How To Replace Your Curtain With A Shower Door

Replace your old shower curtain with a new shower door by following these simple guidelines. This project should take one to two days to complete.

Trade in your moldy and difficult to clean shower curtain for a shower door. It is an easy do-it-yourself project that can be finished in a weekend.

Picking The Right Door

Shower doors come in a variety of styles and finishes. While the decorative look is up to you, you will want to make sure the shower door will fit. Measure the width and height of the door's opening and use these measurements to purchase a shower door that is the right size. While you are measuring, check to see if the walls and tub's edge, where the shower door will sit, are level. If are not, you will need to use filler to correct the problem so your doors will open properly.

Remove The Curtain Rod

Remove the curtain rod before you install the shower door. Spring tension rods can be quickly removed. However, if you have a rod that is screwed into the wall, you will need to patch the surfaces or replace damaged tiles. Make sure all repaired surfaces have dried and cured before installing the shower door over them.

Cut The Bottom Track

Before you begin, read the manufacturer's directions before you install the shower door since some manufacturers may have a unique way of mounting their shower door.

For a typical shower door installation, measure the tub's edge from wall to wall where the frame will sit. Subtract 1/8 of an inch from that measurement so the wall tracks will be able to slide onto the ends. Take this measurement and mark the length on the metal track. Double check your measurements and then cut the metal track with a miter box and hack saw. Use safety glasses while cutting since metal shavings can fly up.

Center the track on the tub's edge, making sure there is equal distance at each ends of the track. The high side of the track should be facing outside of the tub so water can drain into the tub and not onto your floors. If the ends of the track do not sit flush because of a rounded corner in the tub, shape the ends with a metal file. Once you have it in the right place, mark its place with a pencil and secure it with masking or duct tape.

Fit The Wall Channels

The wall channels should fit over the bottom track and sit flat against the wall. Make sure the wall channels are level, and make adjustments by adding filler into gaps. When you have the wall channel in the correct position, use masking tape to set it in place. Next, mark the mounting holes with a pencil or permanent marker.

Cut The Header

Measure across the top of the wall channels to find the length you will need for the header. It is not uncommon for this measurement to be different from the bottom edge of the tub. Take the measurement, and subtract 1/16 of an inch from it for the length for the header. With this measurement, mark the header, double check your measurements, and then cut the header with a miter box and hacksaw.

Drill Holes

Before you drill, remove the wall channels and track out of your way. Next, drill the mounting holes using an appropriate drill bit. If your shower walls are tiled, you will need a masonry drill bit. For tiled walls, you will also need to tap wall anchors flush into the drilled holes.

Install The Track, Channels And Header

Clean the surfaces where your track and wall channels meet the surface so the silicone sealant will adhere. Next, run a bead of silicone sealant on the outside edge of the track and at the ends. Then place the track with the high side facing out on the tub's edge, using your pencil line for proper placement.

Next, mount the wall channels by screwing them into the wall. Then install the plastic bumpers at the top and bottom locations on the wall channels. After that, slide the header over the top of the wall channels.

Put In The Shower Doors

Start by lifting the inner-sliding panel by the sides and angling the top rollers to sit inside the top track. Then slide the door into the bottom track. Check to be sure the shower door rolls smoothly back and forth, and that it is plumb wall closest to the shower head. If it is not, remove the door and adjust the rollers. Repeat the process with the outside panel, but have the rollers rest on the outside tracks.

Final Touches

If you have a towel rack on your shower door, you will need to install it now. The last step is to run a bead of silicon sealant around the inside and outside edges of the wall channels and track so water will not come in. After the sealant has set for 24 hours, you can enjoy a hot shower with your newly installed shower doors.

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