Replace a Shower Curtain With a Door

Creators Syndicate

Dear James: My girls never completely close the shower curtain and the floor gets wet. There are walls on each end, so adding a shower door would be good. Is this a project I can do myself? -- Claire C.

Dear Claire: The idea of installing a shower door in your girls' bathroom is an excellent one. Shower doors block water spray better than curtains and you won't have to replace the curtain because of mildew build-up.

Before you start this project, make sure the tub is cleaned thoroughly. To do this, remove the curtain and curtain rod and then scrub, rinse and dry the tub.  After your door is installed you will find it easy to keep clean. Generally, all you need to do is scrub the door with a soapy cloth and rinse away the residue.

After the tub is clean, it is ready for the next step: measuring. Most tubs are five feet long, but measure it just to make sure. Also measure the height you would like the shower door to be.

Most doors come in a standard height, but you can't be too careful. Mark the centerline of the tub rim and the dimensions on the wall surface where the vertical frame will be attached.

To fit the bottom track to the tub, first cut it one-quarter inch shorter than the length between the walls. Double-check all of your measurements before you begin to cut the track. Use a hacksaw, making sure the blade's teeth point forward, and cut the track to the correct length. If the edges of the track are rough you can smooth them out with sandpaper or a metal file.

After they are the correct length, run silicone caulk along the center of the tub's rim. Place the track in the caulk. To keep the track from moving, tape it in place while the caulk sets up.

Hold up each of the side tracks to the walls, level them, mark the screw locations, and drill pilot holes. If you have tile walls, you will probably need a masonry bit to drill the holes. Once you have drilled the pilot holes, attach the side tracks to the walls.

To add the top track of the shower door, measure and mark it so it fits tightly between the side tracks. Cut the rail and fasten it into place on top of the side tracks.

Install the doors by lifting them into place so the rollers fit into the bottom tracks. Make sure you install the smooth side of the glass facing the inside of the tub. This will make cleaning the doors easier in the long run. Open the doors a few times to be sure they slide back and forth without too much tension.

Go around the outside of the door frame with caulk to form a waterproof joint. This step will make sure you still don't have those puddles to mop up. There is no need to seal the inside frame because the bottom track should have built-in drainage holes.

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.

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