Inside the Install: Solo Hinged Tub Screen
December 18, 2020
Installing a glass hinged tub screen with only one installer can be difficult to complete. The center of gravity is high, making it harder to balance the glass and attach the screws without help.
The following presents a step-by-step guide to completing a solo hinged tub screen installation, paying special attention to the tools and gadgets that make it possible.
- Make sure the hinges are pre-installed on the shower glass. Start by measuring up from the floor to the center of the top hole in the backplate.
- Locate the centerline of the glass and mark the location at the base of the tile. Shoot a plumb line where the mark for the centerline was made and measure the distance from the tub to the hinge hole on the wall. The distance from the center of the glass to the center of the hole is ¾ inch.
- Be sure to account for the ¾ inch offset when marking for the screw hole. And, don’t forget to account for the gap at the bottom of the door.
Tool tip: A laser level makes it easy to mark the hole location.
- Drill the hole into the tile. Try to run the screw in the hole in advance. This will let you know whether there is wood behind the tile.
Tool tip: Spear-point-type tile bits are great for starting the holes.
- Create two stacks, each of two ¼-inch rubber pads, and set on the tub deck. The pads create ½-inch spacing from the top of the tub deck. Carefully lift and set the glass in place on the rubber pads on tub deck. Slowly slide the glass into place.
- Line up the holes in the wall and hinge and insert a screw. Now that the first screw is in place, the installer is free to work on securing the remaining screws. Use the laser to line up the hinges to ensure they are plumb.
- Drill remaining hinge holes through the hinge holes, and insert and fasten remaining screws.
Tool tip: Use 6-inch masonry bits, which allow drilling without scratching the hinges.
- Adjust the blocking from ½ inch to 7/16 inch. To do this, replace the ½-inch rubber pad stacks under the glass with 7/16-inch stacks.
- Loosen the hinges around the glass to allow the glass to settle by 1/16 inch. A 7/16-inch gap is desired for ideal performance.
- Securely re-tighten the hinge screws around the glass. Use a ratcheting “T-handle” to further tighten the hinge around the glass.
Tool tip: The “T-handle” tool provides maximum torque and helps prevent the glass from slipping.
- Add the door sweep.