Master Bathroom: Part Nine in a Series. The Shower Door.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Oooooohmygosh, we are so close now, so close!  Ok, let's get to wrapping up the story of this master bathroom DIY shower renovation, shall we?

Last we left off, the tile had been installed and the awful plumber had to come back and I was wrestling with rapid set grout.

Whooo.  Got that beast done though.

Sooo in the meantime while that was rolling, I sought and ordered a shower door.  After consultation with my wonderful other half, or rather heeding his proclamation of "get a clear glass shower door, babe," that's, heh, what I went with.  That's what I wanted too.

Found one on eBay* via Wayfair and truth be told, the real reason I went through eBay was to use Rakuten (formerly eBates) to get cash back.*  Hey, what can I say, I'm a professional shopper and I will find the best deal dammit.   And best deal it was -- frameless showers are wowie expensive and here I found one for $350 that I liked.

Hilariously (not really), it took three attempts to ship this to us.  Confoundingly, a shower door set for a 60" wide shower, two 5/8" thick tempered glass panels that weighed a ton each, were being shipped from Washington state to Chicago.  Thousands of miles.  By FedEx.

The first set of doors didn't even make it off their loading dock.  Shattered.

The second set made it here and I met the nicest delivery woman.  She and her extra-set-of-hands security guard arrived and when I stepped out to greet them, they were at the back of the truck, the guard shaking his head, sparkly glass chunks sprinkled across the pavement.

We three had a good chuckle at the ridiculousness of it while I swept up and she filed a claim on the spot.

Three was a charm though and happily the same super cool woman delivered.  The box had a bazillion "FRAGILE" and "HIGH CLAIM ITEM" stickers screamingly plastered over its entire flimsy self.  Amazingly, not a chip nor a scratch.  Unbelievable.  Whewwwwww, hahaha,

That process took nearly four months.  Yep, four.

Installing it, obviously I required Mike's help.  He was none too excited but eh, tough patooties.

Ovvvvvf course the instructions were horrible!  Oh my gosh.  So bad.  Here's a hot tip for you:  when installing items such as this, unpack and sort everything then read the instructions and run through the steps before doing anything.  It may be that steps are out of order for your particular case.

As it was in our case.  We had to jump around the steps, four to two to one to three or whatever such silliness.  

mapping out the glass shower door installation
Aaaand here we go!  In order to get the party started, we placed the center thingie first so we knew where everything else would go.
Thankfully Mike was tolerant with me sneaking photos here and there (thanks, babe).  I think he was thankful for break times from a headache-inducing project, heh.

drilling holes in tile
Drilling holes in tiles I spent forever laying, how nerve-wracking.  These tiles here for the curb were 4x12's* unlike the walls as these fit width-wise with no cutting.  Pardon my dirty shoe.
Lots of level checks, lots of double triple checks, some trimming of the top rail with my grinder,* quadruple checks, measure five bazillion times cut once...

Before setting the fixed panel, we ran a bead of clear solvent-based silicone caulk* along the underside of the glass as extra leak-proof insurance.  Make sure it's solvent-based; water-based just will not hold up.
Hot tip:  use a rotary tool* with a straight bit* to start the tile holes -- no slipping and you get a clean starter hole!  Another hot tip:  silver nail polish* helps hide (and seal) non-matching screw heads or other minor issues on chrome.

leveling cross piece
Every step of this was nerve-wracking as every step had to be exactly perfect.  Here we got the barn door support cross piece perfectly level.  Go us!!
Once the door was in, whew, it wasn't the simplest but it wasn't total hell, and we survived it not killing each other, I immediately discovered how badly the shower itself was framed.

I mean, what the actual foo.  The glass was perfect at the bottom and over a half inch away at the top.  Holy not plumb wall, Batman.  Ugh, omg is right.  Wow.
See, it was supposed to be a (technically semi-) frameless shower.  But.  There was a gigantic gap at the top, like inoperably way too big.  Like water splashing about the rest of the bathroom too big.

The frustrated sigh that emitted out of me was quite majestic.  I even surprised myself.  Figures this would happen, my middle name is Murphy's Law.

Sooo, I reached out to Wayfair and asked them if they could send another of those U-shaped metal channels.  The nice guy was helpful for weeks until suddenly out of nowhere he wasn't and decided to dump me for some unknown reason.

marking for holes in channel
This installation I was left to my own devices, no Helpful Mike extra hands so tape was my friend to hold the channel while I marked the holes.  Hey look, it's my handy level!
Panicky and upset, I didn't know what to do.  I was utterly hosed.  Holes in the tiles, shower door installed, cured caulk, stuck.  So I called Wayfair again and oh thank goodness got a way nicer person who felt terrible and didn't understand why I was abandoned so badly and arranged for the part to be shipped asap.
  
I used Walldog screws* here since I couldn't put through anchors.  They were going through tile to cement board to maybe a stud so they're super duper secure.  A dab of caulk and zip zip.
The process of first contact to Wayfair to actually receiving the part took almost two months.

shower door instalation complete
Channel installed, whew.  Soooooo close to taking a shower in here, omg!!
The part arrived, I drilled out holes in the tile, attached the channel to the wall, the shower door closes right into it and wow, for all intents and purposes, this shower is done.  Dee Oh En Eee done.

Come back for tenth and final part of the series, the shower reveal!!  Woot!!  

To read the entire series from the beginning, start here!

*The eBay link is an affiliate link.  The Rakuten/eBates link gives us both bonus cash when you sign up and make your first purchase (all the while earning free cash back on every purchase through their site).  The 4x12 glossy white subway tiles and silicone caulk are Home Depot affiliate links.  The grinder, rotary tools, and bits, silver nail polish, and Walldog screws are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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