Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

How to replace a shower! Tile and shower door: Week 5 One Room Challenge full bathroom reno

We are getting SO close!!

Redoing our shower was a huge milestone of this complete bathroom reno and we were a little apprehensive about it--building up a wall, tiling all the walls and floor, rebuilding the curb, and installing our beautiful new shower door. We've redone several bathrooms before but never changed the tub or shower!

We've now installed the shower door and it looks amazing! Here's how to install a glass shower door yourself (plus some tips on how to tile a shower!).

This post is part of my series of 6 posts about the 5-week One Room Challenge. You can see all my posts about this project here or listed below:

I was so excited to find Dreamline Shower Doors when looking into replacing our shower... They make very affordable shower doors in a huge range of sizes/configurations and styles! Eight different metal finishes, and options from a modern frameless to a Victorian-inspired black-framed multi-panel door/wall set. (They have shower enclosures, too, so you could use them to add a shower--this beautiful French corner enclosure kit comes with the pan and everything.) But I digress...

We replaced our glass block shower (see the "before") with a 2x4 framed wall and flat panel frameless sliding shower door. I was so happy to find this adjustable frameless shower door/panel from Dreamline for under $600. We got several quotes from local places for replacing the glass blocks with glass panels and they were all over $2k. Dreamline has so many stock and semi-custom options for way less!!

Thanks so much to Dreamline for providing this shower door for our review!

Building and Tiling a Shower

In week 3 I shared shower demo. In my post last week you saw the wall, with drywall and tile board. In between those steps we built the pony wall up to the ceiling with 2x4s and drywall on the edge and tub side, and cement board on the shower side (which we then applied waterproof membrane to). We also patched some of the existing tile board that was there previously, from when the shower was redone in the 90's.

We also moved the vent fan from over the tub to over the shower, and replaced it with a vent fan with light so we'll have a light directly over the shower as well.

More drywall patching. Then, finally, we tiled around the tub side (except some of the cuts), painted, and installed hardware (also prior to last week). You can see the brightly colored membrane painted inside the shower. 

Then we started tiling inside the shower. I used a laser level to make sure the tile inside the shower matched up with the tile around the tub side. This was important as our baseline is the floor, and the shower tile wraps around outside the shower on the left so is on the floor there too, and it needed to match up with the rest of the room.

Since then we have been doing a TON of tiling inside the shower itself--I tiled for about 2 hours most nights last week, and then spend 13 hours on Saturday (UGH) and a couple more hours on Sunday finishing up.

The first night's progress.

The floor tile is this mosaic hexagon one from Lowe's. I had planned to use some plain small hex tile we had left over from the power room at our last house, but we were just a little short, so we rushed out to the hardware store and bought the closest thing they had in stock. It's a fun pattern but the spacing between each tile is so small, the mortar got really stuck there and was hard to get out before grouting!

Progress, a few square feet every night!

The floor (not counting pieces we had to cut) took less than an hour. The walls, tricky niche, and curb/edges took the longest and were seriously like mind teaser puzzles!! But finally we were done.

Then we grouted. This week was Jason's turn to work in the bathroom every night (again). He mixed a bucket of grout and worked on parts at a time, with the goal of getting at least the shower area done so we could install the door this week.

Adding the white grout makes changes the whole look of the white subway tile!! Dark lines between the tiles, like you get with grey grout, can look good too, in a funkier or more industrial-inspired space, but we are going classic on this one and I like the white.

As you can see we're not done grouting... we actually ran out of grout, and we really really wanted to get the shower door up this week!! We will come back with more grout and finish the rest very soon--so we can use this shower again!

But, with the curb and wall tile around the door installed and grouted, we were able to install the shower door.

How to Install Glass Shower Doors

This shower door from Dreamline comes with almost everything you need. The only additional specialized tools we used were a diamond drill bit for drilling through the tile and a metal file for smoothing out the rails after we cut to size (our opening is about 44" wide and this door works for 44"-48" wide spaces).

Pretty much everything you see here came with the door.

There are clear, detailed instructions that come with the shower door, too, but I'll walk you through the main steps we followed so you can get a sense of it. I would say this is a medium-to-difficult DIY project... the information with the door does recommend having a professional install, and includes warnings about handling the glass pieces safely; however, it is definitely doable as a DIY if you are careful. In addition to the instructions, the door comes with a support page including Customer Support phone number/technical support hotline info. We didn't need to call, but very nice to have.

I believe the main reason they recommend a professional is you have to be very careful to keep everything level so the glass doesn't get torqued when in place. You'll definitely need a good level and careful measuring. We were able to install this without any major issues. In fact, Jason did it almost entirely by himself over a period of almost exactly 4 hours--a good, long naptime for the baby, with coverage by my brother-in-law who also helped hold the glass pieces. I think 4 hours is pretty darn good!!

First you'll cut down and install the track. This involves drilling three holes into the tile, and securing with 100% silicone caulk.

You also install a rail like this along the wall. Then, you can mount the stationary glass panel. 

You install two bumpers along the wall, too. All of the metal elements are buffered with rubber or plastic so at no point is the glass secured in direct contact with metal.

You also install an L-bracket at the top to really brace the panel. Then the guide block (center-ish top) holds the door in place as it slides next to the stationary panel.

You also install these bottom rollers, which have several screws to clamp them in place on the door,  and a center screw system that you can use to align the door perfectly with the wall (in order to form a good seal while you take a shower). Then you cover the holes with face plates. (We haven't gotten to that part yet as we want to tweak the door alignment just slightly, when we get a chance with two adults and no baby waking up from his nap at the same time.)

WOW. It's in, and even without all the grout, ceiling trim, new plumbing fixtures or switches, or junk out of the tub, it is feeling so elegant!

Plus, having the shower door up means we are so much closer to being able to shower in here again. Still some clean-up to do but the end is in sight. I've been narrowing down styling pieces and figuring out final details, and cannot wait to finish this space up next week and share it with you soon!!!

I love standing inside it too!

I love the frameless look. It's modern, but doesn't make a strong style statement so works well with our classic elements like white subway tile and curvy chrome plumbing.

Can't wait to see it all put together! Here's the design board in case you want a sneak peek!

Thanks again to Dreamline for providing this shower door for our review!

Stay tuned for the reveal next week!! (You can subscribe to my blog here to get an email when new posts are up!)

You can also check out the ORC blog for the rest of the 6-week challenges happening now! There are 20 featured designers plus tons of other guests like me!

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