There is nothing more frustrating than being excited about installing a new shower door frame and seeing that there is a gap between it and the wall. When there are gaps between the walls, water will seep out of the shower area and cause a slippery floor. So, how can you fix the gap between the shower door frame and wall? We have researched effective ways for you.
There are many ways you can fix this dilemma, but here are the ones you can try.
- Install a strip of PVC trim and have it tailor-fitted to the gap. Make sure it is waterproof.
- Caulk the gap if it is not too wide.
- Install a tapered shower seal.
Proper installation is key to preventing mistakes such as gaps between the shower door and the wall. If your shower door starts leaking even though it seems like a finished job, you may want to have it checked as well. Keep reading below if you want to learn more about sealing gaps and properly installing shower doors.
How to caulk between the shower door frame and wall
The best material you can use to seal these caps is 100% silicone caulk. This will effectively cover the gaps between the sides and the bottom.
What to prepare:
- 1-cup of water and dish soap for a smooth glide on the silicone
- Water spray bottle
- 5-millimeter stack of cards
- Silicone caulk
What to do
- Place the cards on the gap for a smooth caulking job.
- Apply a generous amount of silicone to the gap between the wall and the shower door. Make sure there are no gaps left.
- Repeat the process on the opposite sides.
- Spray water on the surrounding perimeter to prepare it for a good wipe-off.
- Wipe the excess using a scraper. Repeat on the opposite sides.
- Wait for 24 hours and let the silicone dry.
- Remove the cards and repeat the process on that gap.
See this process in action in the video below:
How to use PVC Trim on Shower Doors
If you notice leaking on the sides of your shower door, it may be time to replace your old-fashioned trims with a high-tech and waterproof PVC trim. This can be effective in sealing your shower panels to prevent any more water and moisture leakage.
Use this method if the gap appears to be bigger and cannot be solved by silicone alone.
What you need
- Saw blades
- Cordless drill
- Miter saw
- Small knife
- Acrylic paint and caulk
- PVC Cement and trim
What to do
- The trims need to be cut with carbide-tipped blades.
- Use stainless steel screws to hammer down the trims. They need to be able to penetrate at least 1/12 inches into the frame.
- Accurately measure the length and width where the PVC trims need to be attached.
- Cut the PVC with a miter saw and layer a sanding block at the corners.
- Apply silicone to the adjoined panels.
- Caulk the nail holes with waterproof caulking. Dip your fingertip in the water and smooth the caulking with your fingers.
- Finish the job by applying silicone onto the edges.
Things to Remember
- PVC trimmings can be expensive
- PVC trims are sold in 3/4 to 1-inch thickness and are sold in 18-foot lengths
- Custom thickness and lengths need to be pre-ordered
- It should be available at the nearest lumberyard
How to Install Tapered Shower Seals
Shower seals effectively seal the gaps between glass doors and walls and glass doors and floors. There are different kinds of acrylic shower seals available for you: bottom sweeps, side sweeps, and doorstops.
You will need to measure your glass shower door and accurately select an acrylic that can effectively accommodate it.
- Measure the plastic sweep on the bottom of the glass. It will affect how the gap closes later on.
- Cut it to size and let the plastic sweep face inward.
- Slide the plastic sweep at the bottom of the door
- Measure the side seals for the wall and cut them to size
- Place the bottom acrylic piece on the floor and mark it at the edge of the bottom sweep so you can make a notch cut.
- Mark the middle of the opening at the bottom hinge.
- Mark the bottom edge of the same hinge and cut another notch.
- Repeat the same process on the top and middle pieces.
- Once the pieces and notches are cut, attach the acrylic seals.
Then, you need to attach the doorstop wall-to-glass:
- Measure the plastic doorstop from the bottom to the top
- Attach the plastic and close the door and draw markings to remember the position.
- The lip should be facing outward so that it meets the door.
- Peel off the adhesive and attach it to the wall.
See examples of these in the video below:
Different Types of Shower Doors
There are many types of shower doors that will elevate your bathroom both in form and function. Some shower doors are more prone to leakage, so you need to put that into consideration.
Here are the different types of shower doors you can use to upgrade:
Framed Shower Doors
This is the most popular option among homeowners since they are the most economical and are easier to install. They are also easier to repair in case there is damage since the materials are more accessible.
Aesthetically, some people may find the metal frame an eyesore. So if that's a dealbreaker for you, you're better off with other options.
Semi-Framed Shower Door
If you aren't ready to commit to fully frameless doors, semi-framed doors might be the best fit for you. They still effectively seal the edges and are fairly low maintenance.
Sliding Shower Doors
Sliding glass doors are available both in framed and frameless door mechanisms. Sliding glass doors slide just as your patio door does, except they can slide on both sides.
Framed sliding doors are attached to the metal track. Frameless sliding doors hang on the top front of the enclosure with rollers. Some disadvantages include the difficulty to install and the time it could take to be repaired.
Hinged Shower Doors
Hinged shower doors swing open and close just like normal hinge doors. However, they are only ideal if you have a big enough space since the swinging can occupy them.
These doors are trackless, so there are no intrusions on your entry and exit. You can also opt for pivot doors that can swing both inward and outward, making it more space-saving.
Steam Shower Doors
Steam shower doors can make your shower room double as a steam room--these hinges are sealed and airtight to prevent heat loss. They also have vents called transoms that can vent the steam.
These shower doors are the least prone to leaking and temperature-caused gaps since they are built more rigidly.
Curved Shower Doors
True to its namesake, curved shower doors are corner-less doors that span across your enclosure. You can have a bigger space inside, making for a more comfortable shower experience.
They are also easier to maintain since there are no corners to worry about. However, they are on the costlier side since it is more difficult to form curved-shaped glass.
Types of Glass for your Shower Doors
The type of glass you use also plays a part in how your shower interior will look, as well as how it can function. Here are the different types of glass used in shower doors.
If you have a colorful bathroom and you want your shower enclosures to match them, go for tinted glass. They have a sleek appearance that can fit into your interior, and you can customize them to either be transparent or opaque.
Clear glass is the go-to option for a lot of people since it makes the bathroom more polished and lets the light in. Aesthetically, they make the bathroom look bigger than it is.
Clear glass can be more high maintenance since it is not good at hiding dirt. You will also need to pay attention to the corners since that's where dirt usually accumulates.
Frosted glass is the best option for you if you prioritize privacy. They still let the light in, and they hide steam marks better. You can also customize it to have colors and pictures drawn over for a unique flair.
Maintaining the structural integrity of your shower door can be challenging, but it is worth the hassle once you see the result. If you are not confident DIY-ing it, it is best to call a professional to prevent further damage.
As with all home projects, maintenance and a perfect installation is key to making your fixtures last. For more shower door installation tips, check out our related posts: