How To Fit A Shower Screen
Previously, shower curtains were all the rage as a simple way of keeping water from spraying all over the bathroom floor. Nowadays glass shower screens are preferred as they are much more effective. They are much easier to clean and help contain water better, making drainage easier and quicker. They also provide a clean and modern look that increases your home’s value. Shower screens come in various sizes and styles to fit in any space and suit individual needs.
If you’ve just purchased a new shower screen or are planning to get one, here’s a guide to shower screen installation.
Can You Install a Shower Screen Yourself?
A shower screen is made of frosted, clear or tinted glass and is easy to install yourself if you have some basic DIY knowledge. You can leave the job to the professionals but if you want to save on cost, here’s a guide to help you install your new shower screen.
Tools You’ll Need to Fit a Shower Screen
- Masking tape
- Electric drill
- Spirit level
- Sealant gun
- Wall plugs
- Tape measure
- Multi-purpose detector
How to Fit a Shower Screen: A Step by Step Guide
If you’re competent at DIY and have the tools, here’s a guide with basic steps to help you install a shower screen.
Step 1: Prepare Yourself and the Area
You’ll need to get your tools and space in order before installing the shower screen, including first removing the old shower screen to give you space to install the new one. Place something like cardboard on the bathroom floor to prevent it from getting damaged if something drops.
Unpack the shower screen to confirm it’s the right one and has arrived undamaged. Place it far away from the work area so you don’t accidentally damage it during the installation process.
Shower screens come with specific installation instructions. Go through the manual that comes with your shower screen to identify any specific installation requirements. If you get everything you need, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wall Channel
A metallic vertical wall channel holds the glass panel. Therefore, you need to position this piece before installing the shower screen.
First, identify the appropriate position to place the channel on the wall. Use a spirit level to position the track and make sure it is straight. On the wall, mark the areas where you’re going to drill the screw holes.
You want to make sure your marks are accurate to avoid damaging your wall by drilling holes in the wrong areas.
Step 3: Drill the Screw Holes
Before you start drilling, check the location of any nearby electrical cables and pipes using a multi-purpose detector. You don’t want to drill into one of your water pipes and cause water leaks. When drilling, make sure to use the correct drill bit depending on the surface you’re drilling into.
Identify the marked areas and start drilling the screw holes with the electric drill. Once you’re done, place the wall plugs into the drilled holes on the walls.
Tip: Place masking tape over the marked areas before drilling the holes. This prevents the drill from slipping while you’re drilling the holes.
Step 4: Attach the Brackets/Channel to the wall
Use the mounting hardware to screw the brackets or channels onto the wall. The bracket should be upright.
However, channels are more efficient than brackets as they are long and offer adequate support. They are also more aesthetically pleasing compared to brackets. The materials are resistant to water and will last longer.
Place a bead of silicone on the back of the channel or bracket before screwing it into the final position. Give it some time to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Install the Glass Panel
When installing a shower screen, you’ll be dealing with one or more panels. Therefore, you’ll need to fit the panels, one at a time and in the correct manner. Before you install the panels, read through the installation instructions from the manufacturer once again. Also, some shower screens come with special fixings to hold them in position.
Remember, a shower screen can be heavy at times, so an extra pair of hands should help you move and position the shower screen as you secure it to the wall.
Check to ensure that the glass panels form a water-tight seal and if it comes with a support bar, this is the right time to install it.
Step 6: Seal the Edges
You want to be sure that not even a single drop of water comes out of your shower so you’ll need to seal all the edges and waterproof your shower screen.
Use a sealant gun to run a bead of silicone along the edges of the shower screen where they meet the wall. Allow the sealant to dry for about 24 hours. After this period, your shower screen will now be ready to use.
How to Fit a Shower Screen on a Bath: A Step by Step Guide
If you fit the shower screen to the bath, you’ll need to follow almost the same process as above but with a few adjustments. Here is how to go about it.
Step 1: Mark Up the Wall
Your bath screen must have come with a channel that will hold the glass on the wall. Place it on the wall and approximately 40 mm from the outside edge of your bath. Use a spirit level to ensure the channel is straight.
The channel will have several holes in it. Mark the position of these holes on your wall with a pencil or marker.
Step 2: Drill the Holes and Screw the Channel Into the Wall
Check the location of any electrical cables or pipes inside your wall before drilling. Locate your markings on the wall and drill the holes.
Once done, use the fixings that came with the shower screen to screw the channel into the wall.
Step 3: Fix the Glass Into the Channel
Place the glass into the channel securely and ensure the seal touches the bath correctly for a water-tight seal. Refer to the manufacturers instructions to ensure the glass panel is installed safely.
Step 4: Apply Silicone Sealant
You’ll need to apply sealant along the wall channel to prevent moisture and water from spreading to other parts of the room. This should be done after you’ve successfully installed the glass on the bath. Give the sealant some time, perhaps a day, to dry before using the shower.
Fitting Other Types of Shower Screens
The guides above are basic installation techniques for shower screens. However, other types of shower screens require special installation. Some have several panels with hinges; hence need more skills during installation.
The good thing is that they all come with installation instructions from the manufacturer. All you have to do is compare our guides with the manufacturer’s instructions, and you’re good to go.
The different types of shower screens include;
- Sliding door
- Pivot door
- Bi-fold doors
- Fixed panel
How to Fit a Shower Screen on Tiles
There’s no big problem fitting a shower screen on tiles. However, you should be careful while drilling holes inside the tiles, as standard drill bits do not work on tiles. Use a carbide bit to drill into a ceramic tile, or if the tile is glass or porcelain, use a diamond-tipped drill.
Try to be gentle when drilling to avoid damaging your tiles and using masking tape will help guide the drill,preventing itl from skidding.
How to Fit a Shower Screen on Uneven Tiles
You don’t need to worry about fitting a shower screen on uneven tiles either. Splash some silicone on the U-channel to make the surface even before installing the shower screen. If you’re willing to go to extreme measures, you might want to use an angle-grinder to even out the surface.
How to Fit a Curved Shower Screen Seal
It can be frustrating to attach seals to a curved shower screen due to its stiffness. However, there are some tricks to go about this whole thing without much struggle. Place the seal in a bowl containing hot water for a few minutes to make it loose. This will make the seal more flexible thus easy to place on your curved shower screen. You can also use some oil to smoothen the seal and to make the whole process effortless.
How Much Does it Cost to Fit a Shower Screen?
Generally, a standard shower screen installation takes approximately 1-2 hours when done yourself and the price of a new shower screen can cost anywhere from £120 to £3,000 depending on the materials used and the brand.
At PlumbNation, we only provide the highest quality bathroom fixtures and fittings to allow you to get the bathroom of your dreams. Check out our full range of bathroom products or our other guides to help your bathroom renovations go smoothly.