DIY Guide: How to Fit a Shower Door
With the advent of the credit crunch and subsequent rise in popularity of renovations, many home owners and investors have put their hand to planning and installing their own bathrooms. So, in response to the DIY revolution, weve put together this handy guide to help you, the budding DIYer, to fit a recess shower enclosure with three of the UKs most popular shower door manufacturers.
Recess Shower Door and Shower Enclosure Installation: The Shower Tray First things first: a shower tray is the very foundation of your new recess shower enclosure. When fitting a tray, its important to refer to the manufacturers installation instructions. These instructions provide the best way to care for the tray and how to avoid damage during installation. Some good manufacturers, like MX, Manhattan and London Water Closet Company (LWCC) shower trays have easy to follow instructions with their products and theyre also available to download online.
As a general rule of thumb, when installing a shower enclosure its fairly safe to assume that most walls have a slight slant and hence, its a good idea to bury the tray into the wall by about half an inch to ensure a good fit and prevent leakage. Youll need to cut into the wall to allow for the insert, and then slide in your shower tray. Burying the tray saves time and the task of using a sealant or filler for the gap left behind between the wall tiles and tray. It also gives the shower enclosure a much more professional, sleeker appearance. Once the tray is fitted you will be able to tile down on to the tray creating a smooth tight finish. A thin bead of silicon along the tile and tray will create a water tight seal and a clean finish. Fitting the Shower Enclosure Frame Almost every shower door you buy will have two wall channels. The channels are fixed to the walls either side of the recess which will house your new shower door. The frame of the shower door will slide into the channel on each wall and offer several millimetres of adjustment for untrue walls.
Each wall channel usually has a lip running down one long edge, this lip can be tiled over, adding extra rigidity to the shower enclosure. In cases where the shower door is replacing an existing door, the profiles can sit on top on any existing tiles. If you are installing a complete new cubicle, it is advisable to fit your tray, then the wall channels, making sure they are straight (vertically) using a spirit level. Once these two stages have been completed, the inside area of your shower cubicle can be tiled. Its advisable to tile before you fit your door as you will have more room to move around and less restrictions while working.
Fitting the Shower Door Now that your shower tray and shower enclosure frame is installed, you are ready to hang the shower door section. Some shower doors like the sliding shower door will need to be assembled first. Once completed, you should slide the door into each wall channel on either side. There will be a certain amount of adjustment each side of the shower enclosure. This is to account for any untrue walls. Once the door is in place and flush at the bottom you can fix the locating screws (usually three) down the side of each profile. It is a good idea to put one screw in each side and test that the door opens and closes smoothly. The door may need to be slightly adjusted before you put the remaining screws in place. Finishing Touches to your Shower Enclosure Once youre satisfied that the door is fitted correctly and that the wheels/hinges are running smoothly, its time to push on the cover caps/strips onto the top and edges of the wall channel. Finally, youll need a dab of silicon where the metal frame meets the walls and tray, and the small holes at the end of the fixed panel. Insert any remaining seal stoppers and youre done!
Now, youll need to leave the shower enclosure for 24 hours before using. Its time to pat yourself on the back and admire your DIY creation. Note: This guide will outline the basics for installing most shower enclosures. Every shower door or shower enclosure will have its own fitting procedure which must be followed correctly. About the Author: High Flying Media Ltd - Lindy Holman. For advice on choosing the right Shower Enclosure, Shower Door or Shower Tray, you can visit BathroomTrade.co.uk, the Online Bathroom Store, for free support and information on fitting your shower door.