I recently started looking into installing a glass shower door for my stall shower. The shower is a one-piece fiberglass pre-fab shower. I assume I need a stud on at least one side of the door to screw the frame into. (through the shower, into the wall, into a stud.) My problem is that I checked both walls and found out that the studs aren't lined up on both sides.

Luckily, the side I would put the hinge on lines up with the edge of the shower. It makes sense to me that the majority of the force/moment is going to be on the hinge side of the frame. However, I'm worried about what might happen if the shower door is slammed shut, applying a large impulse to the side of the frame not anchored into a stud.

So am I screwed because my builder didn't have enough foresight to line up the studs on both sides of the shower, or is one side good enough?

EDIT: What type of anchors should I use, if I decide to put in the shower door with only a stud on the hinge side? Should I drill out the fiberglass and stick an anchor just in the drywall behind it? Do anchors exist that will span the 1.5" gap between the fiberglass shower and the drywall?

2 Answers 2


You may be OK if you use proper anchors. I assume this is drywall. The shower door shouldn't be that heavy but you certainly don't want a bunch of glass raining down on someone. It would probably be a good idea to put a stud if you still don't feel the anchors will work for you.

  • What type of anchors would work though? I'd have to drill through the fiberglass first, and then there's a 1.5" gap between that and the drywall. Also, if it's a big enough project to require tearing open the wall to put a stud in, I think I'd rather tear out the fiberglass shower and tile it.
    – Doresoom
    Aug 16, 2010 at 14:35
  • Trying to put an anchor through drywall from the fiberglass with a 1.5" space in between will surely pop the drywall when you apply any pressure to the connection. In addition I suspect that when the anchor went into a stud behind the drywall the drywall will be OK but the fiberglass structure will get undo stress on it when tightening down the anchor enough to hold the door frame securely.
    – Michael Karas
    Oct 14, 2012 at 14:56
  • 1
    Some single stall shower doors that are say less than 30 inches wide actually have a hinge point that is not at the extreme edge of the door. Instead a hinge point is maybe a third of the way from the edge at the bottom and the top. Support of the top hinge point involves installing a head railing across the top of the opening. This type of hinge greatly reduces the amount of stress on the wall structure or fiber glass side of the shower where a conventional hinge would be located.
    – Michael Karas
    Oct 14, 2012 at 15:01

I recently installed a door kit that was meant for use with a fiberglass shower. The kit came with anchors for the track and recommended that I use silicone caulk to further secure/seal the track to the shower wall. The anchors weren't deep enough to reach the wall behind the shower, so it's definitely not tied into anything other than fiberglass. It's been several months years so far with no signs of damage or wear to the fiberglass.

So if you're using a kit specifically designed to be compatible with fiberglass showers, you most likely don't need to anchor into a stud.

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