by Laura Leiva
Replacing your old shower curtain with a sliding glass shower door is a simple project that only takes a few hours from start to finish. Adding a glass shower door or shower screen can update the look of your bathroom and replaces the shower curtain with an easy-to-clean surface. Glass showers make any bathroom appear roomier, and glass allows more natural light into the room. Once you've measured your shower area and selected a suitable glass shower door, follow these simple installation steps.
Gather your tools and hardware. Remove the shower curtain and rod from the bathtub area and gather the new shower door and hardware together. Read all safety instructions that come with the shower door and the tools you'll be using.
Install the bottom shower door track. Measure the lip of the tub from each wall to determine the length of track you need to install. After measuring, use a hacksaw to cut the appropriate track length to fit your tub. This will hold the glass shower panes.
Apply a caulking adhesive to the lip of the tub directly in the center to ensure a stable track fit for the shower screen. Place the cut shower door track directly onto the caulking adhesive and press down firmly. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any caulking that drips from underneath the track.
Once you have laid the bottom shower door track, use two to three pieces of masking tape to hold the track in place as it dries. It is important to keep the tracks in place, so that the shower doors will open and close smoothly.
Mount the side channels. Place the shower-door side channels onto each wall framing the shower.
Use a level to make sure that the side channels are completely vertical. This must be exact or the shower door will not hang properly.
Mark the screw holes with a pencil where the channels attach to the wall.
If you have tile on your shower wall, you will need to drill holes you've marked with a masonry drill bit. A masonry drill bit is smaller than the screw, since it needs to go through delicate tile. For fiberglass shower stalls, use a brad-point drill bit to reduce tears or shredding around the drill hole.
Apply caulking to the shower walls behind the shower door channels and screw both side channels into place with the pre-drilled holes. This will ensure that the screws go in without damaging the shower stall.
Install the top shower door track. Use the hacksaw to cut the top shower door track to the appropriate length. Apply a thin layer of caulking adhesive to the inside frame of the top track where it touches the side channels and press it down firmly on top of the channels. There is no installation necessary for the top track of the glass shower door aside from caulking, since the bottom and sides of the shower door frame will keep the door stabilized.
Install the new shower doors. Place the top wheels up into the top track, and then place the bottom wheels into the bottom track. Gently test the shower doors, sliding them from side to side along the length of the track.
Allow the caulk to dry. Allow caulking adhesive to dry for at least 24 hours to before using the shower or bath.