Step-by-step guide to installing shower doors

Upgrade your bathroom by learning how to install a shower door with our guide!

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Installing shower doors is one of the best ways to maximize bathroom functionality. But, aside from keeping the water in when you shower—effectively preventing mess—the glass makes the space look bigger and more elegant than if you used a shower curtain. Though you can always hire a handyperson to do it, shower doors are also quite easy to install by yourself. Using this guide, learn everything you need to know about how to install a shower door.

What do I need to install a shower door?

  • Glass shower door installation kit
    - Includes glass door, base track, hinge-side jamb, strike-side jamb, header rail

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Plastic anchors

  • Silicone sealant

  • Screwdriver

  • 1 ½ inch pan-head screws

  • Drill (with 3/16 inch masonry bit) 

  • Hacksaw

  • Metal file

Can I install a frameless shower door? 

frameless shower screen

Yes, installing a frameless glass door for your shower is possible. While both framed and frameless shower doors are usually made of tempered glass, it’s important to note that frameless doors have much thicker panes. They will also likely need a rubber stopper in the bottom so that water won’t leak out of the shower when you take a bath. 

How long does it take to install a glass shower door?

For skilled handymen, experienced DIY-ers, or those who have a helping hand, the project’s completion time should be around 2-3 hours (excluding the time it takes for the sealant to cure). For first-timers, however, the process might take an additional hour or two, depending on their skill level. 

How to install a shower door

Given all the benefits of having a shower door, there’s no reason to hesitate to install one in your bathroom. You can hire a handyman to get the job done or give it a go yourself. If you choose to DIY the project, keep reading to learn how to install a glass shower door. 

Step 1: Measure your shower entrance

You first have to ensure that your glass door will fit in your shower’s opening by getting accurate measurements. Using the tape measure, note the total length of the threshold, the length of the threshold’s halfway point, and the height of your bathroom wall.

If your wall is over 5 feet, you must buy a filler strip to ensure your door is plumb (or perfectly straight) when installing it. Also, take note of the distance between the shower and other bathroom fixtures (e.g., toilet, sink) to leave space for when you open the door.

Step 2: Cut, set, and secure the base track 

person cutting and setting the base track

Using the hacksaw, cut the base track to match the length of the shower’s threshold. Then, use the metal file to smooth the piece down. Make sure that the base track closely fits into the stall opening and, using the tape measure, find the precise center of the threshold and position it there. Use the pencil to mark the base track down, so you can easily recenter it if it ever accidentally moves. 

Once you know where to place the base track, apply the silicone sealant to its underside and secure it on the threshold. Let the sealant dry (which may take three or more hours) before proceeding to the next step.


Step 3: Install the hinge-side jamb 

installing the hinge-side jamb

Position the hinge-side jamb onto the base track, ensuring that it’s both plumb and flush (or perfectly flat) against the wall. Using the pencil, mark where the screw holes will be placed. Then, remove the hinge-side jamb and drill approximately 1 ¾ inches into the wall. Add the plastic anchors into the screw holes once done.

Afterwards, reposition the hinge-side jamb onto the base track and line the frame up with the screw holes. While holding the hinge-jamb steady, tightly fasten the pan-head screws with the screwdriver.  

Step 4: Install the strike-side jamb

Fit the strike-side jamb onto the base track and position it against the wall opposite the hinge-side jamb. Like with the hinge-side jamb, use the holes of the strike-side jamb to mark where you will drill 1 ¾ inches holes into the wall. Remove the jamb, drill the holes, and add the plastic anchors inside them once you’re done. Put the strike-side jamb back into place and then secure it onto the wall with the screws. 

Step 5: Mount the glass door

mounting the glass screen

Lift the glass door with its hinge rail swinging out and slip the hinge rail onto the hinge-side door jamb. Check if the door is plumb before drilling 7/32 inch holes through the hinge rail’s screw holes and the jamb. Then, secure the glass door onto the frame with the pan-head screws.

Step 6: Cut and position the header rail 

Using the measuring tape, get the exact length of the top of the door fixture. Then, cut the header rail with the hacksaw in this exact measurement. After smoothing the piece down with the metal file, slide the header rail into place atop the door jambs. If the header rail you’re working with has screw holes on its ends, screw these into place too.

Step 7: Test the door for possible adjustments

handyman testing the shower screen

After mounting the shower door, take the time to inspect whether there’s any need to make minor adjustments. For example, if there are gaps or cracks in the door frame where water can seep through, you may use silicone sealant to close them up.

On the other hand, if there’s any resistance when opening and closing the shower door, you may need to check the tightness of the screws or whether the frame’s parts are all plumb, level, and flush.

Upgrade your bathroom by installing shower doors

Adding a glass door to your shower is a great way to level up your bathroom-going experience. Aside from making the space easier to clean, it also gives off a luxurious aura that will help you relax when you take a bath.      

That said, not everyone has the time or skills to install one on their own. If you would rather hire a professional to do the job instead, you can visit the Airtasker platform and hire a Tasker today!

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FAQs on installing a shower door

Installing shower doors yourself is very doable, as long as you properly follow the instructions. That said, if you’re not confident in your DIY skills or are unsure how to execute any step, hiring a professional will save you from exerting too much energy and making costly mistakes.

To attach a shower door to your wall, you’ll first need to assemble the door frame. Once you’ve securely attached the base track, hinge-side jamb, and strike-side jamb around the shower’s opening, you can mount the door onto the wall via the hinge-side jamb. You will need to use a drill, screws, and silicone sealant to do all this. You must also ensure that each piece is positioned plumb and flush so that the door opens properly.

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