The right shower design can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom. The best made plans work to maximize the use of space as well as make your bathroom more comfortable and functional. One of the hottest trends in bathroom design is the addition of a frameless glass shower enclosure. A frameless shower conveys a modern clean feel adding both beauty, functionality and value to your home. Any remodeling project can seem a bit daunting, so in this three part series we’ll discuss some handy bits of information for making the planning process easier.
In part one of this series we’ll discuss measuring and spatial considerations for your new shower enclosure.
The Shape of Your Shower
When planning your shower enclosure the first place to start is the shape of the shower. If you’re just replacing your existing shower with a new one, then you’ll likely have to keep the same shape. However if you are remodeling your bathroom you may have more leeway in choosing the shape of your shower, because different showers fit indifferent spaces. When considering the shape of your shower keep in mind that most shower hardware is designed to accommodate 90⁰, 135⁰, 180⁰ angles, so planning your shower with this in understanding ensures a more cost-effective installation and properly functioning enclosure.
Are Your Walls Straight
To prevent hinge binding, uneven joints, and gaps between the glass and the substrate, walls which meet a door or glass panel should be completely plumb (vertical). This means the wall can’t lean in or out in any direction or be curved. Any walls that are more than ¼” out of plumb make it very difficult to install a shower properly because they cause unsightly gaps, are more likely to leak, and have a greater chance of having hinge binding issues. It’s possible to make glass adjustments for walls that are out of plumb, but you may incur additional charges to special order the glass to fit the less than ideal opening.
Swing Space for Your Shower Door
When planning your frameless glass shower enclosure it’s important to remember that building code requires that all hinged shower doors must open outwards. Hinged shower doors that swing inwards only are not permitted by code as the door must allow unobstructed access to a showering person in case of a fall. You are permitted to have a door that swings in both directions, but you’ll need to be sure that you plan for door swing clearance both inside and outside the shower. In you shower design you’ll need to make sure there are no obstacles, such as a toilet or vanity that will prevent your shower door from opening freely. If your bathroom footprint does not allow for swing clearance for a shower door, consider choosing a glass sliding shower door. Your other alternatives include double sliding doors, which come either semi-framed or framed, or possibly a shower screen which leaves ample clearance space in case of emergency.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our series where we’ll discuss support for doors, glass panel widths, and shower curb options.
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