Frameless Shower Door FAQS and Facts




Who Is Maine Shower Door?HTML Video Code by v2.5
Who is Maine Shower Door? Tom explains a little history of the company and what it does.  Door only

The simplist form of frameless door is the "door only". A door only consists of a single panel of glass, two (or three) hinges, a handle and a plastic sweep on the bottom. If you are planning to use a single panel of glass as a door, then there are some restrictions; the door width cannot exceed 36" (without using some overly large and clunky looking hinges) and if the weight of door exceeds 110#, then three hinges must be used which increases the cost of the door.

The door will swing both in and out to 90 degrees. Shower door hinges will also self close and center when within 20 degrees of the closed position. In fact, all shower door hinges will do this.


  Watch our video which includes the anatomy of a shower door, door swing, lining up a door and panel, and sealing the bottom of a door.
Fameless Shower Door BasicsHTML Video Code by v2.5

(top) Door and Panel (hinged off a wall)

Two panel enclosureSince most showers are wider than 36" they require two (or more) panels of glass. We install more two panel enclosures than any other style.

The door can be any width up to 36", but usually it is 28 to 30 inches wide and is fastened to either the left or right wall. The fixed panel is used to fill in the remaining space. The enclosure can be any height, but usually it is about 74 to 80" tall. When we come to your house to measure, we usually try to match a grout line in your shower.


Clips and channellThe fixed panel is fastened to the base and wall with either channel or clips.Channel is less expensive and is better if the tile is very uneven or the wall is humped (bowed).

Once again the door will swing in and out and self center, but since the self centering is not particularly accurate (and there is usually no need to open the door in), we add a strip of polycarbonate to the fixed panel for the door to close against. The strip also prevents water leakage.

There are many variations of the door and panel (see below)

Two Panel EnclosureTwo Panel EnclosureTwo panel on tubRockport two panel

Watch our video on our most popular model, "The Door and Panel with the door hinged off a wall"

Door and Panel Frameless Enclosures (with door hinged off one wall)HTML Video Code by v2.5

(top)Door hinged off panel (with header)

Door and panel with headerEnclosure with door hinged off another panel



In some bathroom layouts, it is better to hinge the door from the fixed panel (rather from the wall). If this is the case, then we have to use a header (or an angle brace) to stabilize the enclosure and glass to glass hinges.



Door hinged off panel (fixed panel to ceiling)

Panel to ceiling



Right panel to ceiling


Another way to stabilize the enclosure is to have the fixed panel extend to the ceiling like these two examples.



.Watch our video "When the door needs to be hinged off another panel"

Frameless Doors Hinged Off a Glass PanelHTML Video Code by v2.5


(top) Two sided enclosures

Bangor with headerTwo Panel Enclosure(right) An enclosures which are two sided can be as simple as the one shown here. Notice there is no header because the door is hinged off the wall.


(left) If the door was hinged from another panel and not off the wall, then the enclosure would need a header and might look like this.



Stub wall

Return panel sitting on a pony wall



Two sided enclosures can be more than two panels. The return panel might sit on a pony wall (stub wall) like this. (at right and left)



Return panel creating a seat

Enclosure sits on a deck

(left) Or the return panel might sit on a whirlpool deck like this.


(right) Or create a seat on the tub deck like this.




Multi-piece enclosure at the same levelMulti-piece enclosure at the same level


(right) Sometimes a multi-piece two sided enclosure may be at the same level like this one.


(left) Or turn the corner on the same level and jump up to a new level.



Watch our video, "Two Sided Enclosures"

Two Sided Frameless EnclosuresHTML Video Code by v2.5

(top) Three sided enclosures

Once in a while we do enclosures that have three sides and usually they have headers, but if the door hinges off a wall we don't need a header (like the one in the middle).

Three sided EnclosureThree sided enclosureThree sided enclosure






(top) Neo Angle Enclosures

Neo angle drawingOdd angles for showerNeo angle enclosures require special consideration if knee/pony/half walls are involved. The vertical face of these walls should be framed and tiled so that the door glass meets these walls at a 90 degree angle. Any other angle presents problems for us (or any other glass installer). Click on left drawing.

Even a neo angle enclosure that doesn't have knee walls may present problems if it has any angle other than 135 degrees, see drawing at right. Usually we can do them, but if you are planning something out of the ordinary, please call before starting your project and we can tell you whether we can do it or not. Click on right drawing.


In spite of the warnings I have listed above, we do many Neo Angle showers and they are very beautiful and functional.

Bangor Glass Neo AngleBangor Neo with pony wallsEast Orrington Neo with pony wallsTwo thirds Neo Angle


(top) Hardware for frameless shower doors

We use nothing but the the heaviest adjustable hinges from CRLaurence and US Horizon. The most popular finishes are chrome, brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze. Below are the wall hinges, 180 degree glass to glass hinges and the 135 degree Neo Angle hinges we use most often.

crl 135 degreeCRL wall hingeHorizon 180 degreeCRL chrome wall hinge






Pulls (handles) come in quite a few styles and each style comes in extensive variations and lengths. For instance, our standard style, the bmnw series comes in a pull, a single sided towel bar, a double sided towel bar and a combination pull and towel bar. See below.

handleSingle towel bardouble towel barCombination handle and towel bar




Below are a few different handle styles. Most come in single towel bars, double towel bars, and combination handle and towel bars, but the lengths are not as extensive as our standard series.

Colonial SeriesBm series with washersCrerscent HandleLadderMiteredSquareVictorian





(top) Sealing your frameless shower door.

Frameless doors are beautiful, functional and water tight, but they are not submarine hatches! Shower heads and body sprays pointing directly at your door, or joints between the wall and door, or joints between the door and other pieces of fixed glass can create problems. We use various seals to prevent leakage and we always try to use the least obtrusive seal to get the job done.

One of the most common errors made by inexperienced, part time tile setters, homeowners doing their own tiling, or carpenters who do the occasional tile job is with thresholds. Somehow they end up tipping the threshold the wrong way! Thresholds must be tipped so that water runs into the shower, not tipped so that water runs out on the floor. This may seem intuitive (water runs down hill, right?), but you'd be surprised how many we encounter. Short of ripping out a threshold and replacing it so that it is tipped correctly, the only solution is for us to install a dam stip under the door. This is not a perfect solution, but it is workable.

So if you, your carpenter, or your favorite nephew is doing your tile job, make sure the threshold gets tipped the right way.

Door stop and sealSeals

(Left) Common seals we use (and the sometimes necessary dam strip)


(Right) Doors normally swing both in and out. We often stop the door from opening in with a seal. The seal helps prevent leakage and also lines the door up with the adjoining panel perfectly.


(top)Care and cleaning of your new enclosure

Your new enclosure is a truly upscale and beautiful addition to your home's bathroom and keeping it in mint condition will be important to you.

After you shower, the water droplets left on the glass evaporate leaving behind mineral deposits which can be hard to remove. Your water quality is a major factor in how easy it will be to keep it clean. High mineral content makes it a bit harder to clean and well water usually has more minerals than city water. Many of our customers use a squeegee after showering to prevent this.

Soft Scrub Lemon Cleanser


If you do have mineral build up, try using a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water (50-50). Scotch Brite

Stubborn mineral build up can be removed with Soft Scrub Lemon Cleanser and a Scotch Brite pad.



Some coatings can be damaged and even ruined with the use of chemicals, but Showerguard is one coating that cannot be harmed.

One of the most thorough explanations of the use of cleaners is put out by Showerguard and can be viewed here.