hinged to a wall require studs or blocking behind the wall to support the weight of the moving door. Frameless showers hinged to the wall do not require headers. If a frameless door is hinged to glass, and not a wall, it will require some version of header support. Options include a metal header, hinging the panel to the ceiling, or a glass header, i.e., a fixed 4” transom above the door for support.
- Shower enclosures with knee walls may not require a header, but the knee wall must be at least half the height plus 4” of the enclosure. If the shower is 78” tall, then the knee wall must be a minimum of 43” tall to not require a header and be hinged on that side.
- Our standard handle style quoted in our proposals is the Portals 8" Opus double pull (style number L40.114), chrome finish. Other styles and finishes are available; some are upgrades and will affect final pricing. Other add-ons include towel bars, robe hooks and more. All hardware must be confirmed prior to placing an order.
- Frameless shower doors are installed to swing outwards, fitted with a hard, acrylic stop. If requested at the time of measurement, doors can also be installed to swing in and out and fitted with a soft vinyl seal (which changes the size of the deductions required).
- Maximum width of a shower enclosure can vary due to height but typically the largest door used is 32" wide, although it can be made up to 36" wide, and only if 72" tall. The weight of the door may require three hinges when using a larger door. Most common door sizes are 24", 26", 28", and 30", but can be made to any size in between as needed or requested.
- Frameless sliders are available is several styles, i.e., the Skyline, Hydroslide, and Serenity. These sliders are made of a single sliding door and a fixed panel, or several panels if multi-sided. The door side typically will have a guide in the middle with a half-moon threshold under the door to keep from water coming under the sliding open area. There will be a small gap at the bottom of the door, per manufacture specs, to allow the door to go through the guide. This is typically not an issue for leakage, but always check your water pressure and direction of your shower heads to make sure not to splash directly in the area.
- Half-moon thresholds are required on tubs or fiberglass style pans which are typically set level so water will not pull out when the door is opened. These thresholds are used anytime a sill is level or slopes outward, instead of inwards towards the shower drain.
- Semi-frameless showers mean the doors have minimal framing. In a swing door setup, the glass is ¼" thick and has framing around the other panels for structure, but the door itself has no framing on the exposed sides. In a sliding application, the doors are a frameless bypass inside a framed "box", and can use ¼" or 3/8" glass.
- Chrome is the standard finish when pricing all framed and semi-frameless showers. Any other finish is an additional cost. For frameless pricing, Chrome or Brushed Nickel is standard.
- Warranty information on all your products are available upon request. See our warranty packet for each brand’s specific warranty.
- Diamon Fusion® is an optional coating for any style glass shower. The glass is treated with a nano-based coating to seal the surface, making it easier to clean and prevent calcium build up from water left behind on the glass surface after use. It is a permanent coating that never needs re-applying.
- Cleaning your shower enclosure: Do not use bleach-based products, as this will harden and yellow the silicone and vinyl over time. Do not use ammonia-based or CLR type products (for example, Windex) near the hardware; it is ok to use on the glass outside (like Windex for fingerprints), but be sure to spray onto a towel/applicator and not directly on the shower. Avoid the hardware as it will eat away and destroy the hardware’s protective finish, which voids the warranty. Automatic shower spray cleaners are not recommended with a glass shower for this same reason.
- Sweeps at the bottom of doors will wear over time, just like your front door. Typical life of a commonly used shower sweep is about 5-10 years. They are easy to replace (contact the office for details), and relatively minimal in cost. Rough or uneven tile on the floor where your door meets can accelerate the same type of wear and tear.
- All shower enclosures must use tempered glass, both a required building code and for your safety. Make sure that any shower you order are from a certified tempering manufacture, visit www.sgcc.org to see if the manufacture is doing their required testing.
- Standard clear glass has a slight green cast, so the thicker the glass, the greener the cast it can have. Low-iron glass is an alternate upgrade that uses less iron in the glass to reduce the amount of visible green casting. Ask to see a sample if interested and to get a quote for this product.
- Any questions about layout, requirements, or specs for a job we are happy to answer. Always feel free to send a drawing or ask for details about whatever products you are interested in.
Other Glass FAQs
- What thickness glass should I use for my project?
- This is not always easy to answer. Enclosures Unlimited is here to go over all the factors that can affect this answer, such as size, weight, material being used, the application, hardware, just to name a few. An in-home estimate to see what we can offer is highly recommended. Your safety is key!
- What is the difference between annealed (plate) glass and tempered glass?
- Tempered glass is considered "safety glass" because the plate glass is put through a tempering oven after being cut to exact sizes. This is so that the molecules are condensed and then cooled quickly to create a tension below the surface of the glass. That is why when it breaks it explodes into many small pieces instead of larger ones that can do more harm. That is why tempered glass cannot be changed or cut after going through this process.
- When do I need tempered glass?
- Tempered glass is required by building code in many applications, such as shower enclosures, any doorways that can fit a person, and anything that is not supported underneath. For example, table tops that cover wood can be annealed, but floating glass on a metal or ceramic base needs to be tempered.
- Mirrors in large wall applications oftentimes need to be cut into sections, not just one very large piece. This can be due to the size safely fitting into your home, or cuts that need to be made around TVs, windows, or vents. Trust the experts to advise you on the safest way to complete your design that will last the test of time.
- Mirror backing is made with a silvering process and is warrantied for one year. Only mirror mastic, a special glue for mirrors, should be used to adhere it to the wall, not liquid nails or silicone. These products will damage the backing and eventually lead to ghosting and black spots. It is not warrantied if prolonged water gets behind the mirror, or if improper cleaners are used near the edges that touch the back. Read the mirror manufactures’ warranty for more details.
- Glass requirements, like size and weight limits, are many times determined by the hardware or structures used to secure them. Make sure to check manufactures recommendations, or get advice from a glass expert before ordering your own glass for table tops or shelves.
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to get started on a new shower enclosure or glass project today!