Fixed Panel Installation
 
Installation of Fixed Panels
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U Channel Installation
Using "U" channel to secure a fixed panel or a bath screen is one of the simplest and best ways. The edges of the glass is ground & polished into a straight line. When the "U" channel is installed it conforms to the shape of the wall. When the glass is received by the "U" channel a small amount of glass is swallowed by the U channel, so that any wall problems are hidden. The "U" channel also adds additional adjustment flexibility in setting the door gaps and making the seals work properly.
Verify & Layout:
The first step in a install is to layout the unit, and verify sizes of each panel. If you don't have the original marks on the tile from the measure, you should layout the unit verifying the measurements and put small marks on the tile indicating the centerline of the glass.
Cutting the "U" Channel:

Our "U" installation kits come with the "U" channel pre-cut to fit your your glass. All the miters are cut , so there shouldn't be any tricky chop saw work required. Before you start drilling holes, position the "U" channel over your measurement marks and verify the fit. Sometimes it is necessary to use a metal file to fine tune the angles. If you are working with stock lengths, or need to trim a channel, they can be cut using a chop saw with a carbide blade. Spray the blade with WD40 before you make the cut. Sand or file the ends to remove any saw marks.

Note: If you are installing a shower with a header system the vertical "U" channel need to be cut so that the top end is 3/4" below the top of the glass. Unfortunately we can't pre-cut the side channels because we don't know which setting blocks will be used to achieve the correct door space at the bottom and top. You will need to determine the correct length by doing a dry-fit of the side panels.

Drilling Holes:
The 'U' Channel kits are not pre-drilled. Generally people will place the anchors in grout lines. The kit is shipped with #6 x 1 1/4" counter sunk stainless steel screws and anchors. The U channel is not pre drilled. Most people try to locate the anchors in the grout lines of their tile. With the U channel in place mark the location of the holes inside the U channel. Do Not use oils or lubricants in drilling the holes in the U channel. If you get the oils on the inside of the channel the Silicon will not adhere like it should. It is important that when installed that the head of the screws are flush with the inside surface of the "U" channel. This can be accomplished by countersinking the hole or by using a 15/64 high speed metal drill bit or you can use a countersunk drill bit. It takes a 3/16" masonry drill bit to drill the holes in the tile or granite. There should be a 3/16" masonry bit included in you installation kit. These drill bit are also available at Home Depot or Lowe's. The holes should be at least 1 1/4 inches deep. Insert the white anchors so that they are flush with the surface of the tile.
Install the U channel:

First make sure your tile surface and the U channel are clean and dry. Don't just sprints on some windex and wipe it off. This surface will still have moisture, and the strength of the silicone will be greatly compromised. We like using Soft scrub. It will take off most anything on the surface without scratching. Then make sure there is no film from the Soft scrub. Put a small bead of silicone on the back side of the U channel to add structural strength to the installation and a small amount of silicone on the top of each anchor to seal the screw hole. Place the U channel in position and install the screws. Wipe off any silicone which might squish out from under the U channel. Inspect each screw to make sure it is flush with the bottom of the U channel.

Note: If your shower will have a header system please read "Installation of Fixed Panel" before you apply silicone to anything.

Installation of Setting Blocks:

There are several thickness setting blocks in the U channel installation kit. Your door was manufactured to have the 1/8" used under the glass. The other thickness block are provided to give you the ability to shim the panel if you find that it is not standing straight when you install the glass. Normally you only need two blocks under each panel. The blocks can be cut in half if necessary.

Tip: Some installers will use a little super glue to position the setting blocks so that they don't move during the installation process. If you need to remove a fixed panel for some reason the setting blocks tend to stick to the bottom of the glass, and can get easily lost.

U Channel Glass Installation Types:

There are two types of U channel installations. There is the Wet Set, which is when you put silicone inside the U channel and then the glass is set into the silicone. On a Dry Set panel you don't have silicone inside the channel. The glass is held in position by the silicone which is applied to seal the panel. A wet set install is required for strength if you plan to hinge the door off of the panel. Some installers will wet set everything, others will only do it when needed.

