Doing the work yourself when installing things like shower screens can save a lot of money, but it can also take up time as well as cause stress if you aren’t entirely sure what you’re doing.
There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project only to find that you have done it wrong – and the frustration can be enough to make you want to give up there and then.
However, we have a solution for you.
We aren’t just here to take you through a few basic steps; we are here to show you exactly how to install your new shower screen with ease, allowing you to get on with the job and get back to using your shower in no time at all.
This guide is here to help, take some of the stress away, and make life that much easier for you. So, keep reading below and let us deal with the hard stuff.
Before you do anything, you need to make sure that you have all the tools required to get the work done, and you will find each of them on the list below:
Check for Pipework
The first thing you need to do is turn the water off at the mains. This will prevent any leaks, and if you accidentally hit something, you are less likely to cause water damage to your home.
This is because you will need to check for pipes before you drill to ensure that you aren’t going to hit one, and the best tool for this particular task is a multi-detector.
Position the U-Channel
You will find the U-channel comes separately, for later you will need to place it on the side of the screen, and for this step, you will need to position it where you plan to install it.
At this point, you should also use a spirit level to ensure that everything is even and correctly positioned. Once you are happy with where it is, use the pencil to mark the areas you will be drilling for your reference.
Drill the Holes
If you are afraid the drill might slip while you are using it, you can place some masking tape over the area you plan to drill before you do so.
This does often help keep everything in place, and offers a little more security while you work. Once ready, drill the holes and insert the plugs provided with the shower screen.
Hold the U-Channel in Place with Adhesive
For this step, take a strip of adhesive and place it on the back of the U-channel. Then, place it against the wall in the area it is to be installed and hold it firmly in place so that it can get a good grip on the wall.
Once you have held it for a few moments, you can secure it in place with a set of screws and fixings. Make sure that it is in place and steady, as well as fully fixed to the wall.
Insert the Screen
First, take the rubber seal provided and place it along the bottom of the glass screen to protect both it and the floor. Once that is done, insert the screen into the U-channel and hold it in place while you secure it in the next step.
Secure the Bath Screen
Using the U-channel as a guide, drill the necessary holes into the frame before securing the screen with the provided screws and fixings.
Make sure you remember to fit the caps at the end in order to finish it – both for safety and so that it looks good. You can also adjust the top and bottom screws if you feel the seal is too close or far from the ground.
Also Read: Cost of New Shower Room in UK
Seal the Outer Edges of the Screen
Now that everything is in place, you can use silicone sealant to seal the edges of the screen where they meet the wall. This creates a watertight seal that prevents moisture from escaping so that your bathroom stays nice and dry when you are showering.
Specific Types of Shower Screen
When you are installing a shower screen, it will typically follow the steps above regardless of which type it is, but there may be variations that need to be taken into account for specific screens.
In the section below, we go through the six main types and highlight any extra steps that may need to be taken during the installation process.
#1 How to Fit a Folding Shower Screen
There is nothing different for this particular type of shower screen; you just need to make sure that the foldable section is secured so that it does not end up hitting you or something else while you are trying to install it. Sometimes, it is easier with two people, but otherwise taping it together tends to work well.
#2 How to Fit a Shower Screen on a Bath
When you are fitting a screen on a bath, there are a couple of things you need to consider and do differently. The first is that when you are positioning the U-channel, it should be a 40mm depth away from the actual bath and it should sit flush.
This means that you may need to cut away silicone or beading and fix the area up later. The shower screen should also rest on the edge of the bath with a silicone seal at the bottom to prevent them from scraping against each other.
Similarly, the outer edges of the bath will need to be sealed with silicone sealant at the end to create a watertight finish.
#3 How to Fit a Shower Screen Over a Window
This can be a little tricky, and realistically you cannot fit a shower screen over a window. The best and most recommended option is that you either have the window removed and bricked up, or you buy a shower wall panel to go over the window so that you can install the screen.
Otherwise, it is sometimes possible to have a custom shower screen made that works with the window, but this tends to be an incredibly expensive option.
#4 How to Fit a Shower Screen on Tiles
Typically, there isn’t an issue with fitting a shower screen on tiles, and the process is the same as the main one above.
You just need to be careful with the drill to ensure that the holes do not end up too big, and if the tiles are ceramic a gentle touch is strongly recommended.
#5 How to Fit a Shower Screen on Uneven Tiles
If you have uneven tiles, there is no need to worry about it as a good splash of silicone on the U-channel should sort the problem out effortlessly.
You could also take an angle-grinder to the area, but that can be quite an extreme measure. In the vast majority of cases, the extra silicone when attaching the channel is more than enough.
