A high quality shower enclosure can add significant value to your bathroom, whether you opt for a traditional enclosure or one with single screens for walk in showers. How you attach a shower enclosure to your bathroom wall depends on how much space you have, as well as whether you want to invest in frameless glass screens for your installation. In either case, it’s best to follow some general rules when attaching an enclosure to your bathroom wall to ensure safety and durability.
A standard shower enclosure will typically fit into the corner or alcove of a bathroom, and will be attached to a tiled wall surface. Shower enclosures that are mounted to walls can be fitted using mounting brackets, as well as U channels that allow glass panels to be installed; depending on how much space you want to take up, you can opt for a range of different screen panel sizes, while still focusing on getting the most secure connection between an enclosure and walls.
When fitting a shower enclosure, you need to ensure that the shower tray is properly sealed and waterproofed with silicone to prevent water from dripping between the wall and the bottom of your shower. Silicon will seal up any gaps, and can be left to dry for about 24 hours until the shower can be used. What kind of shower enclosure you want will also affect how much weight you need it to be able to withstand, with larger, framed showers with swinging doors requiring more load bearing than a frameless or single screen shower.
One of the main things to focus on to get the most out of your shower enclosure are U channels, or metal rails that fit over the bottom of shower glass panels. These can be secured to the wall, with glass panels able to be fastened into them. U channels can be fitted to the base of walls by drilling into tiles, paying care not to cause any major chipping around the space where anchors and brackets will have to be fitted.
In terms of getting the most out of your enclosure, it’s crucial to check that a shower tray is level to a wall with a spirit level, and that silicone sealant is properly applied. It’s generally best to create a tiled surface if one doesn’t already exist, as a plastered wall will not be as suitable for fixing brackets and applying silicon. The fixing method for attaching U channels can include using screws and wall plugs that can go deep enough into a wall to fasten an enclosure frame.
If you’re fitting an enclosure for a wet room shower, you have to decide whether or not you need a fully encircling screen, or just one screen to prevent water from spraying into other parts of a bathroom. Most wet rooms will just have a walk in shower, meaning that you’ll be focusing on waterproofing the whole bathroom to be resistant to leaks. With this extra flexibility, you can create screens that can be cut to suit different angles and parts of a bathroom.
Liam Jefferies is a DIY and interior design blogger with a special interest in wet rooms. He recommends contacting professional plumbers and bathroom fitters for your shower enclosure project.