how to extreme

Upgrade to a Glass Shower

Bath, Construction How-To, Remodeling April 24, 2017 Sonia








By Sarah Green Carmichael

Photos By Ben Carmichael Photography

If you’ve redone a bathroom lately—or even taken a peek inside a home design magazine or coffee table book—you know that one thing many desirable modern bathrooms have are frameless glass showers.

When we were redoing our upstairs bathroom, we knew we wanted to upgrade from an old tub-and-shower-curtain configuration to a walk-in all-glass shower. Given how beautiful and popular these showers are now, we knew it would add significant value to our home. Like adding a chef-quality stove or a walk-in closet, a gorgeous frameless shower door is an instant upgrade and a smart investment.

Easier to Clean

I was also done with the mess and fuss of shower curtains. Just flat-out done. In my younger, singler days, it didn’t feel like such a big deal to keep the bathroom clean. Every now and then I’d just wipe down a few surfaces, run the toilet brush around the bowl, and be done.

But now that there are two of us using the shower—and one of us is a pretty hairy man (hint: it’s not me)—there’s a lot more involved. I dreaded having to take the shower curtain and liner down, wash them, dry them, and rehang them. (The only thing more cringe-inducing was accidentally touching the grody side of a shower curtain that had gone too long without a wash. I mean, I’m naked in there! I’m vulnerable!)

Before: overview of bathroom showing corner shower and curbing.

Cleaning our new glass shower door is a snap in comparison. I’ve heard some people complain that glass showers are hard to keep clean, and indeed, in a previous house with a different brand of shower glass, we did have a shower that hadn’t been well-cared for and was covered in hard-to-remove soap scum. But this hasn’t been my experience at all with our new Basco shower door. It came pre-treated with AcuaGlideXP, a coating that protects the finish of the glass and makes it resistant to soap scum and water marks. (It comes with a 10-year warranty.) Once a week, I just spritz the glass with the company’s Maintain spray and rub it dry with a micro-fiber cloth.

The installer measures prior to installing the bottom U-channel for the fixed side glass panel.

The U-channel installs with #8 1-1/2″ SS screws and anchors.

A laser helps to lay out the U-channel and vertical fixed glass panel locations.

Makes a Small Room Feel Bigger

I also knew that an all-glass shower would help our bathroom feel bright and airy. Old houses contain a lot of mysteries, and one of the mysteries of our 1860 New England home was that the upstairs bathroom had been divided into two small rooms, making the space feel very cramped and dark. Resolving this involved a ton of work, time and expense—pushing one wall back, and tearing out another wall, moving a washer-dryer unit to the basement, and so on. Rebuilding an enclosed shower would have just undone all the work we’d done to open up the space.