Anyone have glass shower installation advice or experience/tips?

Henry W

Senior User
As noted in an earlier thread we are considering a bathroom remodel - 2 actually. We are in the planning process, not actually committed to anything yet; both layouts are finalized, but there are lots of details to consider yet.

As an avid handy'person' I am not afraid to try new things / add new skills. I expect to learn how to tile in this process.
Is glass shower door installation something that anyone has experience with? Any brand or vendor recommendations?

Or is this not an area to 'save' on and let someone else handle it? As my good friend suggests - "Sometimes the best tool in your toolbox is your checkbook"

Advice or recommendations?

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Tile and shower doors are a great DIY project. My advice is while you are saving on labor buy the best product you can. It will make the install easier and the life of the product will be longer. Hint: If you see a door for 300 and another for 400, go with the higher - you will save much more than the extra 100 on the install


New User
If we're talking about a floating glass shower door, I would have a glass guy put it in. Mostly for the reason that if it gets broken or damaged, he pays for it.


Corporate Member
I have done a number of these when I was younger as when I started out did 30 Bathroom remodeling project over 14 months. Your wall and base channel are where you need to take up any out of plumb issues should there be any. Fred's Point is critical Plumb and Square. If you want to do a floating door, I suggest getting apiece of tempered jalousie glass and attach the hinges or something like it to see how it feels. That if you break it because you went all "gorilla" on it, you are only out10 bucks or so. That also motivates you to pay attention...;)... But, my biggest complaint with the glass enclosures is this , the maintenance. If you use a squeege after showering and clean off the glass it will always look great. But, if you do not and the water hardness is moderately high (which a lot of N.C is the case) then, it becomes a maintenance issue. This is personal experience talking. But the one I put in my last home was awesome looking, they always are.


Corporate Member
We didn't install our glass, but consistently squeegeed after (each!) showering-not just once a day. If you get lazy and stop squeezing, you've got to work to get it clean. Also, if you use frameless glass, you can count on replacing sealant every few years as it dulls, discolors and collects/grows the black crude (mildew). You really can't squeege the sealant. You have to cut the old sealant out.

Also, any change in plane for the the tile job requires a 'flexible' grout - read that caulking. Buy the good stuff. Always, buy the good stuff. But sealer on all grout lines and keep it clean. Reseal according to manufacturer recommendations.

Just my $0.02. YMMV


Senior User
I have done a couple over the years. As mentioned previously, Plumb level and square certainly helps, as well as blocking. But , a floating door is not a difficult thing to install at all. I was quoted installed prices of between $900-1200 for a simple door with 2 hinges. I called the local glass company and they said give them the measurements, Bottom, top and middle and they would give me everything for a DIY solution. For 3/8 thick glass, hinges, handle and sweep it was under $400, custom made. The hardest part is these things are heavy and drilling tile can be challenging, but if you take your time and have some help, its not hard.

Henry W

Senior User
... I called the local glass company and they said give them the measurements, Bottom, top and middle and they would give me everything for a DIY solution. ....
Thanks Chris. My few inquiries with local glass places (only 2) is that they want to quote installed prices. I have not inquired specifically about DIY installs with their products.


Recovering tool addict
Corporate Member
I've done a semi-frameless shower door, not too difficult. Even if the wall is slightly out of plumb you can adjust the doors to make it work. If it's completely frameless, you may want to hire it out, there's a lot less room for error.

If you're putting in tile, you'll need to drill through the tile to install the glass. That'll require a specialty bit and can be a bit tricky.


Man with many vises
I installed this Basco door a few months ago and we are very pleased. It has a special coating on the inside of the glass and with squeegeeing after use it has stayed sparkling. Expensive at $600 or so but a quality product with a lifetime warranty. During initial install the door slipped and the glass shattered. Door and hinge were replaced free (including shipment).
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Senior User
My $0.02, having done one frameless in my own house.

It's a VIGO frameless shower kit from Lowes consisting of a glass wall and a shower door. Overall happy with it.

Everyone else has hit most of the highlights - blocking, plumb and square, etc - all of which means pre-planning the door (before you start tiling) is crucial. Other thoughts:
*Frameless glass is heavy..plan on a helper. I bought a couple of cheap Harbor Freight suction cup lifters and those were useful (but I had a 4'x6' sheet of glass to move).
*I had to drill through porcelain tile for the hinges and mounting brackets. I bought a cheapo diamond bit ("it's just 8 holes") and it was painfully slow. Don't use a cheap bit.

Two tips:
For the tiles, use PowerGrout. My shower is 5 years old..daily use, no sealing.
For maintaining the glass when it does eventually develop water spots: Barkeeper's Friend.


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