How to Install Shower Doors on a Bathtub

Shower doors are a convenient alternative to shower curtains.

Shower doors keep the water in better than curtains.Shower doors keep the water in better than curtains.
They add style as well as keeping the bathroom looking clean. Shower curtains tend to collect scum and are much harder to clean than shower doors. Tub-shower enclosures can be found at most home improvement stores. They are standard-sized and should fit most bathtubs. Installing shower doors is a do-it-yourself project. With the help of a friend to hold the door in place, it should be fairly simple.

Measure the height and width of the opening where you want to install the shower door before purchasing one. Draw a sketch of the shower opening, mark down the measurements and take them with you when you're ready to purchase the door kit.

Measure the length of the threshold on the bathtub. Use a hacksaw to cut the base track to fit the length of the threshold between both tub walls. File the cut ends of the track and place it on the threshold.

Mark the threshold along each end of the track to use as a guide in case the track gets moved during installation.

Install the shower door jamb. Hold the jamb into its correct position against the wall and slide it into the base track. Insert a fine-point marker into each screw hole to mark the wall before taking the jamb back out.

Drill holes in each mark on the wall with a 3/16-inch bit. Insert wall anchors into each hole. Align each jamb with the anchors and drill 1 1/2-inch pan-head screws into each hole.

Attach the shower door. Lift the door and slip the hinge rail into the jamb. Drill four 7/32-inch holes into the jamb through the aligned holes on the hinge rail. Screw 1/2-inch pan-head screws into the new holes.

Attach the remaining jamb. Slide the magnetic side rail into the jamb and press the jamb against the wall. Draw marks alongside the jamb on the wall and remove the rail. Place marks within the jamb's screw holes and drill holes for the anchors. Drill screws into the holes. Attach the jamb to the wall.

Measure and cut the header to the correct fit. Fit it over the side panel and hinge jamb. Drill holes through the side panels. Insert screws into each hole.

Install the door handles. Tighten screws through the aligned holes in the shower door.

Screw the frame together. Drill holes through the outside of the track and inside of the header wherever the vertical frames meet. Drive screws through each hole.

Pull the sweep out of the drip rail. Cut the drip rail with a hacksaw to fit the door. Replace the sweep and trim it to fit the drip rail. Squeeze the ends of the drip rail with pliers until they're pressed firmly together.

Place the rail against the bottom of the inside of the door. Drill holes through the holes of the rail and into the frame. Drive screws through the holes.

Apply silicone caulk along the inside of the jambs and inside and outside the base track. Smooth the caulk evenly.

Things You Will Need

  • Tub-shower enclosure parts
  • Anchors
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Glass and tile drill bit
  • Wrench
  • Mill file
  • Tape measure
  • Caulk gun
  • Silicone caulk
  • Screwdriver
  • Erasable marker

Tip

  • If there is a glass side panel, slip the magnetic rail on one end of the panel and fit it into the base track before pushing the other end into the wall jamb.

About the Author

Heather Jones has been writing since the age of 7 and she began professional freelancing in 2007. Her work appears at Suite101, Associated Content, Helium and Triond. Jones has a high school diploma and was an honor student in journalism and fiction.