When installing a frameless shower door, you may need a header, which is metal support at the top of the shower that attaches to a wall and keeps the shower stabilized. A support header, therefore, takes off some of the tension to prevent the weakening of the glass-to-glass connection over time.
Let’s discuss more in-depth about frameless shower doors and the need for a header.
What is a Frameless Shower Door?
A frameless shower door is just what it sounds like—a shower door that has no bulky frame. It is the most popular, but the most expensive shower door. A header is built from frame-free glass, but also includes a metal header across the top of the enclosure. It creates a clean and seamless look for a modern-style bathroom.
There are many custom styles available, with less metal to corrode, easier to maintain and offers many glass options. However, with a frameless shower door, it still needs a support bar, if the shower isn’t attached to the wall. This could result in a complicated installation process that can be more costly.
When and Why a Header is Required
There are several reasons why a header is needed for a frameless shower door. A header might be required if there’s no wall to hinge a door from, and is used when a fixed glass panel is hinged to an adjoining glass door, thereby carrying the weight of the shower door.
It could be a matter of structural integrity and safety—if you hinge a door from a stationary panel, it mustn’t exceed the maximum width allowed. Each time a glass shower door is pulled open, it pulls on the attached glass panel, so a header protects the shower and you and your family from glass shattering. It also protects from water leakage. However, a door can often be hinged from a stationary panel of glass to eliminate a header. Headers aren’t necessary if the glass door attaches to the wall.
To ensure your frameless shower is attractive and doesn’t look like a framed one, contractors can design the shower with a support bar, which is lighter top support that reinforces the fixed glass panel. The requirements of the supports are determined by measurements, weight, and thickness of the glass, as well as the weight and strength of hinges and clamps. These minor alterations to the design could eliminate the need for a full shower header.
Types of Shower Door Headers
The types of shower door headers vary from traditional headers to stabilizer bars and u-channels for steam units.
A standard header for frameless units is designed so that the flat or round profile can be visible from the outside. If it’s deemed you need a header for your frameless glass shower, each side of the shower needs to have a header bar for a two-sided Neo Angle. If you have a three-sided Neo Angle, it needs three bars. A corner bracket is required for each corner of the header.
Glass-to-Ceiling Stabilizer Bar
This can be a great option for customers who don’t like the traditional header bar that goes along the whole perimeter of the top of their glass. It’s also helpful when hinging off a glass panel since you typically can’t hinge off a stationary panel that is wider than 22”. With this system, you can hinge off a stationary piece of glass up to 48” wide.
Glass-to-Wall Stabilizer Bar
This system is preferred over the glass-to-ceiling version since it’s less intrusive as far as it almost hides behind the glass. With this option, you can run the bar to the ceiling or an adjacent tiled wall.
Glass Vs. Metal Headers
You can install a metal or glass shower header; however, a glass header requires clamps on either side, plus a hinge for the door, whereas a metal header doesn’t. A metal header is a thin strip that goes up and along the top of the shower, but the thickness depends on your preference. It’s stronger than a glass shower header, so keep that in mind when deciding which type you want to install.
Need help? Contact Northern Utah Glass
If you’re looking for a customized frameless shower that provides for an all-glass design that minimizes the look of a frame with a header, give Northern Utah Glass a call. To get a free quote and schedule a FREE in-home consultation and estimate, please reach out to us today.