How to Fit a Shower Screen on a Bath

How to Fit a Shower Screen on a Bath? 8 Steps

Get sleek, splash-free bathrooms! Follow our shower screen installation tips for a hassle-free bathroom makeover today.
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Upgrading bathrooms with shower screens provides a convenient hands-free washing experience, preventing splashes while adding modern styling. When pursuing DIY screen installations over tubs, following the 8 essential steps ensures lasting watertight fits:

1. Measure and Choose the Right Shower Screen

Carefully evaluating the existing tub area lays the foundation for selecting well-fitting shower screens, keeping water splashes securely inside. Use steel tape to precisely measure the side wall span from tub rim to wall finishing where enclosures will intersect. Also, gauge any protruding faucets or soap ledges that impact movable glass panel clearance when opened outward. Consider a minimum of one-inch gaps for hands to reach through without rubbing. Such meticulous dimensional verification helps determine appropriate frameless, semi-framed, or fully framed screen styles suiting the space ergonomically.

Additionally, confirm that sufficient structural reinforcements exist behind finished bathroom layers to support stationary panel weights hung directly on walls long-term without loosening or pulling away over time. Weight tolerances range greatly from metal stud walls to furring strips to tiled cement boards. Thoroughly inspect areas anticipated for drilling heavy-duty screw anchors. Having pliers check for studs behind drywall aids in making decisions about whether supplementary hollow wall anchors become necessary for deep anchoring. Consult structural drawings if available during home additions. Discuss any concerning sections with glass shop specialists, too, when ordering.

Over Bath Screens collection from Elegant showers

2. Gather Appropriate Tools and Materials

Once determining the best glass screen size and swing style combinations for existing bath spaces, gather installation equipment, including:

  • Tape measure, framing square, and carpenter's level for ongoing reference markings
  • Power drill with an adjustable clutch setting to prevent over-torquing screws
  • Phillips and flathead drill bits correctly sized for wall anchor pilot holes
  • Hollow plastic anchors or concrete sleeve anchors matching drill bit widths
  • Exterior grade stainless steel screws with corrosion-resistant coatings
  • Tub and tile caulk or silicone sealant for waterproofing trim gaps post-mounting
  • Safety glasses, work gloves, pry bar and shims to adjust alignments

Also procure any specialty fastener kits recommended for unique wall surface materials encountered like stone-veneer discs. Ensure all tools operate properly beforehand given difficult site access upon mounting screens. Completing preparations makes efficient installations thereafter.

3. Mark the Desired Screen Position

After ordering well-fitting screens, carefully position the fully assembled glass unit lightly in place within the prepared bathing area, rehearsing the forthcoming permanent mounting. Use a carpenter's level on vertical frame components verifying completely plumb alignments to ensure proper screw anchoring next not compromised by out-of-square points skewing materials over time. If sitting slightly askew on uneven floors, insert tapered shims, gently nudging the unit into flawless verticality.

With alignments optimized, mark drilling locations by tracing the back plate pre-drilled screw ports directly where they meet the wall to chart precise anchor points for installation shortly. These reference dots disappear upon dismounting, so they accurately transfer their positions under adequate lighting.

Optimally align the heaviest stationary vertical panel over detected wall studs capable of bearing the long-term weight. For hollow drywall sections, quality toggle or sleeve anchors become necessary to reinforce grip strength at the marked loci.

Bathtubs collection from Elegant showers

4. Drill Holes for Anchor Hardware

After carefully plotting mounting points for the screen backing plate to sit into, shift the glass unit safely aside preparing to drill receptacle holes for wall anchor hardware accordingly. Don securely fitting safety glasses and gloves beforehand when operating a powered drill to guard eyes and hands. Select an appropriate sized carbide or diamond grit drill bit matching the anchor diameter specifications.

Maintain the drill perpendicular to the wall, slowly boring straight holes at each marked spot, and gradually establish the necessary depth suiting the anchors provided.

For ceramic tile, shift from hammer mode to a slower rotation setting with light pressure, minimizing uncontrolled cracking or spalling of the glazed surface. Stop to insert shims if holes begin angling from perpendicular. Plastic screw-in hollow wall anchors later tap securely into the created openings in drywall, while concrete sleeve models provide reinforced gripping power inside masonry holes. Always consult a glass specialist if uncertain about suitable drill operational settings and bits for difficult wall materials faced to avoid damage.

