Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures: Clips vs. U-Channel

Tempered glass measuring 3/8 inches thick and weighing 5 pounds per square foot is required for frameless glass shower enclosures. When installing “heavy” fixed panels on a wall, either channel or clips are used as the attachment method. Both of these options are stunning, but choosing how to attach the fixed panels requires careful deliberation due to a number of important factors to take into account.

Shower Enclosure with U-Channel:

- Glass Company

Where the glass touches the tile, a channel runs the entire length of the glass, acting as a water barrier as well as a mechanical support for the glass. The channel will be screwed into the tile on the vertical surfaces. A strong bond double-sided tape is used on the horizontal surfaces to hold the channel in place and support the weight of the glass. On both the inside and outside of the enclosure, silicone must be applied to the bottom edge of the channel where it meets the tile. Where the channel meets the glass, on the inside as well as the outside, we also apply a thin silicone bead. Excellent water resistance and structural support for the glass are provided by this design.

Benefits of Channel:

  • A spotless, unimpeded view of the tile and glass
    The tile’s water barrier is not breached.
    Cheaper choice because it requires less manpower to install and less glass manufacture

Shower Enclosure with Clips:

- Glass Company

A fixed panel’s bottom and side are equipped with 2″ X 2″ clips. To accommodate the clip hardware and mechanically fasten the glass to the tile, clips need a slot in the glass. Both vertical and horizontal tile surfaces have clips that are screwed into the tile. On the horizontal surfaces, the tile’s water barrier is broken. Screw holes are silicone-filled to avoid water problems. In order to close the space between the clip hardware and the glass, a piece of vinyl bulb seal is also affixed to the bottom of the glass where it meets the tile. Around the clip’s edges and where the glass meets the tile, silicone is necessary. In this application, the water barriers are silicone and bulb seal.

Benefits of Clips:

  • Depending on size, clips may make panels seem more secure when fastened.
    Modern, mechanical, or “techie” style is quite appealing.

Clips have a few drawbacks:

  • On horizontal surfaces, the water barrier beneath the tile is breached.
    A higher cost as a result of more glass being manufactured and more manpower

Shower Enclosure with Hybrid Clips and U-Channel

- Glass Company

A number of our designers, contractors and homeowners employ a combination of the two approaches. When it comes to securing the fixed panels on the sides, clips are employed, whereas channel is utilized when it comes to securing the fixed panels on the bottom. This strategy helps reduce the impact of water problems while also delivering the appropriate appearance and level of clip security.

The Takeaway: Clips and channels are both often utilized on frameless glass shower enclosures; the decision between the two typically boils down to a matter of personal preference, financial considerations, and the desire to minimize any safety hazards.

Glass Governor of Atlanta are experts in the fabrication of customized glass shower enclosures, the replacement of window glass, the cutting of custom glass and mirrors, the installation of glass railings, and fabrication and design of Custom Steam Shower Enclosures. Homeowners, residential and commercial property managers, facility managers, home builders, remodelers, contractors, and handy-people are some of the clients that we work with.

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