How to Change a Framed Shower Door to Frameless

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Frameless glass shower doors create a clean, attractive look for your shower enclosure.
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A frameless shower door adds a touch of elegance with clean lines and opens up small spaces. Installing a frameless shower door is easy if you use the right tools and methods and add a healthy measure of patience.

Put Safety Precautions in Place

Home Advisor notes that no matter what type of shower door you are removing, you should proceed with caution. Shower doors can be heavy and unwieldy. A pair of work gloves can help you to grip the slick surface of the doors and protect your hands. Have a cushioned area to place the shower doors once they are off their tracks, hinges or rollers.

Safety glasses will protect your eyes from debris that may fly up when you are pulling up caulking and removing the frame of the shower door. Remember to also wear your safety glasses, in addition to a respirator mask, when you are using a drill and other power tools.

Remove Framed Shower Doors

For shower doors on rollers, look for the small parts at the top of the shower door that guide it along the frame. The panel will come loose when you gently lift the door until the rollers are clear of the frame. Slightly shift the door while it is in this lifted position until the bottom rollers are free from the track. Pull the shower door from the frame and lay it down in a space far from the area where you will work.

For shower doors on hinges, begin at the upper side of the shower door and remove the hinges from the wall. Either secure the door as you work or have someone there to hold the door as the hinges are removed.

Pull up the caulking that holds the shower door frame to the tub or walls. A small putty knife can help release stubborn caulking from its firm grip on the tile. Once the frame or rails are free from caulking, remove any screws that hold it to the tub or walls. Pull the rails and frame from the walls.

Prep the Area for Installation

Fill any holes with putty and allow it to dry. Clean any residue from caulking or silicone that clings to the surfaces. Rubbing alcohol can lift sticky residue and help clean the area of dust and debris.

Installing Frameless Shower Doors

Install the door hinges to the glass door in the center of the precut holes to make it easier to adjust. Tighten the backplate screws. Align the door and level it to ensure that the gaps on the sides of the door are even with adjoining walls or doors.

Put masking tape over the tile and mark where the hinges will go. The tape helps the drill bit work through the slick tile and grout. Drill holes into the studs of the wall or use a wall anchor that can hold the heavy glass door.

Insert the screws through the door's hinges to the wall, working from top to bottom. Have a second person available to hold the door as you work. Work from the top outside each hinge to the bottom outside holes.

Installing Tracks and Channels

Each style of frameless shower door has its own requirements for installing panels or frames. Follow the manufacturer's directions if the frameless shower door requires tracks to hold stationary panels.

For doors that need a fixed panel to connect to, smooth caulk over the track and place it on the shower floor or tub rim. Drill the holes for the mount that the fixed glass panel of the door will connect to and screw it in before sliding the shower door panel into the track. Give the caulking around two days to cure before using the shower.

references

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.

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