Shower Glass for Attic Conversions | A Comprehensive Guide

Not sure where to begin with your Shower Glass in an Attic Conversion Project? You start with Marvin and Pinch.

One of the most common requests we receive is can we supply glass for an attic shower room or wet room. The simple answer is yes we can. We've been designing, trouble shooting, supplying and installing attic shower glass enclosures for years, to the point where we can't refine further. 

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with key information that can in turn enable you to make an informed decision on what you may need and want moving forward with your attic or loft shower glass project.

 

Let's take it from the beginning, the decision has been made to put a shower enclosure in the attic space, what should be considered at this stage for your attic shower?

Space is likely a premium, so getting the most out of the shower enclosure is a must. We see with regularity the inclusion of a towel radiator, sink or toilet close to the proposed shower glass enclosure. Having these furnishings in close proximity will often mean that hanging a glass shower door directly on the wall is prohibitive, and that hinging the shower door from a 'soldier panel' or a 'fixed panel' will be required to enable adequate clearance for entry to the shower. 

So, when looking to create a shower glass enclosure for an attic conversion, firstly consider whether the door can be hinged from the wall or not. Simply put, are you going to require a two panel or three panel set up.

 

As an example we'll examine a typical two panel set up for an attic shower enclosure with a sloping ceiling. The glass shower door will be hinged from the wall, and then a fixed glass panel for the remainder of the space, to create the attic shower enclosure.

As mentioned above where possible it is advised to hinge your door from the wall. Primarily the reason for this that it can help ensure greater rigidity overall and keeps the financial enclosure cost down.

A glass shower door is typically 700mm to 750mm in width and 1900mm to 2100mm in height. Evidently reduced/restricted heights can and do play a part with some doors never being taller than 1800mm. Obviously everyone has a different requirement and problem they're looking to solve, hence the requirement for bespoke glass for an attic conversion shower. To find out a bit more on shower door sizes take a look at our blog post here.

The shower door can easily be shaped to follow the roof line.

The following photograph shows a door hung from the left hand wall with offset wall to glass hinges, a 6" pull handle and a shaped fixed panel secured in place with U Channel. All components have a Chrome finish.

 

Two panel set up for an attic shower enclosure

In order to hang a door you need hinges. What hinges are normally used for the wall mounted glass shower door? 

There are broadly two types of wall to glass hinges, and the differentiation is down to the back plate of the hinge. We refer to them as either offset or inline.

An offset back plate hinge is one that has the articulation point to one side, this type of hinge allows for the front face of the glass door to be as close as possible to the edge of the shower tray. Often tiling stops inline with the shower tray, therefore the offset back plate hinge is perfect.

Offset back plate hinge in Chrome

An inline back plate hinge has the pivot point for the glass in the centre of the back plate, meaning that the back plate width will be equal on both sides of the glass, if the tiling runs past the tray for example there would be no issue in using these types of hinges, but in order to have the glass sit flush on the edge of the tray, you would have to ensure the back plate can be mounted sufficiently, and centrally for the glass to sit in your desired position.

Inline back plate wall to glass hinge in Chrome

Both offset and inline hinges allow for 180 degree of movement from the closed or 'inline' position, 90 degree in swing and 90 degree out swing.

The third option for hinging a door from a wall is a full height pivot hinge. The full height reference meaning that the hinge is the same height as the glass door. The finish of this product is more limited, namely a Chrome, Polished Stainless and Matte Black finish, 8mm glass is the thickness required to work with a full height pivot hinge, with a maximum width of 900mm.

 M&P Full height pivot hinge for bespoke glass attic enclosure

So once the hinge type have been decided upon, the next common consideration is how will the door be opened, either with a door knob, pull handle or a finger pull.

Door knobs are the simplest and most cost effective way of opening the shower door. They will only require one drilled hole in the glass, and the component cost is less than a pull handle.

 

Chrome door knob

The door handle or door pull options are commonly a variant of either 6" or 8" in length, they require two drilled holes in the glass and are ultimately either rounded or square in appearance. There are other types of handles of course, these are just what is commonly considered with good stock availability.

 

Chrome pull handle

A further option is to have a polished finger pull in the glass, due to the cost of CNC these can add a minimum of £100 to the cost of any glass. 

 

Polished finger pull

 

How is the glass door perimeter made as water tight as possible? The only way this can be achieved is with seals, which vary in appearance and functionality.

So the other component element that relates to the door is the seals. These are effectively clear clip on plastic seals which help to keep the water where it's wanted, these can be removed if required but we advise having them in the first instance. Magnetic seals are often used to assist in keeping the door and fixed panel in line when closed, but more often an H seal or Bulb seal are used to seal the gaps.

This image shows the bulb seal in position on the hinge side of the door, this helps to seal the edge between the glass and the wall.
M&P Hinge and bulb seal

For the underside of the shower door a Drip seal is used to help deflect the water back into the enclosure. The following image is viewed from inside the shower enclosure.

M&P Drip seal & bulb seal

In conjunction with the Drip seal a clear threshold (pictured below) can be siliconed to the wet room floor or shower tray, if there is an issue with water escaping over time, essentially forming a double barrier. Securing a threshold, is also a retrospective option if a significant amount of water is escaping.

 

Threshold siliconed in position

 

Once the glass shower door dimensions have been decided upon the remainder of the space will be a glass panel, commonly needing to follow the roof line, therefore becoming a shaped glass panel.