#6 How to Fit a Curved Shower Screen Seal
The seals tend to be really stiff, and this can be exceptionally frustrating when you are trying to attach them to a curved screen.
In cases like this, placing the seal in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes tends to loosen it up a little so that it becomes more flexible when you go to put it on.
A little dab of Vaseline can also be a great trick to keep it moving smoothly as you slide it onto the screen. It’s our favourite option as it takes all of the stress and rage out of the process.
How to Install a Shower Screen
Step One: Installing the Aluminium Channel
First, set the channel in position and ensure that it is square with the spirit level. You need to ensure that your lines are accurate and straight for the installation to be successful. Mark the hole points on the wall through the channel so that you remember them.
Next, use a pipe detector on the wall to ensure that you are not at risk of hitting any water pipes while you are drilling. Once you are clear, you can drill the marked holes to make room for the aluminium channel. You can then insert the wall plugs.
To ensure the wall plugs are securely fitted into the wall, use a hammer to lightly tap them into place. Now you can position the channel and insert the screws before using the drill to secure the channel in place.
Step Two: Glass Installation
Once the channel has been installed, you can bring the glass in. It is best to have glass grips for this to help reduce the risk of dropping and shattering it, but you can also carry it by hand carefully. It is recommended that you do not do this step alone as the glass is heavy.
Slide the aluminium strip on the side of the glass into the channel, pushing it until it touches the back.
You can then drill a hole at the top of the channel and insert the screw that came with it to keep it in place. You should also rest the glass on rubber to prevent it from hitting the floor.
You can then install the floor bracket that will keep the glass in place. Make sure you use a drill bit that is suitable for the material that the floor is made of so that you get the best results. You can then secure the glass between the two sides of the bracket and screw it in place.
Step Three: The Supporting Bar
You may have to place the supporting bar in its desired location and then mark it so that it can be cut down to the required size. Once you have done this, you can place the caps on either end of the bar and put it back in position.
Use the spirit level to ensure that it is level and straight before marking the position against the wall. You can then mark the position for the drill and make a hole in the tile and wall. Insert the wall plug and then fit the bracket into position.
Once the bracket has been fitted, place the bar inside it and then do the same for the glass on the other side. Tighten it well so that it remains secure, but remember to be gentle with the glass even though it is stronger than standard glass.
Step Four: Sealing
Now you will need to apply silicone sealant to the outside of the shower. This maintains waterproofing and keeps everything watertight. Ensure it is applied to the walls as well as the base of the shower screen.
To smooth off the silicone, apply some water to your finger and run it along the edges. Since your finger is wet, it means the silicone will not stick to your skin and will be easy to wipe clean. Next, you can use a forming tool to shape the silicone and press it into the joint.
Further Reading: How to Fit a Shower Enclosure
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fitting a curved screen harder than a flat one?
In some ways, yes, it can be a little harder than a flat screen. This is purely down to the fact that it is shaped differently and can, therefore, be a bit trickier to carry around.
However, once you have it stood up and ready to slide into place, it is just the same as fitting a flat panel. Just make sure you don’t rush it, and that you carry and place it carefully to avoid any accidents – something that really applies to the whole process.
What is a bracing bar, and do I need one?
You only need a bracing bat of you are installing the screen for use with a walk-in shower, and this is because the screen tends to be larger (often in several parts) and needs the extra support.
It is quite easy to install as all of the components will come with it, and you can find the quick steps for bracing bar installation below:
How much silicone do I need to seal it at the end?
You only really need a bead of silicone at the end in order to secure everything and get a nice seal.
Too much leaves a lot of mess that needs to be cleaned quickly, and the term “less is more” strongly applies to the use of silicone sealant. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far a little bit can go when perfecting your bathroom.
Can I install the screen without an electric drill?
No, you can’t complete the installation process without an electric drill. This is because it offers the required amount of power to ensure that the screen is held in place and secure at all times.
Without it, you run the risk of the screen being loose after installation, which could potentially lead to it falling and injuring you. Do not attempt installation without the required tools for the job.
How long does a shower screen normally take to install?
Usually it will only take around 1 - 2 hours to install a shower screen as it all depends on your skills and which tools you are using.
Hopefully, this guide has been extensive enough to show you just how to install your new shower screen. It might seem like a lot of hassle when you first unpack everything, but as long as you are patient with the process you will be surprised by how easy the process can be.
Just follow our advice, never be afraid to reach out for help if you need it, and make sure you take things slowly instead of rushing. Do all of this, and you will have the job done in no time.
What did you think of our shower screen installation guide? Is it a massive success, or are there steps you felt were missing from the process? We love hearing from you, so please feel free to leave us a message in the comment section below.