5. Secure the Mounting Brackets

With holes drilled out, carefully follow the hardware assembly steps to attach the tub-length mounting plate into which the shower screen edge will eventually land.

For hollow plastic anchors, fully seat their open ends flush to the wall surface. The accompanying screw fastener then draws the plate inward until tightly secured. Wall stud attachments simply screw directly into pre-drilled pilot points with careful torque. If the mounting channel fails to align flush and level at all points after tightening, recheck for obstruction debris or drilling angle variances to make adjustments before proceeding.

6. Install the Glass Shower Screen into the Mounting Channels

The wall mounting bar now awaits the glass frame arrival. For lift and slide door arrangements, angle the rollers into an open channel end now projected outward by the added plate depth as it glides downward into the final position. Pivoting or hinged screens similarly swing into place with knuckles slipping into receptacles across the top bar. Follow manufacturer guidance on any final locking steps or hardware. Confirm smooth operation of swinging panels open and closed without undesirable binding prior to water testing.

Black Shower Screens collection from Elegant showers

7. Caulk Perimeter Edge Seams

With the glass secured on supportive backing through anchored channels, next, create watertight seals along the exterior frame meeting the tile wall finishes.

Open standard silicone caulk tubes, applying steady vertical beads down the corner length where the glass exterior meets tile work using 1/8" diameter sizes sufficient for most.

Smooth the sealant using your fingertips or a smoothing tool, pressing firmly into the corners to ensure the sealant fully bonds with the surrounding materials. This ensures optimal adhesion and eliminates any gaps.

Avoid sealing interior frame edges to ensure condensation drips into the tub below. Allow fresh perimeter caulk to fully cure overnight before water spraying.

8. Allow Proper Curing Time

Similar to wet tilework, recently caulked glass seams demand ample tack-free drying time before exposure to direct water contact from shower testing can occur without consequences. Review product instructions, as most quality silicone brands require 16-72 hours to fully harden in the thickness necessary to tolerate hot, steamy conditions and water pummeling down constantly without deterioration risks. Plan schedules accordingly before attempting that first shower. Insufficient polymerization baking these seals in leads to noticeable failure.

By the way, if you're considering a luxe upgrade for your bath space, Elegant Showers offers a simple, step-by-step guide on how to infuse your daily routine with a touch of spa indulgence by adding a steam shower to your bathroom.

Tips on Installing a Shower Screen on a Bath

  • Always wear safety glasses and gloves when drilling to guard against debris and sharp edges. Loose-fitting clothes also avoid potential entanglement with spinning bits.
  • Carefully read the entire shower screen unit's installation instructions beforehand, as specific mounting procedures can vary greatly between different frame styles and models depending on number of walls utilized.
  • Visually inspect drilling areas first, ensuring no hidden water pipes or electrical cables lie embedded behind tiles, risking contact and damage from inserted fasteners.
  • When drilling into ceramic tile, use an approved ceramic drill bit lubricated with water to minimize heat buildup that can fracture tiles unexpectedly. Masonry drill bits work well for stone finishes.
  • You should know How Much Does It Cost to Fit a Shower Screen.
  • Following manufacturer's directions while taking safety measures ahead of time helps homeowners complete quality shower screen installations smoothly. Seeking guidance from a hardware store specialist or plumbing professional proves wise whenever uncertainty arises regarding suitable methods and materials. Taking a thoughtful approach avoids unnecessary hazards, errors or rework.

The Bottom Line

Updating existing tubs by framing them with glass screens adds an invigorating focal element to bath spaces with modern appeal. Utilizing careful area planning, proper fasteners, and quality sealants enables reliable DIY conversions if you favor the hands-on route.

However, recognizing limitations around fragile tile drilling or heavy glass lifting proves important, too. Seek assistance from experienced contractors whenever project uncertainties or risks arise. Patience joining precision provides homeowners the confidence to shower safely inside completely watertight surroundings for years onward by sticking to fundamental installation steps from the start.

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