Knowing how to install a shower door may not seem like a valuable skill if you see bathtubs and showers as serving the same purpose. But there are several reasons why a shower might be a better choice. For one thing, in a bathroom that is too small for a bathtub, a shower might fit nicely. And some people who enjoy taking a shower may rarely, if ever, use a bathtub. Regardless of your reason for installing a shower, you'll need a few tips if you wish to install a hinged shower door. Follow the six steps below to make the job easier.
Step 1: Measure the Needed Shower Space
You'll need three measurements to install a shower. First measure the distance between walls, one measurement representing the top of your shower and the other representing the bottom of the shower. Make a note as to the longer of these two measurements. The third measurement is from the floor—or shower bottom—to the place where the shower top will be. Note this measurement also. Draw a line on the floor between the inside and outside marks. This line will represent the bottom edge of your bottom shower rail.
Step 2: Purchase and Prepare the Shower
In buying your shower, select the one that matches your noted shower measurements. It should include needed hardware, including jambs and rails.
In preparing the rails for your shower, mark the bottom rail with a grease pencil at a location that is the same distance in from the end. This distance could match the measurements you noted for the shower width, but should be 1/16 inch shorter. Use a hacksaw to cut the bottom rail at the mark you made on it. Fit the rail into place and secure it with masking tape.
Step 3: Attach Adjustment Rails
Fit one adjustment rail on each side of the shower, using a level to be sure they are plumb. Then, after marking each rails where you will drill screw holes, use your drill and bit and drill holes into the wall to match the screw hole marks on the rail. Finally, insert plastic anchors into these rails.
Step 4: Installing the Jambs
To the bottom edge of the bottom rail, apply a bead of caulk. Set the rail on the shower base, aligning it with the line you drew for the base. On the wall nearest your shower head, install the strike jamb. On the opposite wall install the hinge jamb. Then, align the jambs with the holes you drilled and attach the jambs.
Step 5: Finishing the Installation
Attach the drip rail to the bottom door frame and insert the drain-back plug. Apply caulk on the rails and jambs where they touch the walls. When the caulk is dry, attach the shower door, and your shower will be ready for use.