kiwicanuck

Shower door: What is the typical gap between the glass shower door and the glass wall?

kiwicanuck
March 9, 2013
We have just had the glass installed and the gap looks too big to me. It is 3/16" and the installers are telling me this is typical. I think too much water will get out on the floor. The gap is in the middle of our shower. Any feedback would be great. Thanks!

Comments (33)

  • PRO
    Ironwood Builders
    3/16" is good.
  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass
    3/16" is the standard gap, Have no fear, unless water is shooting at 90 degrees to the gap it will not be a problem. And if you have that condition in your shower have the company install a vertical seal. We find more water problems with curbs that are not pitched to the inside of the shower. They should be pitched 1/8" per 6".
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  • sdbarber
    I have a question, what type of vertical seal are you talking about, silicone?
  • Curt D'Onofrio
    You might look into seals like these http://www.trimlok.com/cat/Edge-Trim/Browse-All-Products_102.aspx Keep in mind though since they can hand press fit on they still may admit water behind them...think of mildew...may need to be periodically removed and cleaned
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    Kitchen Bath and Glass
    For this type of application I like SDTDFT2 from CRL or S1LB Both are applied with high bond acrylic clear tape also from CRL There are several press on types but I try not to use them
  • PRO
    VanGo Shower Glass
    Get better installers. Industry standard in Canada is max 1/8" and my work is 1/16th - 1/32"
  • PRO
    VanGo Shower Glass
    The 'seals' that are mentioned above are rubber gaskets. They really should not be necessary unless something is terribly out of square and the glass hasn't been adjusted accordingly. Looks like someone didn't measure very well.
  • PRO
    VanGo Shower Glass
    This is what a frameless door should close like - without glaskets...
  • PRO
    By Any Design Ltd.
    3/16" - I would be pissed. I like to see about an 1/8" gap myself.

    If things like this drive you nuts then the glass and door panel should be installed it two goes or the use of a U Channel can be used to fudge out of whack walls.

    The gap in the photo at the top looks more like 3/8" not 3/16".
  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    Reply to Van Go Showers and John Whipple, It must be great to know everything like you. In our market "Florida" the houses move to much to use a small gap like that, I would have to replace 20% of the doors I installed with a gap that small. Also what is the tolerance for finishing glass there, I'll bet it's not 0 which is what it would have to be to get the results you claim or you add a giant silicone joint at the wall. And whats with all the clamps everywhere I've never seen so many clamps. Smaller gaps, I challenge you to tell me who does your fabrication and show me 3 doors that close like that and I want to see both edges the strike side and the hinge side. Additionally the seals that we use are are not rubber they are acrylic. WE focus on providing the highest quality "FRAMELESS" showers lazer measured with the smallest gaps that can be achieved with a truly frameless shower. That means we don't put 8 clamps on the bottom of the glass etc. etc. and we don't use braces on the top, we don't make the glass go to the ceiling on both sides of the door. I use a proprietary technique that allows me to achieve truely frameless results.

  • scgw

    I just got a glass shower and I'm having the same concern. The gap is about 1/4" and water seems to be 'pouring' out. I heard 1/16" should be standard but my contractor said 3/16" is good. Mine is also leaking out the bottom a ton! So frustrating!


  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    As you have read there is some difference of opinion as to the size of the gap, that being said a 3/16" gap is OK, in your case the water may be hitting the door at just the right angle or the threshold is not pitched to the inside (1/8" per 6"). In your case I would use the SDTDFT2

    Gasket /seal it comes with double sided clear high bond tape. I would stick it to the edge of the door. If the threshold is OK this should do the trick.

    Also be sure there is a sweep at the bottom of the door

    Similar to this one.

    Please visit our website kitchenbathandglass.com and feel free to contact me anytime.


    Chris

  • PRO
    Ironwood Builders
    1/16" tolerance on 3/8"-1/2" tempered glass is pretty challenging. I'm a general contractor. My guys frame to 1/16" of plumb and level in new construction with a laser. On remodels, we are often trying to cope with what and who went there before. We use kiln dried Douglas fir studs and plates, so movement and shrinkage are less of an issue. We have the drywall contractor install 1/2" Denshield over our wall...and then my tile setter comes in and screeds a mortar bed to HIS eyeball read of his level...usually a Stabila. He sets tile...ceramic and porcelain tile are flat like the world is flat...they aren't...especially large format stuff. Don't think he isn't good...we require mitered returns at any thickness transition...with 1/16" grout lines. Then, of course, many of our clients want the look...and unevenness...of hand made tiles.

    The reason porcelain and ceramic, machine made or not, are not flat or absolutely consistent in size is because they are put through a kiln. Manufacturers set tolerances for the results. Some manufacturer's tolerances are pretty damn loose.

