Getting invoiced by a company to do a job that you can probably do easily is not fun for anybody.
Not only can we spend the money on more productive things, but it often robs us of the satisfaction of a job we have done ourselves. But there are times when we need to draw the line between being self-reliant and out of our league. Installing a frameless glass shower might be one of these times that you’re in over your head — but like all things in life, it depends …
Because glass showers come in all varieties, installing different kinds of frameless glass shower doors will require varying levels of expertise. Depending on the design, materials, cuts, and fasteners, you may or may-not be able to do a quality job on your own. Throw into that mix your experience and you will be able to tell :
How tough can installing frameless glass doors be?
- If you’re not sure, here is a quick test to see if you can hack installing your first glass shower:
- Does your project require multiple glass panels?
- Does your job require a mitred cut? (Do you know what a mitered cut is?)
- Does your shower need glass to be cut in any shape that is not a square?
- Is there only one door?
- Does your shower have only one step up notch?
If you answered yes to most of these questions you may be able to complete your very own frameless glass shower installation.
If you answered no to most of the questions just call a professional glass installation company.
“… I got this!”
There are still some of you that think you can handle your job. That’s great. I applaud your courage. But just to be clear, you probably should stay away from self-installation if it includes: (picture for each one)
- Multiple angles where the glass meets
- Multiple mitered cuts
- More than one return
- Joining the glass panels at angles with clips, glues, or fixed hinges.
To the super confident diy men out there, we wish you good luck but still recommend at least involving a friend who knows what he’s doing.
To everyone else, get a professional glass installation specialist. It’s not worth the amount of time you have to invest to prevent messing up a job like this.
Installing a “simple” frameless glass shower
In a simple installation that looks like this:
… there are four things you will want to really study before you start.
1) The size of the glass – Depending on the size of your shower your glass panel will weigh between 30 -60 kilograms. It’s easy to underestimate the manpower that it takes to hold a pane of the size in place while fitting, cutting, or bolting it to the wall. Solution: Call a friend or two to help with the heavy lifting.
2) Get square – Double-check before making any cuts that your opening, fittings, step-up notch or other glass panels are level and plumb. You’ll want to know this info before you cut away at a pricy sheet of glass.
3) Measure, measure, measure – Measuring is the most important skill in this whole project, so don’t rush through it. There is little room for error when cutting expensive pieces of glass. Be sure to follow the standards of professional glass installers. Did we mention that you need to measure?
4) Cutting and drilling – At some point you are going to have to cut, drill, center, glue or set the glass so that it’s in a stationary position. This may be obvious, but it’s easy to shatter the glass if done incorrectly. Be sure to take your time and follow the advice of the pros. This isn’t a time for innovating new approaches.
Feeling handy? Good.
As you can see by now — yes, this is potentially difficult — but it’s also extremely rewarding. There are few feelings in life better than building something with your own hands, especially something you will use every day like a beautiful glass shower.
Another thing to consider is treating your shower glass with special finishes or designs before installation. It’s an easy way to make your shower stand out from the crowd of other frameless glass designs.