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Old 02-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #1
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Seals on steam shower doors

Hello I'm in the final stages of building a steam shower in my basement bathroom. I received some good advice here so it is working out well so far.

One last question. I'm having frameless glass doors installed to cover the steam enclosure (one face of a wall that used to be a bathtub enclosure). The bathroom is small so I would like to be able to have the glass door swing inwards as well as outwards (for safety reasons it needs to be able to open out). I also am having a transom over the door to vent the steam.

The glass installer told me that he would not recommend seals on the doors, just make them fit closer than usual and only have a sweep on the bottom. This seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom about steam showers. He is from a reputable shower door company and has plenty of experience with steam showers. His argument is that the steam usually escapes more from the transom which is not really sealed anyway, and that seals that allow opening both way tend to fall off within a year or so as they are held on with adhesive tape. Better top simply have close fitting gaps between the glass panels.

I have an exhaust fan in the ceiling strategically placed near the transom but I am worried that there may be drafts in the steam enclosure which is small (2.5ftx5ft) and/or that too much steam will escape into my bathroom and increase the risk of moisture problems.

Anyone have any experience with frameless doors installed without seals with the intention of using them for a steam showers? Do the "bumper" type seals tend to come off, or should I insist on using them? Seems like a strange thing for the installer to want to avoid as I can't imagine the seals cost much.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:13 PM   #2
Prince George, BC
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Hi Pete - I experienced a steam shower last summer for the first time while on vacation. There were no seals around the door, and there was definitely a gap all the way around.. and with a transom opening at the top. The draft was negligible, and it got up to full steam sooner than I had expected, even though the unit (which I saw in the closet on the other side of the wall) didn't seem to be a big, expensive unit. Hope this helps ease your concerns.
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