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2 Modern Styles Of Bathtub Enclosures For Small Bathrooms And How To Install Them

Bathtub enclosures make it easy to keep the rest of the bathroom clean while you soak. There are a variety of enclosures with different glass textures and panel design to suit the shape, size and aesthetics of your bathing area. However, there are two alternatives that can fit small bathrooms perfectly. They have great designs and are easily installed.

1) European Style Frameless Paneled Tub Shields

An alternative to shower curtains, European style tub shields with glass panels create a clean, open look that are especially great options for small bathrooms. Tub shields typically have partial hinged to allow easy access. Fleurco's Evolution Monaco Round Top Tub Shield ( with fixed panel and 10 mm glass is a popular and elegant option.

The frameless shield comes at a height of 5 feet 8 inches and is suitable for most standard tub enclosures. The glass comes in two thicknesses – 6 mm and 10 mm. You can opt for clear glass or misted glass for greater privacy. It also comes with a variety of finishes, a choice between a left or right opening, a variety of hinge options, along with either a pivotal support bar system or a glass shelf support. The prices for the tub shields start at a little over $1000.

The tub shield can be easily installed without having to call a contractor, if you have the required tools. To install the Monaco Round Top tub shield, you will need:

a) screwdrivers

b) drill

c) ¼ inch and 1/8 inch drill bits

d) silicone

e) hammer

f) mallet

g) cutting pliers

h) tape measure

i) wooden block

j) level

k) long nose locking pliers

l) pencil

Follow the steps described below to install your Monaco Round Top tub shield. All the parts and hardware mentioned here will be provided by Fleurco with your package. Make sure you use eye protection when working with glass at all times.

1. Use a level to align the wall jamb at the center of the tub edge, trace the edge and the holes, and drill 3 holes on the guides with ¼ inch drill bits.

2. Use the wall plugs with a drop of silicone in each and secure the wall jamb with 1 ¼ inch screws provided.

3. Next, place the aluminum threshold on the tub threshold, aligned to the wall jamb, and secure the clip to the threshold end. Slide the fixed panel in place onto the aluminum clip, use locking pliers to fix the panel to the wall jamb.

4. Trace the outer aluminum threshold edge and the clip (both side and front) on your tub threshold. Remove the fixed panel, realign aluminum threshold on tub edge, drill a hole with a 1/8 inch bit, place a drop of silicone and fix the aluminum u channel with 1/2 inch screws provided.

5. Replace fixed panel and secure with pliers. Further secure the panel with 3 3/8 inch screws and inner screw caps.

6. Next, insert the fixed panel gasket on the aluminum threshold with a block and a mallet. Cut off excess.

7. Fasten one side of the hinges lightly to the fixed panel.

8. If you're using a pivotal support bar, it will be fixed to the wall on the side of the shower and secured to the fixed panel with a glass fastener.

9. If you're using glass shelf support, you can do so with wall mount brackets that are meant to hold the glass shelf to the wall and to the fixed panel. There will be a hole for the mount bracket on the fixed glass panel as well.

10. Next, attach your bottom door gasket to the door panel. The lip of the gasket should face the bath side. Cut off excess. Install the two leveling blocks to the bottom lip. Align the door panel next to the fixed panel with hinge holes lining up. Screw hinges in place and remove the leveling blocks.

11. Finally, apply silicone seal to the exterior of the fixed panel, along the wall, the aluminum threshold and around the clip.

2) Solo Tub Shield

Fleurco also offers a Solo Tub Shield (, which is single glass panel that attaches to the wall with hinges and can swing outward at 90 degrees. The Fleurco Evolution Solo Tub Shield is a 29 inch panel of 63 inch height. It comes in 6mm or 10 mm thick glass. Like the Frameless Paneled Tub Shields, the solo shield comes in a number of finishes, but there is no option for mist glass. You can opt for right or left opening panel. The Solo Tub Shield starts at $668.

Installing the solo shield is also easy. You will need a level, screwdrivers, drill, drill bit (¼ inch), a ceramic tile drill bit (¼ inch) if you're installing over ceramic, a mallet and pencil.

To install, attach the bottom door gasket and snip off extra. Use a mallet to snugly secure in place. If installing on ceramic tiles, use a suitable drill bit. Screw the stud framing in place to hold the wall mounted hinge. Screw the hinges and the door panel in place. Secure with screwdriver. Mallet the gasket along the wall side of the panel and along the threshold too, for leak protection, if fixing against a ceramic tile wall or on a base without a lip.

Other manufacturers also provide variations of these tub enclosure designs. Shop around for the models that suit your bathroom and budget and compare before you make a purchase.

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