How do you install a shower door?


Quick Answer

To install a shower door, cut and install the base track, and then position and attach the door jambs. Slide the door into place, put together the frame, and secure the installation. Finish by attaching the drip rail and caulking the seams to make the door waterproof.

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Full Answer

  1. Cut the base track

    Note the measurement of the shower's threshold. Measure the aluminum base track to this specification, and use a hacksaw to cut the length. Use a file to smooth the end of the aluminum track.

  2. Set the track

    Set the aluminum base track on the threshold -- it should fit snugly. Use a tape measure to measure three or four spots along the base track to the back of the shower stall to ensure it's centered. Mark the placement with a pencil.

  3. Position the hinge jamb

    Place a jamb piece against the shower opening so that it fits into the base track. Use a level to ensure the jamb is plumb, and mark the placement of the screw holes with a pencil. Use an automatic punch to create divots where the screws go.

  4. Drill the holes

    Use a 3/16-inch drill bit to drill holes where you made the divots.

  5. Mount the door jamb

    Use a plastic mallet to tap plastic wall anchors into each drill hole. Align the jamb with the drill holes, and drive a 1.5-inch pan-head screw into each hole.

  6. Hang the door

    Hold the door in the shower entrance with its hinge rail positioned out. Slip the rail into the jamb, and check that it's plumb. While a partner holds the door, use a 7/32-inch drill bit to drill four holes through the hinge rail and mounted jamb. Use 1/2-inch pan-head screws to attach the door.

  7. Mark the second door jamb

    Slide the strike rail onto the second door jamb. Hold the rail and jamb together, and line up the door with the base track. Once the jamb is flush, mark its screw hole positions with a pencil.

  8. Install the second door jamb

    Use the automatic pump to create divots, drill 3/16-inch holes, and tap plastic wall anchors into place. Attach the jamb with screws, and slide the door into place.

  9. Put the frame together

    Attach the door handles to the door. Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the meeting point of the base track and the vertical frame, and secure with a screw.

  10. Cut the drip rail

    Pull out the vinyl sweep from the drip rail, and cut the metal to size with a hacksaw. Use a file to smooth the edge. Put the sweep back in the rail, and use pliers to crimp the ends of the drip rail together. Use a utility knife to cut excess length from the sweep.

  11. Attach the drip rail

    Position the vinyl sweep down. Hold the drip rail against the door, and drill 7/32-inch holes along the door frame. Make sure you don't hit the glass. Use 1/2-inch screws to attach the drip rail to the door.

  12. Finish with caulking

    Apply caulking along the inside and outside of the base track as well as the door jambs. Use a putty knife to smooth the caulking.

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