Frameless Enclosure Design Tips
Please discuss these guidelines with your contractor in the early stages of development to ensure trouble free installation of your frameless enclosure. By doing this you can avoid many of the common installation problems before they occur. This will ensure that the focus is on the safety, integrity, function and beauty of your new enclosure:
1. BACKING REQUIREMENTS
Studs should be doubled up behind walls where glass will be anchored. They should be laid flat on the wide side, to allow a wider surface for mounting hardware and for structural support. The studs should also run to the full height of the shower unit. Curbs should meet walls at a 90-degree angle.
2. PITCH OF CURBS, FLOORS AND SEATS
Leaks and standing water are caused by improperly pitched surfaces. All floors, curbs and seats should be pitched away from glass and toward the drainage area to eliminate leaks or standing water. 1/4″ – 1/2″ on bench seats, and 3/16″ – 1/4″ on curbs is ideal for proper shedding of water.
3. CURB AND BUTTRESS INTERFACES
Always design curbs so that they approach buttresses at a 90-degree angle. This will ensure proper door swing clearances and avoid binding of hinges.
4. NEO-ANGLE CONFIGURATIONS
Glass is measured centerline on the curb. A standard neo-angled configuration uses 135-degree angles. Any other is considered custom. Keeping with the standard angles may avoid additional cost and complexity.
5. STEP-DOWN or WALK-IN SHOWERS
Pitch floor away from door inside the shower. Curbless designs should have a metal threshold for proper bottom sweep function and seal.
6. DOOR AND PANEL SIZE RESTRICTIONS
Minimum door width/opening is 24″ tile-to-tile.
Minimum panel width is recommended to be no less than 4″. Panels narrower than 3-1/2″ are prone to bowing and twisting during the tempering process.
Overhangs near door closings create problem gaps and may require ugly fillers – or worse – a return visit from your tileman.
8. GLASS/PORCELAIN TILES
Glass or porcelain tiles are extremely brittle and prone to break or chip when drilled into or when pressure is applied. If possible, do not use either of these in areas that require drilling to mount hardware. Find a tile or marble that compliments the glass tiles as a preferred alternate. There is no guarantee against breakage when glass tiles are used.
9. DECORATIVE TILES
Decorative tiles and borders that sit higher than the field tile can create issues when placed near the shower door. It is best to end the detailed pattern prior to the door swing area, however we can notch the glass around these tiles for both doors and stationary panels.
10. BODY SPRAYS
Proper placement of shower heads and body sprays is critical to ensure against leaking. Aim shower sprays away from the door opening and similar gaps. There is no guarantee against leaking if sprays are improperly located.
11. STEAM SHOWERS AND OVERSIZED ENCLOSURES
Door heights which exceed 84″ will typically require a fixed or movable transom, or we suggest that you build down a soffit. In doing so make sure that it is perfectly plumb and square down to the curb footprint. In addition, the interior ceiling should be sloped to allow condensation to run off rather than ‘drip’.
Exhaust fans are recommended in all steam enclosures, even with an operable transom, to ensure proper ventilation.
13. GLASS PROTECTION
We highly recommend protecting your glass with a sealant. Glass is a porous material and over time can collect a build up of minerals from your soap and water. Diamon-Fusion® is our sealant of choice. It will seal the tiny pores, strengthen the glass, and make your life much easier when it comes to maintaining the beauty of your new enclosure.