Fitting U Channel to walls for 8mm, 10mm and 12mm Shower Panel Installations
Today we are going to Show you HOW EASY it is to fit U Channel to a wall and floor in a Shower or wet room area.
Follow our comprehensive guide
U Channel usually comes in two types of material, its either:
- Annodised Aluminium
- Stainless Steel
The thickness of the U Channel is between 2-3 mm and its sole purpose is to hold either glass into a position or place.
There is two ways to position the U Channel and that is either recessed or surface mounted, and today we will talk about the surface mount as that is the most common practice.
Fitting the U Channel can be either easy or really easy dependant on the supplier of U Channel . The U Channel will either come pre drilled or plain lengths / un drilled holes. (We prefer the un-drilled version as we can determine where we required holes on site)
- 5mm HSS Drill Bit
- 8.5mm HSS Drill Bit
- Stainless Steel Screws 25mm
- Stainless Steel Screws 50mm
- Posidrive Drill Attachment/ Bit
- Masking Tape
- Cleaner/ Wipes
- Hand saw
- Brown Plugs
- Clear Silicone
- Battery/ Electric drill
Please note: Check all walls that you are going to drill will not have any electric cables or water pipes that may pass through. If in doubt, check with a plumber or electrician. The same applies for a floor that might have underfloor heating element/ pipes.
So when ready, please follow the guide below
- Marking the U Channel .
Once ready you will need to work out the Length of U Channell you will need.
This is done by checking the glass panel you are about to fit. For ease we have a shower panel we are fitting of 2000mm in height and 1000mm wide
For the U Channel wall fitting I would recommend you to Cut (in this instance) at 2003mm (2000mm of glass and 3mm of u channel which will be sitting on the underside of the glass)
Measure the length for 2003mm and place some making tape at the approximate length, It's easier to mark and see a pencil Line on masking tape.
Once cut, you can file up the cut edge of the U Channel to take off all the sharp edges.
To drill the U Channel, we recommend a hole 150mm from the bottom and top of the U Channel and then spread equally another 2x drilled holes all with a 5mm HSS drill bit.
We would need to counter sink these holes so use an 8.5mm drill bit just to countersink for the screw.
Tip: Check all walls that you are going to drill will not have any electric cables or water pipes that may pass through. If in doubt, check with a plumber or electrician.
Once you are happy with the holes, we will need to now place the U Channel in position to mark the drilled holes onto the tiles/ surface to be mounted. We usually hold a longer level against the U Channel to find the vertical/ plumb line and once happy you can mark the 4x holes.
With the walls now marked, its time to drill the tiles. This can either be easy or potential nightmare so please try and acquire drill bits that look similar to these. Our choice is from either Toolstation or Screwfix
A little tip from us is to keep the end of the drill tip cool from overheating, so when drilling you wont un-weld the spade of the drill from the shaft. Use a cup/ mug with cool water and dip the drill bit in every 10-15 seconds.
If the tile is soft in nature i.e. limestone or similar, then we recommend you still keep the drill bit tip cool. (it also stops dust)
Once the holes are drilled we recommend fit brown wall plugs and then a small amount of clear silicone squirted into the plug/ hole before the screws are fixed.
Offer up the U Channel and re-check level. Personally I place one foot onto the U Channel and press it against the wall whilst fixing a screw to the top holes of the U Channel. This will stop the bottom going out of alignment whilst fixing.
work down the channel until all the screws are into place and again recheck the channel at this point.
There are a couple of types of flooring we fix to, the most common being either a tiled floor or a shower tray.
Both need to be pre-drilled but with caution as this could cause water damage down the line if not correctly fitted.
To work out the length of the floor U Channel that required:
b= wall channel
c= glass length
u= c - b + 5mm
in our case its 1000mm (glass length) - 19mm + 5mm ( to allow for thickness of the inside of the U Channel and screwheads)
Total length = 986mm
Tip: Screw down the channel with the factory finished cut facing the middle of the enclosure area and not the wall.
We recommend when drilling the floor/ tray is to mark the depth on the shaft of the drill bit.
If you only want to drill 27mm into the floor, perhaps wrap some masking tape at 27mm from the tip of the drill down the shaft. Don't drill past this when drilling.
Now place the U-channel with the cut edge against the already mounted wall U-channel and then carefully mark the floor.
Repeat the drilling process the same as the wall. But this time with just 3x holes this time 150mm from edge/ center /150mm from edge (Don't forget to countersink the holes with a large drill)
On Floors I generally use plenty of silicone into the drilled holes and the place a wall plug into it, followed by more silicone. Wipe off the excess and then re-lay the floor channel over the top.
Screw down the channel with the factory finished cut facing the middle of the enclosure area and not the wall.
Before placing the glass into the U Channel, make sure you use setting blocks that will protect the glass screen or panel from touching the base of the U Channel or heads of the screws when installing.