Design Tips for Custom Glass Shower Enclosures

Have you decided that an all new glass shower enclosure is the beautiful transformation you’re’ looking for in your bathroom? Are you thinking about upgrading your shower and looking for information?

Take the step that may make the difference between getting your dream shower and a construction nightmare.Familiarize yourself with the design elements you want and the structural elements you need to ensure your shower is stunning and it’s built to last. After years of installing custom glass for frameless shower enclosures for customers all over Phoenix, we’ve delivered hundreds of custom showers and fixed just as many design flaws other contractors have overlooked.

You don’t have to be an expert in shower enclosures or custom glass, but you should know these design tips to know the contractor you choose is building your new enclosure the right way.

Tip 1: Angles to Use

Design your enclosure using 3 angles: 90°, 135°, or 180°. These are the industry standards so your shower hardware will not need nearly as much customization and fabrication if you build to these angles. Ensuring your shower functions properly and the fabrication/install is cost effective.

When you’re designing your curb (the sill that is under the door area) never design it on an angle. This applies to 135 degree standard angle enclosures, 90 degree enclosures, or custom angle enclosure openings. Always design a curb so the door can swing freely in and out. The only way to do this is by making the curb hit the return knee wall or angle sill at 90 degrees (square).

Tip 2: Support For Shower Doors and Hardware

Wherever your shower door hinges are going to be placed or fixed panels are clamped to should always have the proper studding support behind it – ensure a vertical wood stud, double 2×4 is best. You want to ensure your shower is correctly anchored to its supports.

And never run wires or pipes through or in front of the studs where the anchoring will be done. If you have, please tell us so we do not screw into them during installation and electrocute ourselves

Tip 3: Shower Curb

If you want to have a curb to help prevent water from leaking past your shower door, always level the rise where the door closes; otherwise a costly custom double cut door is required. If you would rather have it flush with the floor, take into account tip 4. In either case, always try to use a continuous piece of marble or granite to minimize grout joints under the glass.

Tip 4: Slope of Curb

Always pitch the curb sill under the door at a 5-degree slope in towards the interior of the shower enclosure so water is able to flow in toward the drain without any stagnant water buildup. A level curb would cause standing water, and a curb that’s angled away from the drain would cause water to leak out onto the bathroom floor.

Tip 5: Slope of Shower Seat

If you’d like to include a built-in shower seat, it too should slant toward the drain at a 5-degree slope. This allows any water that flows off the seat to funnel right into the drain.

Tip 6: Plumb Walls

Ideally, it’s nice if all walls that meet a door or glass panel are vertical, or “plumb”. Walls that are more than 1/4″ out of plumb can create unsightly gaps and are more likely to leak. However, we specialize in cutting glass to conform to walls that are not level or perfectly straight, so with Stellar Glass Works, you can still get your perfect shower. It is very rare that we cannot configure a frameless shower door or enclosure to accommodate even the worst of openings.

Tip 7: Minimum Width of Glass Panels

Each glass panel should be at least 4 ½” wide. Because of polishing and tempering procedures, a 4 ½” minimum width is required for glass panels, and the door will need to be at least 22″ wide and no greater than 36″ wide.

Tip 8: Glass Tiles

We’ll make this easy – never use glass tiles. If your shower enclosure design requires drilling into tile in order to mount door hinges and glass clips into the wall, you’re going to crack the glass either during installation, or over time.

Tip 9: Soffits

The eaves along the top of your shower are called “soffits.” For the best results you’ll want your soffits to be plumb with the lower curb below. Meaning your soffits need to line up perfectly with the angles in the curb below.

Tip 10: Shower Head Position

You do not want to install your shower head(s) or body sprays directly opposite from a shower door or opening to keep water from spraying out into your bathroom. If possible, you want to position your body jets and shower heads toward tiled walls and fixed panels. If you have to, then install a low-flow showerhead with low pressure or point it straight down to the floor to minimize leaking.

Tip 11: Raised Tiles and Overhangs

It’s important that nothing interferes with the door’s swinging motion. If you’re going to use a decorative border, you want to use one that is flush or flat with the other tile in the shower door area. If you do use one that sticks out past the wall tile, make sure it stops before the door area. And any overhangs near the door opening, such as gaps, may cause leaking issues. Always run the tile flush with the vertical rise tile. Nothing should be protruding out that would interfere with the door swing.

At Stellar Glass Works, excellent showers are a staple of what we do and they are why we consistently install the best custom glass showers throughout Phoenix. Contact the Stellar Glass Works today to learn more!

Stellar Glass Works
4333 W Shaw Butte Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85029
(602) 679-8346