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Frameless Shower Door Seal: How To Prevent Leakage

By 23rd Aug 2019 No Comments
Frameless Shower Door Seal: How To Prevent Leakage

A frameless shower door seal is essential for functionality as well as aesthetics for frameless shower doors.

However, a frameless shower door seal can be problematic when certain components are not installed correctly.

We’ll take a look at how to prevent leakage from the get-go, as well as if you’re struggling with leaks from a shower that’s already been installed.

What is a frameless shower?

Frameless shower door example

Most showers either fall into two categories: a framed shower door or a frameless shower door.

Both types are typically made of tempered, or toughened glass. 

The difference is that framed shower doors are made of thinner glass because they have a frame to support the door. Frameless shower doors, on the other hand, are made of the same tempered glass with a thicker pane because there is no frame to support the door. 

What causes frameless shower leaks?

Experts agree that typically, most frameless shower doors will leak a little, but what causes most frameless shower door leaks is a) the size of the shower, and b) the expertise behind the design of the shower stall.

Here’s why:

  • The lack of framing means there can be a small gap between the side and bottom of the shower door for water to leak out. 
  • If the shower stall is too small, the power of the water will be too strong to contain it.
  • If the tiler has not created an effective slope, the water will pool where it shouldn’t.

An additional reason for frameless shower door seal leaks is the hinges of the door; a build up of soap scum, calcium, lime scale and/or rust, can interfere with the closure of the door, causing leakage when the shower is used.

Tips to prevent leakages 

Most people install frameless shower doors for their elegant look, not their effectiveness, but the best way to prevent leakages is to get the entire shower installed by a professional; that means not only the shower door, but also the tiling and shower head. It’s no good trying to prevent leakage after the shower is installed, by using silicone and other materials for “fixes”. 

However, if you’ve already installed your frameless shower door seal and it’s currently ineffective, here’s what to do:

Where is the water coming from?

If the leak is coming from under the door

If water is escaping out through the gap under the door, you’ll want to install a frameless shower door sweep. 

Frameless shower door leaks on the side/s

frameless shower door seal vs no seal example

If the frameless shower door is leaking between the door and the wall, then you’ll need to seal the gap between the door and the wall with a vertical seal. 

Shower door meets wall leaks

Frameless shower door seal

Image Credit: Pfokus

If the water is escaping where shower door meets wall, a frameless shower door jamb might be the answer. It’s easy to install this clear plastic jamb with doubled-sided tape. 

Other tips for a leaky shower

  • Position the showerhead towards tiled walls, not the door.
  • Thoroughly caulk the outside of the metal trim, but not the “weep holes” inside the shower, which allow condensation and water to drain back into the shower. Leave the weep holes clear, and the corners inside the track. Only use 100% clear silicone caulk.
  • Are all rubber seals in place and in good shape? If not, replace them. The parts can be purchased from a glass supplier.
  • Examine the hinges. Check for a build-up of soap scum, calcium, limescale and/or rust, all of which can interfere with the closure of the door, causing leakage when the shower is used. Clean or remove rust.
  • Finally, if you can’t figure out what’s causing the leakage, or the problem is something that needs professional assistance, you may want to consult with an expert company like Inso Aluminium

Summary

The best way to prevent frameless shower door leaks is by having the entire shower unit installed by professionals like Inso.

Failing that, there are other ways to prevent leakage, like using door sweeps and jambs, ensuring the hinges are free of rust and soap build-up, and so on, using silicone on the inside of the door, and so on. 

We hope we have provided a solution for your problem, otherwise, feel free to get in touch.

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Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore is the CEO of Inso Architectural Solutions