How to Install Sliding Bathtub Doors Part 1

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Sliding bathtub door package
Tape measure
Medium-grit sandpaper

Sliding bathtub doors offer a better alternative to shower curtains, since the latter is often a breeding ground for molds and other unsightly growth. Bathtub doors can be made of different glass colors and designs. Door designs include sliding doors, swing doors, trackless doors, and many more. The right type of door fit for a bathtub depends on the space available in the bathroom. Among the most commonly used type of doors today is the sliding bathtub door. Follow the instructions below to install such a door.

Step 1 - Measure the Opening of the Door

Before you buy a new set of sliding bathtub doors, measure the bathtub area to determine the height and width. The dimensions you measure on the bathroom space will determine the length of the tracks needed for the project as well as the dimensions of the sliding door panels.

Step 2 - Choose a Bathroom Door Design

There are 3 sliding door types to choose from, which are the bypass door design and the tri-panel door. Bypass doors have 2 panels that can be opened by sliding either panel on the tracks. There is also another type of bypass door that opens only on 1 panel while the other remains fixed. Bypass doors with 2 panels are better because they are more versatile than those with fixed panels.

A tri-panel works the same way as a bypass door, but has 3 panels instead of 2. The 3 panels can be stacked into one corner to allow a wider opening than the 2-panel style.

Step 3 - Measure and Cut Sliding Door Track

Mark the center of the rim on the bathtub from 1 end of the wall to another for the bottom track. Proceed to mark the vertical tracks of the doorframe on both sides of the wall as well. Measure the whole width of the bottom track from one wall to another. Before cutting the bottom track, make sure that the whole length of the track is .25-inch shorter on both sides than that of the actual width measured from wall to wall. Doing so will allow the ends of the vertical tracks to fit the sides of the bottom track. Of course, the discrepancy in the measurement allowance will depend on the thickness of the tracks.

After the bottom track, proceed to cut the 2 vertical tracks in accordance to the whole measured height of the door. For the upper horizontal track, cut a length equal to the measured width of the door without the .25-inch discrepancy.

Step 4 - Sand the Rough Edges

Cutting the tracks with a hacksaw will definitely produce rough edges. Use medium-grit sand paper to smooth them.

In Part 2 and Part 3 of the series, you will learn how to install the sliding bathtub door correctly and precisely, and know of some tips and tricks to avoid mistakes.