• 14 August 2012
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Shower doors are wonderful. They allow a huge amount of light into the shower tub or shower stall, they are can complement and enhance the décor of the bathroom, and most importantly, they keep the wet inside the shower.

Image of Shower Door, Shower Door Replacement Not Always Necessary © Copyright Billy O’Neal and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Because they are generally made of heavy, tempered glass, shower doors are incredibly tough and difficult to break. This doesn’t mean that it cannot happen, just that it will require exceptional circumstances for breakage to occur. In other words you don’t always need a shower door replacement.

Reasons for Shower Door Replacement

Outside of breakage, the two most important reasons for shower door replacement are faulty operation, or for a redecorating or remodeling job. The most common reasons that a shower door would have less than trouble free operation are worn or broken hardware, corrosion, or simply a build up of muck. Misalignment or faulty installation may also lead to faulty operation, but if the shower door has a history of trouble free operation, look to the earlier causes.

Muck, corrosion, and broken hardware are usually related. The muck is usually a build up of soap scum, hard water deposits, and old hair and grease. Because the muck retains moisture (and the fact that the shower is a moist environment), corrosion may begin to set in. Both the muck and corrosion can interfere with the proper operation of the hardware, leading to breakages.

Usually, the faulty hardware can be replaced without the need for complete replacement of the door, and there are chemicals and techniques that can be used to remove the muck. Once corrosion has set in, it may be possible to arrest its spread, but it may be impossible to reverse.

There are a few applications where an old fashioned shower curtain may be preferable to a glass shower door. This may include very tiny bathrooms, where every bit of elbow room is appreciated. Shower curtains are more difficult to keep clean than a glass shower door, and if not used properly may allow water to escape from the shower. They are a cheap and low tech alternative to glass shower doors.

Removing the Old Shower Door

Once the decision is made to replace the shower door, it is time to consider the removal of the old door. This may not be as straight-forward a job as it would seem. Removal that is thorough and cleanly accomplished will help to ensure successful installation of the new door. Special care must be taken to help ensure that as little damage as possible is done to the tub or the surround damaged tiles can be replaced, but it is difficult, and old tiles may be hard to match.

There maybe a few screws helping to hold the shower door frame to the structure, but usually the door parts are held in place, and sealed, with silicon caulk. This caulk is tenacious stuff, so removing an old installation may be difficult and time consuming, but it is possible given patience, time, and effort.

For really tricky shower door removal and re-installations, or any other home, commercial, or auto glass needs, contact your friends at Associated Glass.