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Unread 11-13-2021, 11:20 AM   #1
southlake
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U-Channel vs Clips shower glass over tile

Seeking advice gents
I have two estimates from two professional glass installers. Both highly recommended with many years of experience and jobs. Shower pan construction is wood framed, fiberglassed, then redgard, then tiled.

Installer #1: will use a 5/16" tall U-Channel to hold the glass bottom along the shower sill. He will use small screws that are about a 1/2" long, and will not penetrate into the waterproofing system.

Installer #2: will use clips at the base of the glass using 2" screws that will penetrate into the sill, through the fiberglass. I questioned him on this, and he responded "I've been doing this for 20 years, we seal in and around the clips it has never been a problem, ive installed thousands of jobs"

I worry the U channel will hold water and create its own issues (although he said it wont). On the other hand, I'm not sure about the clip install if that is something I should be worried about.

Any help and advice would be appreciated before I move forward on this part of the project.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 11:34 AM   #2
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Nothing should penetrate your waterproofing layer down low, whatever method you're using. Perhaps door hinge on wall, but never curb.

I've used channel on many installations with no concerns. I should note that my glass folks know not to use fasteners on curb, but I'm always there to remind them. They simply set panel and use a small bead of silicone caulk to fasten in place. A well-adhered bead of 100% silicone is very secure.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 11:44 AM   #3
southlake
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Door (3/8") hinge is on wall through tile into stud (both installers). I am not sure which way to go, two different techniques from the two different reputable installers regarding the sill... sounds like clips into the shower sill with 2" screw is not the correct way. Installer #2 also told me silicone by itself is not sufficient to hold 1/2" thick glass.

The tile of the sill plate is about 1/2" thick, with prob at least a 1/4"-1/8" of mortar under it before the redgard and fiberglass. Installer #1 specifically pointed out that his u-channel fastener will only be in the tile of the sill and not below. which is what prompted me to ask installer #2, then I landed on this forum
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Last edited by southlake; 11-13-2021 at 03:14 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 12:04 PM   #4
cx
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Welcome, KL.

You're telling us you've installed RedGard directly to a fiberglass receptor and tiled directly to that for your shower floor and curb?

And you have a 3/8ths" thick glass door, but a 1/2" thick fixed glass panel?

Penetrating the waterproofing membrane on any horizontal surface in a wet area is definitely a no-no. Just don't do it.

If you don't like the channel your #1 installer will use, consider just leaving an appropriate gap in your tile surface and setting your fixed glass into that. On appropriated glass bumpers, of course. I've done that many times. Looks good. Works well. His channel should not need any mechanical fasteners at all, if you go that route.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 12:11 PM   #5
southlake
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Thank you this is very helpful.

the door is 3/8" thick, is hinged to the wall. The rest of the enclosure is 1/2".

This is the diagram from installer #1. The diagram from installer #2 looks similar, however along the bottom he has 2 clips into the shower sill, and another along the bottom elsewhere. My concern is the sill. Installer #2 was very casual about drilling the sill; "always done this way, and they are sealed with silicone"... But I remember my tile guy was very adamant about telling me nothing can ever go into waterproofing, which echos the advice here.

Seems like I need to pick installer #1. I don't object to the U-channel, it looks very clean when he showed me photos. But I wasn't sure if the U-channel can come with its own set of problems. Installer #2 said U-channels hold water.

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Last edited by southlake; 11-13-2021 at 03:18 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 12:23 PM   #6
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I am also of the mind that u-channel will eventually collect and hold water.

There is no reason the U clips can't be installed without penetrating the water proofing, just cut the screw. For extra insurance you can drill the hole and squirt some clear epoxy into it, position the clip, insert the cut screw. The glass itself isn't held up by the U clip, the UC only serves to hold the panel in plane. Once the panel is installed the resulting gap will be caulked with clear silicone.