    The same is true of tempered glass...except it doesn't curve...the heat makes it grow and cooling makes it shrink...the results are not consistent based on when the glass entered the kiln, what else was in it and a lot of other factors...I'm not a glass engineer like my grandfather, he could have told you all that. But that glass is STRAIGHT. And humans can make machines that make things straight (like cut stone tiles...oh..wait...those aren't straight and flat either) but they can't do stuff by hand that is PERFECT. Not when the base material is a natural product that is affected by moisture and heat...like wood.

    So my shower door/glass fabricator measures, checks for square, plumb and level (with HIS eyeball on HIS Stabila level), compensates for the uniqueness of any given wall and cuts, drill and preps to his measurements...to within 1/16" tolerances. Then he sends the glass off to be tempered and hopes it doesn't change shape too radically. Then he installs what he has.

    We slope our curbs (the tile setter does it for me) so we rarely use sweeps (necessary for steam showers as are gaskets and/or caulking everywhere) on the door...but depending on the angle and proximity of the shower head(s) we sometimes feel it safer to install a gasket on the open edge of the door.

    So is 3/16" within tolerances? Yes. We usually maintain around an 1/8". 1/16" is only SLIGHTLY larger than the thickness of two credit cards.

    I build cabinets to 1/64" tolerances. My full inset doors and drawers gap at 3/32" before finish. We do that so the doors will open...smaller gaps require the door to be back beveled. My glass guy has a sign in his front office that says he'll cut glass to within 1/4" of any dimension I ask for.

    Not sure if I'm clear...but there are too many variables in any given shower installation to maintain a consistent 1/16" tolerance between glass and tile. If you can do that, more power to you...but boasting means backing it up. Better post a close up YouTube video of you sliding a couple of credit cards between your tile WITHOUT ANY GAPS for me to buy it.
  • solitro5

    I just had a frameless shower installed. There is a 3/16" gap between the door and each panel. I have read that a 3/16" gap is typical but should it be 3/16" total?

  • solitro5

    BTW, another shower in my house has such a thin gap, it can hold a credit card from top to bottom.

  • PRO
    The Glass Shop

    That gap is no 3/16"!!! and is not leveled. Something went wrong in that installation. 3/16" is standard in Puerto Rico and all construction is concrete. Less than that would be a problem with sismic/teluric movements.

  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    the gap should be 3/8" total or 3/16" at each side of the door or less is ideal. there are many variables that effect the gap you can achieve, the 1st of them is the glass fabricator they cut the glass to one size and then polish it down to the finished size, the standard for the industry is + or - 1/8" that a whopping 1/4". We pay close attention to tolerances of different fabricators and order accordingly. Everything will be going fine and the fabricator will change employees and all bets are off. Next is the shape of the shower, any time we are doing a neo angle we can tighten the gap up nicely by moving the panels to the inside a little. As mentioned earlier the tile cupping etc, the straightness of the walls, the strength of the walls, did the glass bow any during tempering, and so on, and then you have to consider that houses expand and contract. Installing frameless showers is an art not a science, The skill of the installer the skill of the cut man , the polisher, the tempering oven operator, the tile manufacturer, the tile installer and on and on. I am happy with 3/16" or less.

  • PRO
    Mona Lubana Interiors

    I had the shower doors installed in my house a few days ago. And, there is a gap between each panel and door. The question is how do I clean the doors with hand held shower spray? Water will go out thru that gap? That gap should be closed, but how?

  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    This is in the don't sweat the small stuff category. The big question is does it perform under normal conditions, if the answer is yes then just wipe up the over-spray with a towel. On the other hand the shower can be completely sealed up. Within 99% any way, but I will bet you were going for the elegant all glass look not the I have seals everywhere look.

  • susanalanandwrigley

    sillybilly - use squeegee and cloth, not handheld shower spray, to clean your glass doors. If water doesn't go through the gap when you shower, you are fine. You could add those awful plastic-y seals but that is not a good look.

  • Sharon Shaffer

    I have a question... I too have had a frameless (for the most part) shower door installed. The first door was not level at the top with the stationary piece of glass and the hinge side actually rubbed a mark into the metal when I opened the door. The door was too short and water leaked from the bottom onto the floor. The glass was replaced because the installer scratched it in several places. Now the replacement door was cut too narrow. The gap at the hinge side ranges from 3/8" at the top to 1/2 " at the bottom. The strike side has a 1/4 " gap. The door is not even with the stationary glass piece. Is there a standard for that or am I just making myself crazy? Should this door be redone?

  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    Yes the shower should be re-done. Check the top of the stationary panel to be sure it is level. If it is plumb on the vertical axis in 2 directions and level at the top it can stay. I take it by your comments that the hinges are glass to wall. I don't understand what metal is there to rub? I could live with a 1/4' gap on the strike side if it didn't effect the performance of the system. Although it typically, should be no more than 3/16" on both sides. The 3/8' to 1/2" on any side is 100% unacceptable. I imagine the company will be anxious to correct a mistake like this one. Call the Owner / manager and let them know what is going on and I'll bet they will be out the same day you call. By the way usually when water is leaking to the outside it is because the threshold is pitched to the outside. In any case you should have them install a diverter strip at the bottom of the door.

