Most innovative bath enclosure installation

Frameless Steam Bi-Fold Shower Enclosure >> DEsigned Glass Inc.
September 28, 2009

Installers from DEsigned Glass Inc. faced tight space challenges when they installed a 3/8-inch frameless steam shower enclosure into a small water closet. “We often get into small spaces, but this was a small ‘wet room’ with a toilet and shower in a space of about 48 inches by 48 inches,” says Erica Chandler, co-owner of DEsigned Glass, Burnsville, Minn.

Due to the location of the toilet, installers had no room for a swing door, and because the shower is a steam unit, the homeowner did not want a bypass door. The DEsigned Glass team decided to use a bi-fold door, 36 inches wide, or two 18-inch panels. The total opening is 47 inches wide by 90 inches tall.

The team had to seal the whole opening because the unit is also a steam shower. They chose to use a “floating” transom secured on three sides with a U-channel, “basically just floating over the entire bi-fold door and panel,” Chandler says.

DEsigned Glass used a pinnacle hinge from C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles, on the wall, and CRL’s Zurich glass-to-glass hinge for the bi-fold hinge that is able to fold the glass in or out. Agalite, Seattle, supplied the glass.

Installers left a “tail” on the U-channel so the door would lock into the channel and stay tightly shut while the steam unit was in use. “The door, when it is shut, tucks into a 1-inch long strip that comes off the panel,” Chandler says.

DEsigned Glass had never used bi-fold products before, Chandler says, but Dave Drill, DEsigned Glass CEO and lead installer on the project “just knows what he is doing when it comes to what hardware to incorporate and what sizes to make the glass. It went perfect the first time.”