|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.
|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.
Channel Glass Installation Types:
There are two types
of U channel installations. There is the Wet
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
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).
|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.
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.
|Post Install Inspection
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