Replacing your shower doors is an easy way to update your bathroom and can be completed by most home owners without outside help. With a few basic tools and some silicone caulk you can easily install new shower doors in your bathroom in a single afternoon.
You should begin by removing the existing bathroom shower doors. Most of the time the door closest to the bathtub is the one you should remove first. It is easiest to complete this step while standing in the bathtub. You should only need to lift up slightly and tilt the doors towards you to release each panel from its tracks. Discard the old shower doors.
With the doors removed you should then remove the old shower door tracks. Begin by removing any screws that secure the shower door tracks to the sides of the shower. Then you should break any caulk that is securing the track to the wall. To do this use a putty knife to insinuate between the track and the surrounding wall material. Then using a the putty knife and a hammer as necessary, pry the old shower door track from the walls.
When all of the pieces of the track are removed, take this time to carefully remove any residue and make sure that the area you will install the new tracks for the shower doors is completely clean. The cleaning method you should use will depend on the material surrounding your shower and bathtub. Tile is the most common: in this case you should use a non abrasive cleaner made for the job.
Now that you are ready to install the new shower doors, you should begin with cutting the track to fit your particular bathtub. Measure carefully and using a hacksaw or a power saw with a metal blade make the cuts. Be sure to remove any burrs off of the cut edges and make sure that the cuts are smooth before continuing.
Begin with placing the bottom track for the shower doors on top of the lip of the bathtub. Most of the time this track should bisect and run parallel to the lip of the bathtub. Tape it down with a few pieces of painters tape. Then put the side pieces of track where they belong, also keeping them in place with painters tape. You should also use a level to check and make sure that the side pieces are straight vertically to make sure that the shower doors will easily be able to slide on the tracks.
Take the top piece of track and place it on top. While holding onto the top piece, check for any fit issues that you may need to address. If all of the pieces fit together snuggly and easily together remove the top piece and get ready to fix each piece permanently into place.
To attach the track begin with the side pieces. Using a drill, make a narrow pilot hole while the side pieces are still taped in place. Look at the manufacturer’s directions for your shower doors for proper spacing. You can then remove the side pieces, widen the pilot hole and use the necessary hardware to attach the tracks to the sides of bathtub. For tile you will need to sink some masonry anchors in the holes, replace the tracks and then screw into the anchors.
Snap the bottom piece of shower door track into place, it should fit neatly fit between the side pieces. The top piece should also fit easily into place- put it on top of the side pieces and then snap it into place. With the track in place you should carefully caulk place where the track meets the bathtub and the wall on the side of the track that faces the bathtub.
Allow the caulk to cure for several hours and then carefully place the new shower doors on the tracks. Waiting eliminates the chance that the shower doors will accidently get caulk on them, necessitating a messy clean up. Be sure to wait the entire recommended cure time before using the bathtub.
Installing new shower doors is an easy project for many home owners looking for a way to update their bathroom. Of course before beginning this project you should consider whether or not you possess a skill set that will allow you to finish installing the shower doors. If you fear that you don’t have the time or the patience to install new shower doors, call a handyman who will be able to complete the job for you.