There was a time when your only alternative to a shower curtain was to install a sliding door on your tub. Unfortunately, the tracks for those doors are notorious for collecting water, mold and mildew, and the overall look is straight out of the 1970s (and not the fun part of that decade).
Rather than subject your bathroom to a style as dated (and dirty) as disco, you can create a high-end spa appearance by installing a freestanding swinging glass tub door. These doors have a light, airy look, and they’re surprisingly easy to install — most take no more than a few hours for someone with basic home-improvement skills and tools. The Aqua Lux door from Dreamline (www.dreamlineshowers.com) that we used for this project lends a luxurious, contemporary ambience to any bath. Follow these simple steps and you can make your bathroom look as if it’s straight out of a high-end show home.
Begin by using a level to position the vertical rail that will hold the stationary glass panel. Once the rail is plumb, mark the location of the mounting holes on the tile.
Use a drill bit that’s made for penetrating tile to drill the mounting holes. I used a diamond-tip bit and some air-tool oil for lubrication, although carbide and ceramic-tip bits could also be used, depending on the type of tile you’re drilling through.
Insert wall anchors into the mounting holes, align the vertical rail with the anchors and then screw it to the wall.
To drill the holes in the tub for the bottom mounting bracket, start by creating a ring of plumber’s putty around the hole’s location. Fill the ring with air-tool oil; then slowly drill the hole. Again, use a diamond-tip drill bit for best results.
Press the watertight gasket against the stationary glass panel’s edge; then carefully insert the panel into the vertical rail. Once the glass is fully seated, tighten the screws that will hold the glass panel firmly to the mounting rail.
Screw the bottom mounting bracket to the tub using the hole you just drilled. Don’t overtighten the screw, as it could crack the tub’s porcelain finish.
Use an Allen wrench (provided with the door kit) to fasten the glass panel to the bottom bracket. Don’t overtighten, as you could inadvertently strip the small screws.
Mark the location of the top bracket and drill mounting holes in the tile as you did for the vertical rail. Insert wall anchors into the holes and then fasten the top bracket to the glass panel and the wall.
Loosely attach the hinges to the stationary glass panel. Position the glass door so that it aligns with the two hinges; then loosely tighten the hinges to the door. Check for alignment and then tighten all of the hinges’ mounting screws. All that’s left is to fasten the door handle to the door, and you’re ready to get wet!