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How to choose and install the right enclosure for your bathroom
by Charlie Vincent for vanities-bathrooms.com
Choosing a shower enclosure
Shower enclosures are designed to keep water in the shower tray and off your bathroom floor, and are often more effective than shower curtains. It is highly recommended that before you make a purchase, you visit a showroom to actually see a ready assembled unit to as certain the build quality and rigidity. Ensure that the door glides open smoothly without juddering and if it is a swing door, examine the hinges to determine their strength. Make sure that the door has good magnetic seals all round and ask whether or not it will be delivered fully assembled, as this is always preferable. Pay close attention to the finish, ensuring that the screw heads are covered and that the cut profiles at the top of the door and panel have been capped to prevent water from getting in.
If you are intending to install a shower over your bathtub then a pivoted shower screen is probably the best option since it will allow easy access. However, it is essential that the walls above the bath are tiled to provide adequate waterproofing. It is important that the screen is of adequate height, particularly if you are installing a power shower.
When installing your shower enclosure, it is advisable to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Since no two enclosures are the same, the installation method can vary, even between units from the same manufacturer. The following method is intended to illustrate the work involved on a typical installation.
The tray is the foundation of the enclosure and it is imperative that it is installed correctly. Using a spirit level, ensure that the tray is perfectly level. Mark the wall approximately ¼ inch in from the edge of the tray and remove the wall channel from the side panel. You will then need to remove the corner post and the vinyl cover from the panel. Holding the wall channel vertically, in line with the mark you made earlier, mark through the fixing holes onto the wall. After drilling and plugging the holes, screw the channel to the wall. Using silicone sealant, fill the gap between the channel and the wall, before tightening the screws.
The next step is to slide the enclosure side panel into the wall channel. Once it is in place, to ensure that there are no leaks, seal under the panel where it meets the tray. Replace the corner post on the end of the side panel and ensure that it is butted down onto the edge of the tray. Adjust the width of the panel so that it is in the correct position for the door. Drill through the access holes and secure using self-tapping screws. Offer up the door wall channel to the corner post so that the holes are aligned. Again, use silicone sealant between the sections.
Ensure that the corner post is vertical before drilling pilot holes and screwing the post into position. Take the caps and attach them to the corner and wall channels. Rotate the door and screw its wall channel to the wall, before fitting the remaining channel onto the catch side of the doorframe. Slide the hinge side of the door into the wall channel already in place on the wall. Make any adjustments to the door so that it's centrally positioned within the channels. Screw the doorframe to the channels and replace the cover vinyls.
Finally, take your sealant and apply around the frame where it meets the wall and shower tray and between the doorframe and wall channels.
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