Finishing the shower

Finally, we’re in. We officially moved out of C’s shower last week, and into our own. As was the case the entire step of the way with this project, work came in spurts. I’ve had the door up for six weeks, but needed to finish the trim and do a little work on the tile in the curb. This took less than two hours total, and could have been done a month ago, but that’s how it goes. No matter now, we’re certainly enjoying it! I’ve even showered every day since we moved in, which is unheard of (yes, I occasionally skip days if I’m not feeling very dirty).

For a shower recap here’s parts 1, 2, and 3.

Mounting the door wasn’t too much of an engineering difficulty, but it will require at least one other helper. It’s one heavy piece of glass, and to keep it balanced and level while marking for pilot holes is nigh impossible for one person to do. This is a good installation walkthrough (with more pictures) if you don’t trust mine.

Assuming your door comes unassembled, you’ll need to mount the hinges first (easy). Then, carefully move it into the door frame of the shower, center it, then make sure it’s perfectly level on all sides. You’re fitting it into a (presumably) perfectly square hole, so if it’s not level, and opens slightly downward or at an angle, you’ll end up scraping a side somewhere, which is bad. And remember to make sure it swings the right way before you screw it in.

When it’s level, mark each of the holes in the hinges, then take the door down. Since the door is so heavy, you need to drill through the tile and just into the wooden stud, which offers much more support. This is not a quick process, as it must be done slowly (took me a good hour-plus to drill eight holes; you’re really grinding the tile versus actually drilling into it). Get yourself a good 1/4″ tile bit (assuming you’re using a ceramic tile – if you’re drilling through glass, you’ll need a different bit) and a spray bottle full of water. Start slowly, and apply even pressure, but don’t push too hard. Spray the area frequently while you’re drilling to keep things cool. You’re generating a lot of heat through the friction, and overheating and/or pushing too hard on the tile may cause it to crack. Just be patient.

After the holes are all drilled, vacuum them out to remove any debris, and wipe the tile down. Most doors should come with plastic anchors – push those into the holes, cutting off anything that isn’t flush with the tile. You’re now ready to mount, at which point you’ll probably need your helper back. Have them hold the door steady and level again while you put a couple screws in (at least one in both the top and bottom hinges). Once the door is stable, you can put the rest of the screws in without help. And that’s really all there is to it.

I started this project last Labor Day, so it took a solid nine months, but I think we’d all agree it was worth it!

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2 thoughts on “Finishing the shower

  1. Had I known you were posting finished pics, I would have at least picked up the washcloths! You need to warn me of these things. 😉

  2. At least I moved your towel and his toys…

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