How to Install Sliding Shower Doors
The installation of sliding shower doors is an easy project for an afternoon. Sliding doors add a finished, classy look to the bathroom. They hold in warmth and eliminate drafts with greater efficiency than shower curtains afford. All that is required for the installation project are common household tools. Plan ahead. Pick a quiet time for the job when guests are not expected.
Step 1 - Measure
Measure the shower opening at the top and bottom. Determine where the channel will sit on the sill. The location should be flat and level. Mark the spot with a soft pencil. Some shower door kits require trimming to fit the width of the opening. If this is the case, transfer the measurements onto the horizontal pieces.
Mark the cut line 1/16 of an inch shorter than the measurement of the opening. This will make installation easier. Double-check the accuracy of all measurements.
Step 2 - Cut
Clamp the pieces to be cut securely to the workbench. Make sure the saw blade is appropriate for the nature and thickness of the material. Cut the pieces to size, and lightly sand or file the cut edges. Check to see that the pieces fit the opening.
Step 3 - Pick Frame Location
Set the bottom channel in place on the sill. Fasten it in place temporarily with masking tape. Place one upright of the frame in place. Hold it with tape also. Use the tape measure and level to ensure that the piece is located appropriately.
Mark the screw holes with the pencil. Repeat this process with the second upright piece. Fit the top piece onto the frame. Make sure that it is level. Mark the location of any screw holes on the wall, then set the piece aside. Remove the vertical pieces of the frame. Lift the channel piece off the sill.
Apply a liberal zigzag bead of caulk to the underside. Replace the channel on the sill. Press it firmly into position, and reattach the tape to help hold it as the caulk dries.
Step 4 - Attach Frame
Use the center punch to mark the locations for the screws. Drill the holes for the screws. Make sure to use a bit that is appropriate for the material being drilled. Insert anchors into the holes. Tap them into place with the mallet. Set the uprights into position. Fasten them into place with screws. Affix the top channel, securing it tightly. Remove the tape from the bottom channel.
Step 5 - Hang Doors
Hanging shower doors glide on rollers. These may come already attached to the doors. If they're not already in place, this is the time to install them. Rollers for the inside door face inside the shower enclosure. Rollers on the outside door face outward.
Hang the inside door first, sliding it all the way forward toward the wall with the showerhead. Install the outer door, and make sure both glide freely. Install towel racks or door pulls with the hardware provided.
Step 6 - Seal
Apply a fine bead of caulk to the edge of the frame where it meets the shower enclosure. Do this both inside the shower and outside as well. Wipe away any excess. This needs to be allowed to dry completely before the shower is used.