What to Consider Before Installing Your Custom Glass Shower Doors

Custom glass shower doors are one of the most effective ways to upgrade your bathroom — they bring a certain elegance and style you just can’t beat!

But when you’re deciding on your custom shower doors, you’ll have a lot of things to consider.

Will you go with frameless or semi-frameless shower doors? Maybe you want your new shower doors to have thicker glass than the last. Or perhaps you’re deciding between a door that swings open or sliding glass doors.

Making decisions about the style of your custom shower doors is just the beginning. The especially tricky part is when it comes to actually installing custom glass shower doors.

The advanced skill and precision it takes to properly install custom glass shower doors is something the team at Coastal Closets and Showers prides themselves on, so leave that to us!

We can also help you make selections based on your lifestyle, taste, budget, and other specifics. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the key considerations involved in the Coastal Closets & Showers shower installation process.

Glass Width and Thickness

Your custom glass shower doors need to be a certain width to support the hardware. Each glass panel should be at least 4.5”, and shower doors will need to be between 22” and 36”.

The glass thickness is also important — glass must be thick enough to be sturdy, safe, and properly supported by the hinges. A traditional shower glass panel is ½”, but for swinging shower doors, ⅜” glass is commonly used. One of the benefits of thinner glass is the increased lifespan of the hinges, as they’ll be less taxed during their use.

Hinges and Clips

The hinges and clips used during the installation process should not be mounted directly onto standard glass. The weight and pressure on the glass can ultimately cause it to break.

In the event shower glass cannot be mounted directly into a wall, an installer can hinge a shower door off a stronger, thicker glass panel.

Shower Door Swing

When it comes to the way your shower door swings, there are several things to think about.

International residential code dictates that hinged shower doors must open outwards, otherwise they are in violation. If a door swings inwards AND outwards this is fine, as it would still allow access to the shower enclosure in the event of an emergency.

Outside of your shower door should be at least 30” of space to permit it to swing open. If your bathroom doesn’t have this kind of room, a sliding glass door could be a great option!

Some of the other door-related choices you’ll have to make include framing (or lack thereof) for your shower. If you’d like to learn more about that, don’t miss this post.

Electrical Wiring and Pipes

One of the challenges of installing custom shower doors is ensuring no electrical wiring and pipes go through the wall in the same place as any shower hardware. Otherwise, the hardware could puncture the wiring and pipes, which can pose major problems and even prove dangerous.

Semi-Frameless Shower Door

Curb Top

A curb top provides a nice transition from the shower enclosure into the rest of your bathroom. However, using the right material is imperative. Homeowners may be tempted to go with small tiles for their curb top, but this can pose certain problems. To name a few of them: an increase in mold, mildew, and leaks.

Instead, shower curb tops should be on a solid surface so the shower seal can work properly. Solid tile, marble, and granite make for great options.


Transoms serve a very important function in showers: they help vent and stabilize showers, and they can also allow for the pivoting doors that many homeowners desire.

But transoms need to be properly installed or they could end up being obstructed by shower fans or vents. This is yet another important consideration that can’t be overlooked.

As you can see, there are so many things you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to what to consider before installing your custom glass shower doors. And these design considerations just scratch the surface.

If this seems like a lot to consider and you’re ready to redesign your shower, call Coastal Closets & Showers for all of your design needs. 

Request your free design consultation with Coastal Closets & Showers today by calling (772) 888-2520.


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