Installing Bathtub Shower Doors

Installing shower doors are actually very simple. We will show you the necessary steps to accomplish this task with a minimum of tools and in the relatively short amount of time.

Lisa, a friend of ours, followed our directions and installed her shower doors herself. Here is a picture of her installed doors. Click on the picture to make it large.)

The most common is the bypass door. This is where one door slides behind or in front of the other door. Make sure that whatever door you purchase, it will meet your needs. Make considerations for the size of the opening and the direction the doors slide.

Now that you have decided on the perfect shower door and it is now at your home, let’s get it installed.

The tools you will need are:


  • a level at least 24 inches long;
  • a caulking gun;
  • a hacksaw;
  • a drill with a carbide bit to drill into the existing shower wall;
  • some plastic anchors;
  • a small hammer;
  • a tape measure;
  • a screwdriver;
  • a file; and
  • a pencil.

Here are some additional materials that will help you get the shower doors installed a little easier:

  • masking tape;
  • silicone tub and tile caulk to match the material in your bathroom;
  • a pair of goggles to protect your eyes; and
  • of course the shower door.

Take out the old shower curtain rod and any attachments associated with it, for example, hold backs and clamps.

Clean the surfaces where the new door is going to fit. Get rid of any residual soap and wipe the area with alcohol to remove any traces of silicone.


Are you ready? Here we go!

    • Measure the bottom across the top of the bathtub. Subtract 1/8 inch and carefully cut the track with the hacksaw. Keep everything straight and even.
    • Carefully use the file to get rid of any rough edges. The track should slope toward the inside of the tub.
    • Use the masking tape to mark the edges on both sides. This will make clean up easier not to mention getting the track in the right position.
    • Install the outside door jams next. Carefully fit the jams to the base track. Make sure they are plumb (straight up and down).


    • Drill the mounting holes into the side walls where the anchors will go. Once again place masking tape on both the outside edges of the wall.
    • Trim the upright pieces to make sure they are the same length. If necessary, use the top rail and your level to measure.
    • Put some bath and tub caulk along both edges of the base rail.
    • Set on the tub and lightly press into place. Do the same for the wall jams. Remember to put a bumper in the center of the jams to keep the doors from hitting the wall.
    • Screw the jams into place.
    • Press the caulk into the seam and remove the masking tape. Pull back on the tape to allow the caulk to fall back on itself. If necessary, wet you finger and run it along the seam to make it nice and clean.
    • Measure the top rail and cut 1/16 inch shorter than the opening.
    • Install the top rail and attach to the jams.
    • Install the rollers to the doors.
    • Install the outside door by lifting and placing the rollers in the tracks. Do the same for the inside door.
    • Your shower may have a guide at the bottom to keep the doors from swinging in. Install the guide and any necessary brackets for the towel bar.
  • Make sure the shower doors fit as close to the wall as possible to minimize water getting out. Adjust with the rollers. Check for a good fit on all the walls and add additional caulking as necessary.

That’s all there is to installing bathtub shower doors and look at the money you saved by doing it yourself.


Dave Altman

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