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

You should be installing your fixed panels first.    There can be unforeseen variables ( high tiles, minor wall conditions) which may prevent the panels from standing straight.    You will be using vinyl shims in the U-Channel 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 that is on the work-order at the top and bottom of the door opening.    With the fixed panels installed it is an easy task to install the door so the top edge of the door matches the height of the fixed panels.

Using U-Channel is one of the simplest and best ways to secure a fixed panel or a bath screen.    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 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.    This page deals with U-Channel installations. There is a separate page for 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 several 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 Speed drill bit to drill the U-Channel metal.    This hole size lets the stainless screws set down in this hole so that you won't have the glass setting on the screw heads.    The 3/6" carbide tip masonry 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.    The U-Channel kit has several different thickness clear setting block to put in the bottom of the U-Channel.    These can be cut in half if necessary.    The super glue can be used to glue the setting blocks to the bottom of 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-Channel installation kits come with the U-Channel precut 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:

At this point you should have verified that all of the U-Channel lengths and angles are correct.    First make sure your tile surface and the U channel are clean and dry.    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.    In your installation kit there are several different thickness vinyl setting blocks.    The glass was reduced in size (1/4") to allow 1/8" for the U-Channel ans 1/8" for the setting block.    The different setting blocks allow you to make adjustments to get the panels to stand correctly.    You can use the super glue to glue the setting block to the bottom of the Channel.

Wet or Dry Set

If you are not hanging the door off the fixed panel you can do a Dry-Set install. If the fixed panel is going to support another panel or door you need to do a Wet-Set install. This means you will put Silicone in the U-Channel. You need to wait at least a week (7 Days) for the silicone to cure before hanging the door.    Don't even test it before you know it is curred.


Don't do any silicone work until you have your door and seals installed.    Adjust the fixed panels so that the door works as desired.    Now you want to put a small bead of silicone on the top edge of the U-Channel where it meets the glass.    The smooth the bead of silicone with you finger pushing it into the glass to U-Channel crack.    Do this both on the inside and outside of the panels.    Evan though you put silicone under the U-Channel when you screwed it down to the tile, you still need to seal the crack between the U-Channel and tile.    In screwing the U-Channel down you probably squished it around and sucked in an air bubble.    If you get water under the U-Channel it is difficult to get a good seal.    Seal the U-Channel to tile crack both on the inside and outside of the unit. Now you want to seal the U-Channel at the door. Get down low so you can see the gap under the glass.    Shoot silicone into this gap.    Get a ladder so you cab get above the glass looking down at the top of the U-Channel were it is attached to the wall.    Shoot silicone into this gap. Give it at least 24 hours before using the shower.      Your done.

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


If you are going to hang the door off the fixed panel you need to do a wet-set installation on the fixed panel.    Install the U-Channel onto the tile the same way you would do for a Dry-set installation.    Put some silicone on the back side of the U-Channel and screw it down to the tile.    Wipe off any silicone which squeezes out.    Install the setting blocks and test fit your fixed panels so that you know the door width (W) is exactly the same as on the Work Order at the bottom and top of the door.    Now the next step is what is different from the Dry-Set.    You will put a bead of silicone in the bottom of the U-Channel.    You want to put bead proud enough so the the glass panel will squish into it, but not so much that the glass panel is floating in the silicone. If you are thinking the excess will ooze out; it won't and you will have a mess. When you have everything perfect you need to lock it into place. Put some tape on the junction of the glass and U-Channel so that the glass don't move from floor vibration.    You should give the silicon a week to cure before you hang the door.    If you test the panel and it moves you will need to take everything apart, clean it, and install it again.