That's the way mine was installed.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 12:28 PM   #7
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Last time I bought tempered glass for a shower enclosure the 1/2" was dramatically more expensive than the 3/8ths" glass. I see no reason, looking at your drawing, that you would need the 1/2" glass for any practical reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KL...
and 3 others along the bottom elsewhere (those arent an issue they are up high).
If they're in the wet area and on a horizontal surface, they are "an issue," even if the waterproofing layer is properly sloped to drain.

If water gets into that channel, it may well remain there. How much of a problem that will be, I cannot say. When I set my glass in open channels in the tile surface, any water that gets past the caulking also has the opportunity to evaporate back out through the perpendicular grout lines, etc. I've not had a customer report it being a problem. And my customers always know where to report problems.

Don't see an answer to the question about your use of RedGard directly over fiberglass and tile directly over that. That's what you have?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 12:39 PM   #8
southlake
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Quote:
Don't see an answer to the question about your use of RedGard directly over fiberglass and tile directly over that. That's what you have?
The shower & curb were fiberglassed, then a membrane was installed over the fiberglass, to my untrained eye looked similar to redgard. What exactly that product was, I dont know, as I was not there, the waterproofing company took care of it. Then the tile guy did the rest.

The (porcelain) sill is about 1/2" thick before the tile setting material, then the waterproofing system below that. The rest of the horizontal surfaces are 1" thick (quarts) before the setting material.

They are using 1/2" glass because I requested but I followed his suggestion on 3/8" door.

I agree about the U-Channel, if the fasteners dont go through the water proofing, I guess if the water does get in there it has someplace to go thats outside of the waterproofing system.
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Last edited by southlake; 11-13-2021 at 01:26 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 01:22 PM   #9
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Have you asked the first installer about clips? I just had my glass installed yesterday. He used clips and only drilled about 1/2 inch into my quartz curb, cut screws, and siliconed everything.

He was the only installer I could find that didn't insist on 2 inch screws. So I had to make compromises as to some hardware options because apparently, from what he told me, what options are available to each installer depends on their supplier. Unless you don't have a budget, then anything is possible.

Maybe that is what the first guy doesn't do clips.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 01:36 PM   #10
southlake
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Thanks MTy, sounds like we are having very similar experiences.

The U-channel guy said "we seal the channel to the base of the glass, so there's no way for water to go in", he also said he doesn't use clips on the bottom because they need longer screws and won't use silicone only either. But he does use clips on the walls and vertical surfaces (shown in diagram) The #2 guy was very insistent on the 2" screws when I asked for a shorter alternative.
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Last edited by southlake; 11-13-2021 at 01:49 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:01 PM   #11
southlake
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here is the diagram from #2 (clip guy)
he is almost half the price of the #1 guy (u-channel guy), same glass, same configuration.

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Last edited by southlake; 11-13-2021 at 03:30 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:27 PM   #12
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I would not even consider using guy No.2. He has done it wrong for 20 years and has no idea how many problems he has caused. It's easier for him to use 2 inch screws and he knows they will hold good. He doesn't know or care about the damage he might cause. Keep in mind, the damage from using 2 inch screws won't happen over night. It might take several years, by then no one will remember who installed the glass.

I agree with Cx. Why use 1/2 inch glass anywhere when 3/8 will do?
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:29 PM   #13
southlake
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I agree Davy was giving me pause.

But I think I found a compromise. I spoke with #2 guy (clip guy) and he said if it will make me sleep better at night he'll do 1/2" screw on the sill and longer screws elsewhere (which are not wet areas).
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:37 PM   #14
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We have also heard of using epoxy to hold the clips after drilling a shallow hole.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:46 PM   #15
southlake
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If he has concerns about the integrity of holding the glass in plane, I think he could do one clip with shallow screws at the sill instead of two, then add a clip at the bench seat. The bench seat is over an inch thick and I am not as paranoid about drilling into it.

the only reason for 1/2" glass is personal preference (I stay in too many hotels)
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