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Home and Garden  »  Interior Decorating

Is A Glass Shower Door Right For You?

By: Donald Valero

Date Added : October 14, 2011 Views : 9705
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Ask any shower door or glass company and they will promptly answer that the glass shower door or more fashionable, frameless shower door is their hottest selling item. When speaking of these doors, we are naming the free standing style, that comprises of a hinged door and ordinarily supplemental fixed glass panels. Most often, as provided by the better establishments, you will see these enclosures set up with what are called clamps. Versus the older styled channel method. The glass in all applications is neatly sealed at the locations where the panel meets the wall with a clear silicone to forbid water from leaking out.

But this is where the problem can arise. The framless is modelled after the original European styled enclosure. To image this better, we will need to understand the European bath. Plainly put...its a room fashioned to be exposed to water from showering. You have your drain in the shower area and frequently you have a drain in the center of the bath itself. Everything is tiled (or covered with another "waterproof" material). The American bathroom is quite different. We want to bring our luxuries with us everywhere- including the bathroom. There are bathrooms with wood floors, bathrooms with TV's and stereo systems. And foregoing all, we wish to see water "kept in it's place"- and it's this definition that has made fitting the European style into the American bathroom a bit like putting a square peg in a round hole. We've all seen the commercials- a European named hardware company showing what appears to be hundreds of body sprays cascading over the user. What they aren't demonstrating is that in the European bath, probably 50% of that water is falling out of the shower area and into the bathroom floor. A feature that is extremely unsatisfactory to Americans. Chances are the European bath has a flush sill at the shower area and here in the USA we have at least a 4" sill. So when we anxious Americans wanted to get the tasteful look of the European shower door (that is actually cited as a "screen" overseas) what a nightmare the company was in for! The install looked extraordinary, the homeowner was elated...and then they turned on the water. The water from their body sprays ended up just where they did in Europe- on the floor, their hand-held controls produced mayhem and in small showers- the water cascaded down off of the user creating something of a lake on the bathroom floor. The companies who had put in these doors were quickly getting calls from upset clients asking why the door leaked and what was going to be done about it?
Years afterwards, the industry had motivated forward and worked around the obstacle as best as workable. Having to integrate polycarbonate strips on all operating part of the enclosure, which yet to this day has still to be perfected in adhesion; as glass and plastic do not bond well . Yet, from time to time companies will encounter a client who will show a photo of a German bath- elegant in conception, but poor in American use demonstrating raised fixed glass panels, flush sill and body sprays pointing at the door and say, "this is the enclosure I want....just like this". What has to be prompted is that these enclosure are not a fishtank and will not keep water like a fishtank would.

Generally, frameless enclosures in America are indicated for larger shower. If a person's body takes up more than 2/3 of the all shower area, a frameless door should not be used as water can project from the users body and make it's way through the door hinges. In addition, if any moving water sources are pointed directly at the door; especially the hinges where gaps cannot be sealed; the homeowner has to either use a different type of shower head, such as a rain-style, that directs water down, versus outwards or pick out different style door.

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Article Source: Is A Glass Shower Door Right For You?

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