(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 37

Thread: Shattered Bathtub Doors...What to Do?!?

  1. #1

    Angry Shattered Bathtub Doors...What to Do?!?


    Two years ago, my mom & dad bought a house that belonged to their best friends after promising to do so before the other couples death. The house was very neglected, a 1970s house that required complete gutting, remodeling, re-everything. My parents requested sliding glass tub doors for both bathtubs(they just like the "look"), and the contractor had Sterling/Kohler 5300s installed in each bathroom. I have noticed that the wheels seemed loose on the tracks, and have 'jumped' the track in the least-used bathtub. All of the family is aware of this and we are all very gentle with the doors so as not to cause an accident or damage. We have recently been "house-sitting" while my parents are out of the country and it gives our family closer proximity to town.

    LONG story shortened a little....last night, my 16 year old son, while finishing his shower, gently slid the door open by the hand rail, and was about to step out....when the entire glass sheet completely FELL ONTO HIM AND SHATTERED all over his body, covering his feet and the entire bottom of the bathtub!! He was cut all over by the 30-plus pounds of glass shards! After 20 hours in the hospital to close up some of the horrible wounds, and after a significant loss of blood, he received dozens of stitches, butterfly clasp-sutures, pain medicine and antibiotics, and will recover, I am sure, but he still does not understand how the glass fell(Neither do I!). The glass is loose in the frame in the other bathroom also. I assured him that I have seen the glass shaking within the frame and have feared the same, but felt that surely a reputable company like Kohler (I thought!) would not have such a dangerous product! My ex-husband and I both know of the contractor who installed the doors and know that he installed the product as best as he could and even asked my parents if they were sure that they wanted the doors, as he did not like how 'unstable' they were and recommended a different product. My parents insisted.

    What should we do? Aren't shower and bathtub doors required to be tempered glass to prevent such accidents? I don't want to install another Sterling 5300 if they are still around, even if it can be replaced. I just want safety as I have three other kids and aging parents. My parents will have the ultimate decision, of course, but I wonder what to help them look for to fix this, and should Kohler be responsible , and should the contractor be notified? The other kids have been so upset to see their brother bleeding everywhere, that two of the kids(teens) went back home to the country to bathe in a normal tub. Sorry I am wordy but I am a woman who talks a lot, and I'm an ANGRY & UPSET MAMA!

  2. #2

    Default

    I am glad you son will be ok, what a relief for you, I bet. I never personally liked the glass doors ( for both safety reasons and cleaning ) and always, go with a shower curtain.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    I don't know how it happened...how old was the sliding doors, 2 years??

    I wouldn't touch anything...it may have been installed wrong or a MFG. problem. I might consult an attorney depending on the severity of the injury's to your son.

    I have never heard of that happening.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default glass

    I do not think tempered glass was a requirement until well past the '70's. But using the doors when it was obvious that they were in serious need of repair, or replacement, was not a wise decision.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    I put in a Kohler glass sliding door and was dissappointed in the QC, plus, it took forever and many broken promises before it was delivered. I think they've slid a long ways in overall quality since their heyday. But, I'm very surprised that the glass was not tempered. Tempered glass can also cut you when it shatters, but it breaks into small pieces rather than shards. It may be that it was poorly tempered, in which case, Kohler would be entirely liable in my unprofessional opinion.

    You indicated that the house was gutted and remodeled, so how old were these doors? Not very old?

    If the top and bottom rails are not parallel, as you slide the door, it can rub on the bottom and force the door up off of the tracks. This should not happen, as normally, you don't cut the vertical sides, they should be identical in height. The end pieces may not be parallel, but that will only cause the square glass panels to not align and possibly leave a gap when closed.