There are several ways this shaped glass panel can be fixed in place, the most common and universal way is with the use of U Channel. This U Channel is an aluminium U shaped channel that is cut to size once received, and then fixed around the perimeter edges to the sloped ceiling, vertical wall and along the shower tray or wet room floor. We advise using stainless steel screws to fit any U Channel, these can be purchased from most DIY stores. If there is underfloor heating we advise using a stainless screw cut down so to reduce the length, and then used to fix the floor U Channel in place. 

U Channel in situ

As an alternative to U Channel glass clamps can be used, both to secure the glass along the roof line, the vertical wall and to the floor. These clamps require a drilled hole in a specific location on the panel, and therefore would increase the glass cost due to the additional fabrication. There are two main types, the difference being the size. One is smaller and the larger clamp has the same dimensions as a hinge, so when placed opposite can look very smart.

Clamps on the roof line
Chrome toe and wall clamp
Larger Chrome wall to glass clamp

In the past customers have opted to use a combination of both U Channel and clamps, being a trade between visual aesthetics and the structural stability and integrity of the fixed glass panel. To find out a bit more on these option take a look at our blog post here.

In either case we advocate securing the panel to the floor, if the silicone is used on it's own, over time the operation of the door opening and closing can loosen the silicone, resulting in water escaping!

 

Now let's look at the typical three panel set up for an attic shower enclosure with a sloping ceiling. In this configuration the glass shower door will be hinged from a solider panel, with the remainder of the space being a shaped fixed panel.

The fundamental difference is the inclusion of a third panel, of which the door hinges from. As mentioned at the beginning, the need for this extra panel is normally due to a restriction in some way, prohibiting a door being hung directly on the wall e.g. a towel radiator, toilet sink etc.

The image below shows a door hung from the left hand soldier panel, secured with U Channel, glass to glass hinges, a door knob and a shaped fixed panel on the right hand side secured in place with U Channel. All components have a Chrome finish.

Three panel set up for an attic shower enclosure

The door hinges required are known as glass to glass, and would be indicative of the image below.

Chrome glass to glass hinge

Seals remain the same in that they are placed around the perimeter of the door itself to help with water retention.

The way in which the solider panel is secured is more important however, as the door will now be articulating from this panel. In most cases a support bar is added to help stabilise the top corner. These retrospectively fit-able support bars can be orientated in three ways; vertically, horizontally or at a 45 degree angle, as with the U Channel the support bar itself is cut down when installing to suit the scenario.

Vertical support bar in Chrome
Horizontal support bar in Matte Black

 

45 degree support bar in Matte Black

 

Another common three panel set up is when a 'Apex' shower enclosure is required.

The image below shows an apex roof configuration, using three panels. The two wing panels have been secured using U Channel, with a central door.

 

Apex configuration loft shower enclosure

So the decision has been made to have either a two or three panel set up, what else needs to be considered?

The next obvious decision is what glass is required, typically shower glass for either a two panel or three panel setup is either 8mm or 10mm thickness. On a three panel set up, 8mm is often considered as it helps to keep the weight down, therefore lessening the potential issue of a panel being moved or pulled through use. 

Along with the glass thickness, the component finish is often a big consideration. Chrome is the most widely used finish, and is uniform across a large range of hardware, however in recent years Matte Black, Brushed Nickel, Satin Brass and other finishes are commonly available. Once the choice has been made in terms of the set up and the preferred component choices e.g U Channel or clamps to secure any fixed elements, we can then elaborate on what finishes are available for the components.

In Conclusion, it's now time for you to measure your proposed Shower Glass Enclosure, and then get in touch!

Throughout this guide we've looked to provide information on the most common considerations customers go through when looking to plan and source a custom shower enclosure for an attic. There are numerous configurations that can occur, and we're here to assist you in making your shower a reality.

Some further examples of attic and sloped ceiling shower enclosures are as follows;

Sloped ceiling with support bar
Wall hung sloped ceiling configuration

In summary we hope that after reading this you now have a better idea of the choices you need to make, and information we require in order for us to assist in creating your bespoke glass shower enclosure for an attic and sloped ceiling space.

Now in order for us to help with providing a cost for your enclosure, we need to know the dimensions of the space. We advise measuring once everything is finished, tiling etc, however for approximate costs we also need to know the dimensions, see our measuring templates below; These can be filled in and emailed over, or if you prefer just list the dimensions in an email next to the relevant letter e.g. C = 1200mm etc.

Template 04
04. Attic Shape Template with Slope on Left
Template 05
05. Attic Shape Template with Slope on Right

 

Once ready email us at sales@marvinandpinch.co.uk 

Obviously there are a lot of things to consider so we're always here to discuss on 01249 554334.

Our U Channel, seals and support bars come in a stock length and need to be cut to the relevant size but yourself or whoever is carrying out the installation.

All tolerances for fixtures and fittings we supply would be taken prior to production, and confirmed with an elevation plan for approval.

Average turn around with delivery is 10/14 working days aprox from payment. Delivery location does have an influence on these timescales and so can be longer. However, we aim to get all glass to our customers as quick as we can. Please note a definitive date for glass delivery can only be confirmed once it is ready and transport have scheduled on a route, the driver would update with and ETA on the day of delivery.