If installing a shower with a header please read

Wet-Set

The primary reason for doing a wet-set installation is to end up with a secure panel which is capable of supporting the weight of a door. As in any gluing operation you need to have all surfaces CLEAN & DRY . Before you get out the silicone you need to verify that you have the correct setting blocks, and that the glass stands correctly in the channel. The glass and U channel have been sized so that there should be a 1/8" space between the glass and the bottom of the U channel. This allows for the unexpected high tile and other surprises. The goal in setting the panel next to the door is to have the correct door "W" value at the bottom, and edge of the glass nearest the door needs to be plumb. If the panels isn't standing plumb you need to remove it and change the setting blocks under the panel. When it all looks good remove the glass, make sure the setting blocks stay in the channel. You may want to use some super glue to make sure they don't slide around when you put the silicone in the channel. To do the next step you want to have a roll of paper towels, a trash can, masking tape and Windex close at hand. The trick here is to put in the correct amount of silicone in the channel. The channel is too tight on the glass to put extra silicone in the channel and expect the excess to ooze out. To much and you can make a mess, to little and and you don't get the strength you need. You only need to put a bead of silicone in the bottom of the U channel large enough so that it makes good contact with the glass.

Tip: Warm up the silicone by letting it set in the sun for about an hour. It will flow better. Put about 10 inches of silicone in the channel on top of each screw heads. The empty space between the patches of silicone will allow the silicone to squish out. You will be able to see the silicone contact the glass as you set the glass in the channel by looking through the glass. If you put to much silicone in the channel the panel will float in the silicone making it hard to reach the correct "W" value. Install the panel and push it into the silicone until you have the correct W value for the door.

Secure The Panel: With the panel in the correct position put a strip of masking tape so it is half on the glass and half on the U channel. Standing on a step-stool force some silicone down the space between the U channel and the glass. Verify the "W" value and that the panel is plumb one final time before you leave it to cure. It takes several days for the silicone to cure to full strength. We recommend you wait 7 days before you hang the door. Do Not adjust the panel position after the cure cycle has started. Disturbing the silicone bond half way through the cure process will reduce the strength. Seal the Wet Set panels the same way you would seal a Dry Set panel (See below).

 
Dry-Set
A Dry-set U channel install is the easiest and cleanest type of fixed panel installation. If the door is not hung off the fixed panel you can install the fixed panel as a Dry-set panel. You install the U channel to the tile the same way for both Wet Set and Dry-set installations. On the Dry-set you put your setting block in the channel so that the glass is not setting on the metal, and then put the panel in place. There is no silicone inside the the channel (Dry-set). With this type of install you can make minor adjustment to the panel after your door is installed. With the panel just setting in the channel it will probably rattle. Don't worry about this because the final seal will make everything solid. After everything is perfect you want to seal the fixed panels as shown below. Make sure that the glass, tile and U channel are clean and dry. If you are sealing the panels with clear silicone (recommended) you will be able to see anything you cover up. Remember that silicone will not stick to anything that is wet.
Final Seal (U Channel)
The last step of the installation is to do the final seal of all the panels. We recommend you do this final seal for both the Dry-set and the wet-set panel installs. First thing is to make sure the areas you are going to apply the silicone are clean and dry. If you use windex or similar product to clean the glass and U channel you will get the windex into the crack between the glass and U Channel. It will also seep under the U Channel. Although it may seem dry and clean on the outside surfaces these trapped areas can stay wet some time after you clean. We are going to force silicone into these areas, so you must wait for these areas to dry out. A hair dryer can speed up the drying process. With everything clean and dry proceed with the next 5 steps.
Step 1
Seal the glass to the U channel both on the inside and outside of each panel. Do one run at a time. If you try to silicone everything at once you will find that the silicone will start to get a scum on its surface making it hard to smooth it with you finger and end up with a clean look.
Step 2
Now smooth the Silicone with a wet finger. If you put on the right amount of silicone you will just be reshaping the bead and pushing a little silicone into the crack.
Inspect your silicone to see if you might have missed any spots. If necessary add a little more silicone right where you need it and reshape again.
Step 3
Seal the U channel to the tile both on the inside and outside of the fixed panels. You put silicone between the U channel and the tile when you were installing the U channel, but that was for strength. Now you need seal it for water.
Step 4
Smooth the silicone with a wet finger. If you put on the right amount of silicone you will just be reshaping the bead and pushing a little silicone into the crack. If you start pushing a glob of silicone with your finger take off the excess and continue with the smoothing.

Inspect your silicone to see if you might have missed any spots. You will need to get your head close to the tile surface to see if you have any gaps in the silicone. Sometimes the grout lines will end up with small gaps. If necessary add a little more silicone right where you need it and reshape again.

Give the silicone 24 hours to cure before you use the shower.

