Frameless Showers: Proper Design Prevents Leaks

Frameless shower enclosures do not seal as well as standard framed shower enclosures because of their very nature (frameless).   With proper design and installation, frameless showers should not have problems with water leakage, but they are not 100 percent watertight. There are many ways to prevent water leakage around a frameless shower door. Here is what we recommend:

1.  Proper slope on threshold of shower: The curb could be considered the most important part of the shower. It is the top of the curb, sometimes referred to as the threshold that is of most importance.  The top of the curb should have a 5° positive slope inward towards the shower drain (Figure A).  Much more and it becomes difficult for the shower door to open because the angle crushes the seal. Anything less than a 5° slope toward the drain, and   it is prone to   leakage because water   will   follow   gravity.   Our   best recommendation is to use a single solid piece of granite, marble or stone instead of tile for the top of the curb. It is easier to get the proper slope towards the shower drain and eliminates the tile grout lines. Since the bottom seal of a frameless shower door rides on top  of the  curb and cannot  follow  into  the grout  lines, a solid threshold provides  a better  enclosure seal so water cannot  leak out through  the grout  lines. Showers built for   frameless enclosures   require specific detail during their   construction. Since frameless  shower  enclosures  have no frame, the  top  of  the  curb  must  be sloped 5 degrees inward toward the  shower  drain  to  prevent leakage  from  any  water  that sheds off the door while taking a shower.

2.   Position body sprays and faucet heads towards tile walls, not towards enclosure doors.

3.   Install a shower sweep with drip rail onto the bottom of your frameless glass shower door.  This  will  tighten up  the  clearance  space under  the  door  and  prevent  water seepage.

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