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I have a bunch of tempered glass panels from disassembled patio doors. I'd like to use one of these panes as a shower door. Most glass shower doors are hung with drilled holes or with cutouts in the glass. Of course neither of these will work with existing tempered glass.

Option 1.

There exist non-bore hinges that clamp onto the glass. Do these hold up and not creep with time. Most of ones I've seen are for smaller doors.

Option 2.

Glue one half of each hinge to the glass using epoxy. The problem with this is getting the hinges co-linear enough that it doesn't bind.

Option 3.

As in option 2, but instead of gluing directly to the glass glue to a 2 mm layer of gasket material. This would absorb small amounts of misalignment, as well as tolerating some differential expansion between door and surround. I'm thinking of something like a synthetic rubber. This may require different adhesives.

Option 4.

Build a framed door from scratch. Now the problem is to make it from something that tolerates being wet a lot. I figure that the same panel that cabinets for outdoor kitchens are made from would work. Other ideas?

Option 5.

Keep my shower curtain.

  • We pitched our 1970s builder grade sliding glass doors when we renovated the bathrooms 20 years ago, and use curtains. I vote for Option 4. – Jim Stewart Mar 4 '17 at 22:46
  • Can you do either hinged or sliding? – Jack Feb 2 '18 at 4:06
  • How thick is that glass, some parts i find require 1/4" or thicker glass – Jack Feb 2 '18 at 4:18
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First you should be aware that "tempered" covers a range of glass properties. Some tempered glass is toughened where the pane is significantly stronger than ordinary annealed glass. However, when it breaks it does so into large, irregular pieces. Other glass is tempered in such a way that if the pane is broken, internal stresses reduce it to tiny pieces. This type is known as safety glass.

Panes that have their edges protected within a frame are typically toughened glass, and the stuff is surprisingly tough. Panes designed with exposed edges (such as shower doors) are typically safety glass. This is because edges are the weak point and a pane with exposed edges is much more likely to break. I recommend you talk with a glass company before proceeding. Broken panes can, and do take lives (usually from people running into closed sliding glass doors and bleeding out).

Concerning option #4 there is a product called Veranda. Home Depot sells it. It is solid vinyl dimension "lumber" that is worked like ordinary lumber. It is durable, easy to clean and 100% waterproof. It will make a good looking frame, and will bond to the glass using silicone caulk. You can securely fasten stainless steel hinges to this frame. The finished look will depend on your caulking skills. Sounds like a fun project. Good luck.

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