Post Install Inspection
Leaks: Inspect your shower door installation for leaks after you have used it. Always remember you can not apply silicone to a wet surface. If you end up with a leak, you must dry out everything before applying silicone.

Clamp Installation

There are a wide verity of clamps which can be used to secure the fixed panels on the Euro Frameless shower door. These clamps require holes or notches in the glass. The gap between the glass and tile also varies from 1/16" to 3/16" depending on the clamp. Remember we always want to avoid glass to glass contact, glass to tile contact, and glass to metal contact. The clamps come with a gasket for each side of the glass. Your shower door kit has package containing clear 2" long setting blocks to be used as required during the installation process.

 

Step 1 - Verify & Layout:

The first step in a install is to layout the unit, and verify sizes of each panel. If you don't have the original marks on the tile from the measure, you should layout the unit verifying the measurements and put small marks on the tile indicating the centerline of the glass.

 

Step 2 - Test Fit

Assemble the clamps on the panel. There has been clear vinyl tape placed on the edges of the glass. This tape is needed during the final silicone sealing of the panels. Cut away the tape in the areas the clamps are being installed. The screw heads go to the inside of the shower. Make sure there is a gasket on both sides of the glass and setting block under the glass. (note: sometimes the gaskets will stick together) In placing the panel take care not to hit the corners on the tile. Either leave the corner protectors on or use a little super glue and glue a setting block onto the corners. Verify that the panel is positioned correctly. The space for the door should equal the W value on the Work Order. With the panel positioned trace a the foot print of each clamp onto the tile.

 

Step 3 - Install Hardware

Remove the panels and take off the hardware. Position the clamps in each of the foot prints and mark the screw locations. Drill 1 3/4" holes in the tile using the 1/4" masonry drill bit provided. Insert the 1 1/2" green anchors and tap down until they are level with the surface of the tile. Put a small amount of silicone on top of the anchor and screw the clamps into place.

 

Step 4 - Install Panel

Prepare to install the panel. You should have one gasket on the mounted clamp and a gasket, clamp plate, and screws on the inside of the shower close at hand. Position the glass as before taking care not to hit the corners and edges on the tile. Place setting blocks as required. Install the clamp plates and snug down the screws. Now is when you want to verify the positioning of the panel. Make sure the height and W space are correct.

 

Step 5 - Final Seal

If your unit has an aquarium corner this needs to be be completed, cured and cleaned up before doing the final seal of the fixed panels.

There are four basic steps to doing the silicone work on a clamp installed panel. When working with silicone be prepared for the mess. Have paper towels and trash can close at hand.

    1. The Prep. Work: The best way to deal with sealing these panels with silicone is to mask off the areas you don't want the silicone. We prefer use a clear vinyl tape on the glass because you can see what is happening as you are inject the silicone, and the tape can be removed without leaving a residue. The glass was shipped with tape on both sides. You should tape off the tile in a similar manner. Use blue painter's tape, or equivalent, to mask off your tile. You can seal these panels without doing the masking, but in a couple months you will be able to see where you wiped off the excess silicone.
    2. Sealing the clamps: Some installers will skip this step on clamps which aren't going to see a lot of water (i.e. the top wall clamps) . Remove the clamp face plate inject silicone into the hole or notch of the glass and between the glass edges and the tile. Try not to get silicone on the clamp gasket and the glass face.
    3. Sealing the glass: There is clear silicone and then there is Water Clear silicone. This is a visible application of silicone so we recommend using the Water Clear silicone. It is best to have someone assists you as a coach for this step. One person on the inside and one on the outside of the shower. Inject the silicone into the gap between the glass and tile. The coach needs to make sure you are getting the silicone all the way under the glass. There is a "working time" for the silicone before it forms a skin. Do one run at a time (i.e. across the bottom of one panel). Wipe off the excess on one side and then the other. Every time you wipe it down you will be pushing the silicone out the other side, so check the other side.

Tip: You can use single-sided razor blade as a small trowel to get a smooth straight edge.

    1. The different style clamps can have different gaps between the glass and the tile. On the larger gap installations use the edge of a razor blade to wipe off the excess so that the silicone will be flat. Don't worry about the clean-up until the next day.
    2. Clean-up: After the silicone has be curried just pull off the tape and clean the glass. You are done!.

 

Post Install Inspection
Leaks: Inspect your shower door installation for leaks after you have used it. Always remember you can not apply silicone to a wet surface. If you end up with a leak, you must dry out everything before applying silicone.
 
 
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