Guide written by:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff
Whether you go for a fixed or moving model, a bath screen is an easy way to prevent water spraying into your bathroom when showering in the bathtub. From measuring and drilling to installing the wall channel and sealing the screen, read on for our step-by-step guide to installing a bath screen.
- Prepare your space
- Measure and cut the wall channel
- Install the wall channel
- Install the glass panel
Bath screens: more effective than a shower curtain
If you want to avoid flooding your bathroom every time you take a shower in your bath, you have two solutions: a shower curtain or bath screen. While shower curtains are cheaper to install, a bath screen will be more hygienic, attractive and comfortable to use.
Usually made of clear, frosted or tinted safety glass, bath screens are very easy to install and suitable for pretty much any type of bath. Bath screens come in a range of different styles including static, sliding or folding. They may come in standard dimensions or be made-to-measure.
- Installing the wall channel
- Installing the glass panel
1. Preparing your space
Organise your space as best you can by preparing all your tools and lining the floor and the inside of the bathtub with cardboard in case you drop any tools.
Check your accessories
Unpack the shower screen and place the glass far away from the area you're going to be working in.
Read the instructions
Read the assembly instructions carefully for information on any particular installation requirements your bath screen may have.
2. Measure and cut the wall channel
The glass panel or panels that make up your bath screen are held in place by a vertical wall channel made of metal. You'll need to start by installing this channel.
Position the channel
If you don't have an even surface running up to the ceiling (for example, if you only have tiles installed on half the wall), you'll need to cut the channel to size.
If your wall is flat all the way up to the ceiling, you won't have to cut the channel as it will already be the right length for the bath screen.
Cut the channel
- Start by lining the channel up to the edge of the bath. Make sure it is plumb using a spirit level and mark out its position where the wall surface changes. Using a metal-cutting saw, cut the channel down to the right size and file down the end. Check you have cut it correctly by lining it back up on the edge of the bath.
3. Install the wall channel
Now you need to attach the channel to the wall. For this step, you'll need to think about your surface. If your wall is painted, there shouldn't be any issue positioning the drill holes. If your wall is tiled, you should try to drill between the tiles so you don't have to drill into the tiles themselves.
- Place the channel against the wall making sure it rests on the edge of the bath and check it is plumb using a spirit level.
- Mark out each drill hole using the channel as your guide.
- Ideally, your holes should be positioned around 10 cm above the bath and end around 10 cm before the end of the channel. Depending on the height of the channel, mark out 1 or 2 holes between the top and bottom holes.
- Remove the channel and select the right metal drill bit.
- Put the channel back into position against the wall.
- Drill your holes using a drill or hammer drill. Insert the appropriate wall plugs for your surface.
- Screw the channel onto the wall, double checking that it is plumb and in contact with the bath.
4. Install the glass panel
After waiting a few minutes for the silicone to dry a bit, you can install the glass panel or panels to your bath screen.
Read the instructions carefully as steps may vary according to model. Most bath screens come with a seal designed to be installed on the base of the glass screen.
- Start by sliding on this seal. If it doesn't slide smoothly, you can use a little soapy water.
- Insert the glazed panel into the channel. It should be place a few centimetres above the edge of the bath.
- Once in place, slide the screen so the seal comes into tight contact with the edge of the bathtub.
- The channel may or may not come with holes for screwing in the glass screen. If not, drill the channel (from the inside of the bathtub) around 10 cm from the edge of the bath and 10 cm from the top of the panel.
- Fill these holes with silicone before screwing in your fixing screws. Insert the screws and tighten them to secure the screen.
- Check one last time that the screen is plumb and make sure that the seal is sitting flush against the edge of the bathtub to ensure a watertight seal.
- If your shower screen can be moved, make sure that it opens and closes correctly, ensuring that the seal is in position when the screen is closed.
Tools and equipment
Installing a shower screen should be a quick and easy task; no particular skills are required. You just need to know how to take measurements use a spirit level and a drill. It's also important to be able to identify the type of surface you have (solid or hollow) and to choose your wall plugs accordingly.
Time and number of people required
Approx. 1 hour
Tools and equipment
- A sealant gun and silicone sealant
- Wall plugs and screws
- Masking tape
- A tape measure and pencil
- A spirit level
- A hammer
- A file
- A drill (with hammer mode if drilling into a solid surface)
- Appropriate drill bits for your surface
- Metal-cutting saw
- A square
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Guide written by:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff, 132 guides
Electrician by trade, I first worked in industrial estates where I installed, wired and fixed a large number of electrical installations. After this, I managed a team of electricians for this type of work. 10 years or so ago, I turned to building and construction. From the modest family home, to gyms and theatres; I have been able to coordinate, audit and organise all sorts of construction sites. for 4 years now, I am restaoring and bulding an extrension to a bungalow in the heart of the welsh countyside. My experience in manual work and my knowledge means I am proud to be of service. Terraces, interior design, roofing, plumbing, electricty, anything goes! We have, my wife, daughter and I, built almost everything we have from scratch! So to answer all of your questions, and to orientate and advise you on coosing your tools? Easy!