  • Sharon Shaffer

    Yes you are correct. The hinges are glass to wall. The glass was so wide that it rubbed on the hinge mount when the door was opened. Sad to say that I have been dealing with the owner for the last two months and it has not gone well. I haven't made payment yet and will be making another call today. Thank you so much for your help.

  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    Send pictures to chriskbg@cfl.rr.com as many as you think may be helpful and I will try to diagnose it for you. Maybe you should pay to have a different local shop help you. If you need a reference to a good shop let me know. I will need to know city state and west side east if it applies

  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    New questions should be put on new threads, so they can be easily accessed via a search, by people with the same issue. Put it in the design dilemma section, not Other.

  • sandra meadows

    I just got bids for my shower. Both companies told me to have the threshold changed to a 3/16 inward pitch so I wouldn’t have water on the floor. After reading everyone’s comments I’m a little worried about choosing a euro shower door. Would an all glass sliding door be a better choice for my small shower?

  • PRO
    Northern glass and doors

    I like a 1/8 Gap against the wall and between the door and panel. The problem I'm having is that I have a customer that would like round hinges and clamps. The classic round hinges from crl require a 1/4 inch Gap between the wall and the round clamps require a four or five mm Gap against the wall. Both of these are much too large for me. Does anyone have experience with these hinges and possibly a template I could use to make the glass fit closer to the wall.

    In response to the earlier debate I think a 16th between the door and panel is too tight as there may be a little bit of hinge wear making that tighten up over time. As for the panel against the tile I've done it where there is only enough room for a piece of paper and I'm not worried about it any movement at all. I shoot for 1/8 inch Gap and if necessary I stretch that out a bit or squish it in a little. The crl recommended gaps are ridiculous and most templates dont say how much room is needed between the wall making it very difficult to size a shower with an unfamiliar hinge.

  • PRO
    Hillcrest Glass

    Our largest gap is 1/8". If the opening was measured correctly and the glass was ordered correctly with the proper deductions for the mechanical parts there is no reason for the gaps to be larger than 1/8".

  • PRO
    Kitchen Bath and Glass

    how to reduce the gap for the round hinges the CLA series All templates from CRL are designed to have the (hinge-edge) edge side of the door hit the back plate, you simply have to sand / grind off a small rectangle notch so the glass can go past the back plate. Another solution for non-round hinges is to use a short back plate. We also specify our own cut-out specifications to avoid undercut problems from the hinge cut-out.

  • Todd

    Please advise how tight tolerances one can expect in Northern California, depending on the Tempered Glass provider. i understand "industry standard" is 1/16" but apparently there is a wide range of produced product among the various vendors.

    also your thoughts would be appreciated on how to best spec the frameless shower door as we are being told different things by different installers. some say 1/8" gap between the Notched Glass Pane which travels over the vanity top and down the pony wall to the Shower Door, while others say they can make it work with a 1/16" gap. similar issue at bottom of door only most say 3/16"+ gap, while some say it could be done to a 1/16" and others say 7/16"

    we have a very modern clean line remodel with vaulted ceilings
    throughout. the shower enclosure curb has a minimal 1 degree slope inward. the
    curb is 4" wide 3" tall mitered absolute black granite, which then wraps
    up the pony wall face and around into the shower enclosure and up onto
    the surface of the vanity.

    we'd prefer if there were no Vinyl sweep used but our lead potential installer is
    saying we should have a 3/16" gap at bottom of the shower door glass and
    use either CR Laurence sweep model P500HW or SDTDFT2

    here's how the estimate/spec currently reads:

    Shower
    Heavy frame less shower system
    1/2" glass with * brushed nickel *hardware CRL # SCU4BN mounts & CRL # V1E044BN hinges with C10 coating with
    10 year warranty to protect against mineral deposits and hard water spotting
    **Additional charge for outages
    *** 8 inch square pull handle CRL # SQ8X8BN
    ****Starphire upgrade *****
    3/16" Gap at bottom of door / 3/16" gap at hinge side / 1/8" gap at door and p

  • HU-966040751

    I just had a frameless shower doors installed. They swing like saloon doors one side 1/4 of inch from the wall and the other door is like 3/16 from the wall with a 3/16 gap in the middle. Is this installed correctly?

  • PRO
    VanGo Shower Glass

    We would encourage you to discuss the tolerances with your supplier, including whether there were any site conditions that required such a space (sometimes the tile or walls are bowed in the middle, which isn't the glass installers fault). A space in between the doors is required so they can swing, but we generally target an 1/8". See if an adjustment can take care of the problem.

  • Warren MacLean

    Note to Ironwood Builders, glass dimension does not change in the tempering process. The tolerance issues for tempered usually fall at the edging department and the cutting of the glass. Glass is cut slightly larger so that when polished, it becomes the final requested size but glass can flare when cut and people running glass edgers don't always check and adjust for final sizing. The only thing that tempering can do is warp or bow the glass, tempering does not shrink or expand the physical size of glass.

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