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Shower Door Installation Not A Place To Skimp
Print 2007-08-27 14:03  

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Bill & Kevin Burnett
Inman News

Q: I'm having cultured marble installed in a shower in my house. The installers have made it clear that they install, period. They won't drill holes to replace the sliding shower door. I don't own a power drill and don't feel confident enough to rent or borrow one and try to drill the holes myself, as I believe a special bit is required. Is there a way to reinstall the shower doors using some kind of adhesive that won't damage the cultured marble? The doorframe is lightweight aluminum and the shower won't get much use.

A: Sorry, we don't recommend gluing the doorframe to the wall. The one exception is if the manufacturer allows this type of installation. The fact that you won't use it much doesn't play into it. The next guy might.

In our view, there is a fair chance that you will create a safety hazard if you glue it. Often a person using the shower will grab the door and without a secure frame would run the risk of having the frame fall out, possibly causing injury.

It's a simple job that can be done in short order. Normally we would encourage you to do this yourself but because you would have to buy, borrow or rent a drill, we suggest you look for a handyman to install your new shower door.

Q: In my 1940s bathroom, the tile only goes halfway up the wall around the tub/shower. Above that were glued white Masonite panels, which I tore off. But that left me with a top layer of plaster that's broken, brittle and covered with old adhesive.

For shower use, I want to install new panels over this area. I am considering using Dupont Wall Surfaces, which recommends installation over green board. Do I tear the plaster down to the wall studs and install green board? Or can I repair the top layer of plaster and seal it? How should I do this and what products should I use?

A: Because you have gone to the trouble of tearing up half the tub/shower enclosure, why not go all the way and replace the tile too? This is the cleanest -- and we think the most efficient -- way to do this job.

It shouldn't cost you much more to redo the entire shower. You can do the demolition yourself by removing the lath and plaster exposing the studs. You can even install the green gypsum board that is recommended by the manufacturer. Once the wall is prepared, professionals can install the finished wall surfaces.

We always recommend that manufacturer's recommendations be followed when installing any product. Doing so gives the best chance of successfully completing the job and will leave any warranty attached to the product intact. We do not recommend installing Dupont Wall Surface over the existing compromised plaster wall. Your wall is broken, brittle and pockmarked with adhesive. A panel of any kind is only as good as the support below it. Even if Dupont allowed this product to be applied over existing plaster, we'd recommend against it.

Install your new Wall Surface over green board as recommended by Dupont. Their technical information states, "The only recommended support for this type of installation is water-resistant gypsum board." They also caution that only their proprietary "Surfaces Adhesive" and "Surfaces Sealant" be used in the installation. No substitutes allowed.

Categories: Bathrooms, Sanitaryware


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