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Which comes first: Install the Door or the fixed Panels?

You should be installing your fixed panels first. There are unforeseen variables ( high tiles, minor wall conditions) which may cause require that the fixed panels to be shimmed to make them stand correctly. Your goal is to install the fixed panels so that the space for the door is exactly the (W) value on the work-order and the edge next to the door is plumb. With the fixed panels installed you it is an easy task to install the door so the top edge of the door matches the eight of the fixed panels.

Using "U" channel is one of the simplest and best ways to secure a fixed panel or a bath screen. 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.

U-Channel vs Clamps

A U-Channel installation is tends to be easer than a clamp install primarily because the silicone work is easier. It is also easer to adjust the panels for a perfect door seal installation. The first part of this page deals with U-Channel installations, and the second half deals with Clamp installations.

Verify & Layout:

The first step in a install is to layout the unit, and verify sizes of each panel. Note the size of the fixed panels will not be the same size as your space measurements. They have been adjusted to allow for the U-channel. 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.

Installing Using U-Channel

U-Channel Kit

Your U-Channel should contain the following items:

  1. 6 - 1-1/4" #6 Stainless Steel Screws
  2. 6 - 1" Anchors (white)
  3. 2 - 2" x .40" Clear Setting Blocks
  4. 2 - 2" x 1/8" Clear Setting Blocks
  5. 1 - 3/16" Masonry drill bit
  6. 1 - 15/64" High Speed drill bit
  7. 1 - Tube of super glue

This what you will receive in the standard installation kit. If you have multi-pal fixed panels you would also have a supplemental kit which has additional screws, anchors and setting blocks. When installing the U-Channel you will use the 15/64" High Spead drill bit to drill the U-Channel metal. This hole size lets the stainless screws set down in this hole so that they won't have the glass setting on them. The 3/6" carbide tip masonary bit is for drilling your tile or granite. If you have difficulty drilling your holes in the tile you may need to use a hammer-drill. You have different thickness clear setting block to put in the bottom of the U-Channel. Thes can be cut in half if necessary. The super glue can be used toglue the setting blocks to the bottomof the U_Channel. If you place your fixed panel and then decide to remove it the setting block will stick to the glass unless you have them glued down.

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.

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.