Door seals are your friend for a frameless enclosure

Don’t underestimate the use of seals for a frameless shower enclosure. The most important area to seal is the door, and we typically use three types: door sweep, hinge seal and strike seal. There are many seals on the market today that vary in performance, looks and cost. We like the ones that are most effective in keeping the water in and don’t compromise the look of the enclosure. Seals are typically made of polycarbonate (hard plastic) and vinyl. The polycarbonate holds the sweep and the vinyl creates the seal. The door sweep clips on the bottom of the door and “rides” with it as the door swings open. The strike or “L” seal is installed to the fixed panel or wall edge and creates a ship lap effect as the door closes against it. The hinge seal is similar to the door sweep where it clips to the edge of glass and seals the hinge side when the door is closed. All the seals are replaceable, and it can be done by the home owner. The bottom sweep will wear first, but you should be able to get several years of service before it needs replacing. The typical cost of the bottom sweep is $7.00. Cleaning is an option for the door sweep, but you must be careful to re-install it in the same position. The vinyl “legs” of the sweep must “gently” touch your threshold in order to create the seal. A good test to see if the seal is in the right position, you should hear “shooook” sound as the door swings past the threshold. Silence means the seal is positioned too high, which can cause a leak. Under certain conditions, seals can be eliminated. The shower must be big enough where the door only experiences light “water action”. The rule of thumb we use is the water source must be at least 4 feet away from the door area to even consider not installing seals. If the only source of water is low pressure like a rain head, then the distance can be shorter.

Posted by Steven Vendetta on January 22, 2012