Installing sliding tub/shower door when walls aren't flush
Asked Feb 13, 2011, 05:25 PM
I'm trying to install a sliding shower door on a tub, but the walls where the side frames are normally attached are not flush. This is because the tub has flanges that curve up around the three wall sides, and these are thicker than the cultured marble surround, which sits on top of the flange (see images).
The flanges are 1/2" thick, but the marble surround is 1/4". And the thickness difference is not even uniform, as can be seen by the two images of the tub. Because the walls are not perfectly square, there is a bigger difference in thickness at one end than the other.
My first idea was to dremel the tub flange to create a recess for the side frame and bottom rail. That way, the frame could sit against the marble surround and mesh with the bottom rail (which sits on the tub), as it's supposed to. I would caulk all around the boundary between the frame and the flange to keep water out. I expected the tub flange to be a thin shell with space behind it, but as it turns out, it appears to be a solid 1/2" thick piece, which makes it harder to create a recess. (You can see a dremel cut in the flange in one of the photos.) Now I am wondering if a better strategy would be to put some kind of laminate strip between the side frame and the marble surround. That is, I could make the side walls flush by adding material to the marble surround rather than removing material from the flange. I think I would need different thickness of laminate on the different sides, and I'm not sure what kind of material to use.
Any advice here? This is new construction, and this strange arrangement seems to indicate that no thought was given to the possibility of putting a sliding door on the tub. Is there a better way? Thanks for any help.