    I know that on mine, there were several holes for the location of the bearing rollers. Even on the lowest hole (which would raise the door the maximum amount), it was lower than I felt it should be. The holes in the glass were chipped, not clean, and I worried that that would be a source of breakage, but it has been okay. Tempered glass is funny stuff...it is quite strong, but any chip or scratch that occurs after tempering makes it subject to catastrophic shattering.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    I am quite surprised by the extent of injuries you describe. If I understand, the doors are only a few years old? They would have to be tempered glass, which if damaged "explodes" into a million little chunks about the size of a pea, but does not have sharp shards to cause such wounds.

    Tempered glass is "temperamental" and while very strong, can be damaged as mentioned by others if bumped on the edge, and the holes for roller screws and handles can be vulnerable.

    This is not a common problem at all. My doors are 18 years old...no problems. I would contact Sterling.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default glass

    You cannot 'chip" tempered glass. Anything that disturbs the panel, causes an instant release/disruption of the stress forces holding it together and it shatters.

  8. #8

    Default

    I recently had a pyrex glass baking dish explode on me. It was pretty bad. Years ago, my son walked into a sliding glass door, or should I maybe, say thru it. His belt buckle hit the glass and it shattered and rained glass down on him. Thankfully he was not seriously hurt. Years prior to that, I had a car accident and the motorcyclist hit my windshield ( he was drunk) and the glass shattered into sharp pieces which cut into my face. I am not sure what kind of glass these things are, but, they all had one thing in common: they became sharp pieces.
    Last edited by Cookie; 02-29-2008 at 03:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    With few exceptions, the side and usually the back windows in a car are tempered - when they break, they break into small chunks...the edges can be sharp, but no shards. A few cars offer laminated side glass, and typical bulletproof stuff is as well. A windshield on the other hand, is laminated and somewhat flexible. There are two layers of glass that are laminated to a flexible plastic sheet. It will break, but not shatter, which is usually much better while driving down the road!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    It sounds like the glass doors were in need of repair.

    This makes the maker of the product not liable if you do not properly maintain something that is clearly presenting a danger with the glass rattling.


    As cheap as shower doors are these days, this all could of been avoided.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11

    Default

    I beg to differ on that one JD, I got scars to prove it.

  12. #12
    Plumber krow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    906

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    It sounds like the glass doors were in need of repair.

    This makes the maker of the product not liable if you do not properly maintain something that is clearly presenting a danger with the glass rattling.


    As cheap as shower doors are these days, this all could of been avoided.
    Regarless, it still should have been tempered whether its a cheap product, misused or ill maintained

  13. #13

    Default

    I am pretty sure what Rugged meant was they should had been replaced for they are cheap enough to do so. I think the same, I would had replaced them but with a shower curtain instead. It could had been avoided. Safety first.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    Correct; it is negligence when you take a product, let it degrade to a point of disrepair and then cry foul when someone gets hurt.


    The "reasonable man theory" is played out in courtrooms across the world.

    Was the situation reasonable to exclude or include negligence on behalf of the product maker, or was the product used inappropriately which led to the physical harm.


    I say yes. If the glass pane was secure and in tact, this accident was completely avoidable and any reasonable thinking would of led to immediate removal repair or replacement.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  15. #15

    Default

    Let me ask you what you think of this Rugged. My son who walked thru the sliding glass doors of the neighbors did not have a decal on the door at all. They knew my son was coming over and when he knocked, did not turn on a light, they just yelled to come in. Well, he did. ( he knocked on the side which would had been closed) and walked thru the other half which he thought was open, because he heard them say to come in.

    Then, they sent me a bill. Which to keep neighborhood harmony I paid, but also sent them some decals with it.
    Last edited by Cookie; 02-29-2008 at 07:25 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Ash doors
    By Ian Gills in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-11-2010, 07:10 PM
  2. Need some shower doors
    By titan77 in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-07-2008, 12:30 PM
  3. Bath doors
    By Michaela521 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-10-2006, 03:21 PM
  4. Drilless Tub Doors?
    By CoolestDa in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-23-2005, 08:59 AM
  5. DIY shower doors
    By rmorita in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-16-2005, 09:17 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •