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Thread: glass block enclosure for tub

  1. #1

    Default glass block enclosure for tub

    Hi everybody, I am newly registered and I have a bathroom remodel project issue that I would like to get some help with. I have a stabdard tub/shower, with sliding glass doors that are just hideous. I want to get rid of the sliding glass doors and mount/build a glass block wall on the lip/edge of the tub to act as the shower "curtain". My question is whether this is possible (ie building a wall on the tub's edge). It will be anchored to one wall with an opening on the other end to allow for entry. Or an alternative plan would include a hinged glass door on the opposite wall, meeting the edge of the glass block wall to close off the enclosure. Any thoughts would help.
    Thanks, Sam

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    First, I'm not a pro. I'd only consider doing this if the tub was cast iron, then I'd still have to ponder it. Most glass block is thicker than the lip of many tubs, at least the part that was flat. There are some nice frameless glass door assemblies out there. You can get powder coated finishes in pretty much any color you want, too. Many of the custom companies also offer a vapor deposited coating for the glass that makes the surface much harder and smoother - the water nearly all beads up and runs off on its own. It's easier to keep clean. PPG offers it on their glass at about $7/sqft extra. All of the nicer ones don't have lower tracks to catch hair, soap, etc and look grungy.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Default shov66

    I also would like to try the glass block bath tub enclosure. Did it work out for you?

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego

    Default 3 yrs 7 months!

    Quote Originally Posted by shov66 View Post
    I also would like to try the glass block bath tub enclosure. Did it work out for you?

    Wow! Thank you for using the search feature! Unfortunately, the thread you found, which did not bring up any solutions, if 3 1/2 years old. We do appreciate it when folks follow up on their projects, but often as in this case he just moved on.

    As to your question, I don't think I would put glass block on a tub. It seems like it should be sound enough, but at that open end, there may not be enough lateral support. I also don't know if this will look good. By code, you need a minimum about 24" free opening, and 27 is preferred for comfort, so that leaves the stub wall somewhat short.

    That fixed wall would make maintenance on the valves a little cumbersome, and the glass block would need cleaning just like the shower doors.

    You can get a quality sliding door set under $300. The finish on the metal will stand up, as will the glass. Given the environment ( hot soapy water splashing all over) then whatever you put there, from shower curtains up, needs continuous cleaning. I have a decent quality shower door set in my bathroom, about 15 years now. It still looks great.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default wall

    The glass block would be somewhat fragile since it might not have a good anchor to the tub lip. IF you just want a partial enclosure, have a stationary glass panel made to enclose the amount you desire. It will be more secure, easier to keep clean, and less confining if you use clear glass. And it will leak water through the opening area the same as with glass block. And you could use a stationary panel with a swinging door, like a shower enclosure, if the sliding part is the thing you do not like.

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY


    The right way to do a glass-black enclosere, is to use a drop-in tub & have the glass block resting on the platform.

    FYI, I've seen it done, twice, both times on calls where they wanted to get rid of it. Apparently it's a hassle to clean... and frankly, it looks like crap.
    Master Plumber Mark:

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