How to Install a Shower Door
Installing a shower door is a satisfying project, especially if you have an outdated shower door or you want to upgrade from a shower curtain. A glass shower door freshens up a bathroom and gives it a trim, modern look. It's not difficult to learn how to install a shower door, and the results will completely transform your bathroom.
Be careful when handling tempered glass as it can break if unequal pressure is applied to the glass. Set the edges and corners on towels, not on hard flooring.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Electric drill
- Metal file
- Miter box
- Putty knife
- Bubble level
- Drill bit set
- Tape measure
- Indelible marker
- Caulking gun
- Utility knife
- Pry bar
- Sliding frameless bypass glass shower door
- Painter's tape
- Silicone caulk
Measure the Opening's Width
With a tape measure, measure the width of the opening at the top, middle, and bottom. If there is a variation, choose the shortest of the three measurements.
Measure the Opening's Height
Measure the height limitation of the shower door with a tape measure. Measure on the left and right sides. Unless the shower surround extends to the ceiling, the height limit is the height of the surround. Use the width and height measurements to purchase an appropriately sized bypass frameless shower door.
Remove Shower Rod or Shower Door
Remove a shower curtain rod by removing the curtain, then twisting the rod counter-clockwise.
Remove a shower door by lifting the door, then swinging the bottom in toward the shower. Hit the header from below with a hammer to remove it. Cut caulk on the door jambs and remove the screws. Pry the bottom track off of the threshold with a prybar.
Clean the Surround
Scrape the old caulk and gunk from the shower or tub threshold and walls with a putty knife. Hold the end of the putty knife flat to avoid scraping fragile surfaces.
Measure and Mark the Bottom Track
Measure the length of the bottom track from one side of the shower door opening to the other side. Reduce the measurement by about 1/16-inch to ensure that the track will fit. Transfer the measurement to the bottom track with an indelible marker.
Cut the Bottom Track
Cut the bottom track using the hacksaw and the miter box. File rough edges smooth with the metal file.
Dry-Fit the Bottom Track and Jambs
Place the bottom track on the threshold. Tape it temporarily in place. Mark the threshold on both sides of the track with a pencil. Do not remove the track yet.
Round the Bottom Track (Optional)
The ends of the bottom track may need to be rounded to conform to a curved threshold. Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle with a hacksaw. For a tighter fit, cut a radius with a coping saw.
Dry-Fit and Mark the Side Jambs
Place the jambs on both sides of the opening. Plumb the jambs with the bubble level and hold them in place with painter's tape. Mark the cut points on the jambs with an indelible marker. Mark the pre-drilled holes in the jamb pieces with a pencil. Remove all pieces.
Cut the Jambs
Cut the jambs on the cut points with the hacksaw and the miter box. File smooth with the metal file.
Drill the Holes in the Shower Surround
Drill holes in the shower surround at the marked spots. The hole is typically about 1/4-inch diameter, but check the instructions for the exact size. Use a masonry bit if the surround is tile or stone.
Attach the Bottom Track
Apply silicone caulk to the threshold between the pencil marks. Press the track into place in the caulk bed. The high side of the track must face the bathroom.
Install One Door Jamb
Screw one of the door jambs into place. Insert the provided screws through the pre-drilled holes in the jamb. The kit may have plastic washers or spacers required for waterproofing. Drive the screws until they grab the studs behind the surround. If the screws do not meet the internal framing, use the provided plastic wall anchors.
Measure and Cut the Door Header
Measure the width of the shower opening just above the intended location of both door jambs. Transfer the measurement to the header track. Cut the track in the miter box with the hacksaw. File smooth.
Attach the Door Header
Attach one end of the door header to the top of the installed jamb. Slide the header into place from an angle. Once this side is secure, lock the second jamb into the header.
Install the Second Jamb
Slide the second jamb onto the wall surround and screw it into place.
Add the Hanger Brackets to the Doors
Add the top hanger bracket rollers to the shower doors, if not already attached.
Install the Shower Doors
Standing on the inside of the shower and working with an assistant, install the first shower door. Hold the door at an angle to fit the wheels into the header track. Once the wheels are in place gently tilt down the door. Repeat for the other door.
Install the Door Guide
Install the door guide on the bottom track from the inside of the shower. Place the guide at the center of the track and screw it into place.
Install the Bumpers and Handles
Press the molded silicone or vinyl bumpers into the jambs. Add door handles.
When to Call a Professional
Call a bathroom remodeling company or a general contractor to install a bypass frameless glass shower door if this is your only bathing option and do not feel that you can finish within a day.