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Shower Glass Panels: How to Template and Install

Make Small Bathrooms Look Bigger & Brighter

 

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by Jeff Patterson in Tub Shower Combos
Shower Glass Panels for Tub Shower Combos

How do you install shower glass panels?

Last week I shared quick tips for tiling a knee wall in a tub shower combo. Today you’ll see how we install glass shower panels on top of that knee wall.

The glass in this bathroom allows window light to fill the room. And the bathroom appears bigger than it is.

Learning to install glass shower panels will save a considerable amount of money during your bathroom remodel. And you’re bathroom will look more modern.

Step 1: Make a Shower Glass Panel Template

How do you make the template for shower glass panels?

It requires a piece of wood, drywall, or in our case GoBoard – a foam waterproofing panel.

Typically a piece of 1/2 inch plywood would be our choice for a template because it’s fairly cheap.

We had extra GoBoard and decided to use it instead of plywood due to time restraints. If you’re not familiar with GoBoard you can learn more over on Johns Manville’s site.

The house in today’s tutorial is a cape cod and the bathroom wall is slanted. This makes the template a bit more involved but not hard. That said, the GoBoard is easier to cut than plywood and made the template easier to make.

Shower Glass Panels - GoBoard Template

We chose the height of the glass to be 60 inches above the tub. We weren’t concerned about water splashing over the glass, and even if some did it’s not a big deal. Our tile floor is completely waterproof thanks to DITRA.

By the way, if you’re tiling a bathroom floor you can watch one of our DITRA videos right here.

The height from the tub to knee wall marble was 19 inches.

Shower Glass Panels - Knee Wall Height

Therefore the total height of the GoBoard template was 41 inches to make the top of the glass be 60 inches.

Shower Glass Panels - Total Glass Height

Our template width was 31 inches because the tub width was 29 inches.

We suggest having a hole for the shower rod about 2 inches from the glass edge. That would set the hole at 29 inches and right above the tub curb for a 29 inch tub.

In our video Steve shares how to plan and cut the GoBoard template to size so that it fits perfectly flush to the wall angle.

Shower Glass Panels - Template Angle

Check the template for any imperfections on the edges then send it to a glass fabricator. We used 3/8″ thick tempered glass for this shower.

 

Step 2: Cut the Metal Channels for the Glass

Shower glass panels need to sit in metal channels.

Angle grinders or miter saws can cut metal, but you’ll need the right blades for each respective tool. Schluter makes a metal cutting blade for their profiles. You can use it on the channels as well.

Shower Glass Panels - Grinder for Metal

It’s best practice to bet miter saws up to full speed before lowering the blade.

Furthermore, don’t use a cordless miter saw for this.  They don’t have enough power and will bind in the metal.

Shower Glass Panels - Miter Saw

We used an angle grinder for the odd wall angle.

The metal channel for the marble top was cut to 31 inches, the exact length of the glass.

Two pieces of metal made up the wall pieces, one for the vertical portion and one for the angled section. In the next step we’ll show how to mount them to the tile and marble.

 

Step 3: Mount the Metal Channels on the Tile Wall and Marble

Position the metal channels on the tile wall. They should be in the middle of the glass marble top.

Shower Glass Panels - Adding Metal Channels to Tile

Mark the position of the screws inside the channel using a marker.

Then cut the hole in the metal channel using a drill or an impact driver.

Shower Glass Panels - Drill Holes in Channel

Special drill bits are available for cutting metal.

Dry fit the metal channels on the wall and double check that they’re plumb. Then mark the hole positions on the tile using a marker.

Shower Glass Panels - Mark Holes on Tile

Drill through tile using diamond hole saws.

Shower Glass Panels - Tile Hole Saw

Milwaukee makes affordable hole saws for tile. In the video we give some extra tips on how to drill holes through porcelain.

We had to add plastic inserts in the tile since there wasn’t a stud where we needed it.

But you can also secure the metal channels to the wall using stainless steel screws.

Shower Glass Panels - Metal Channels

Finally, adhere the horizontal piece of metal to the marble via the clear silicone.

 

Step 4: Add Shower Glass to the Metal Channels

Clean the edges of the shower glass with acetone so that the glass will adhere to the silicone.

Also clean the marble with just water and a rag.

Squeeze a bead of clear silicone into the channels.

Shower Glass Panels - Silicone Channels

Carefully slide the shower glass into the channels and embed it fully into the silicone.

Shower Glass Panels - Slide Glass into Channels

Steve wedged a shim under the channel sitting on the marble and applied silicone to the channels/marble/tile transitions.

Shower Glass Panels - Silicone Channels

Our video shows all the steps for installing glass shower walls in a tub shower combo.

 

What’s Next

As you can see, shower glass panels open up the small bathroom and makes it look a lot brighter.

This is a great way to also add a modern look to any bathroom.

If you missed our tutorial on how to tile a shower knee wall it’s right here. Obviously you have to build the knee wall before installing shower glass 🙂

We hope the tips in our tutorial help you with your DIY bathroom remodel.

Take a look at our course called How to Remodel a Tub Shower Combo for even more tips. All the tutorials are in one spot, each lesson has tons of details, and we provide one-one-one support. The support is what really makes our course pretty darn awesome – plus our students get good results!

Learn More

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome DIY community.

Let us know if you have any questions and have a great day,

Jeff Patterson
Jeff

2 Comments
  1. Squafdonoboles says:

    Thanks for the info! The glass wall gives the tub a nice touch which I’ve never seen before.

    1. Jeff says:

      Hope it helps. These glass walls make a big difference in small bathrooms. I just hope our tenants take care of it

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