You’ll probably need to replace your shower door seals every few years to prevent puddles of water forming on your bathroom floor. The seal plastic slowly becomes discoloured and brittle and doesn’t seal as well as it used to. You may even just want to replace your seals because they’re looking old or are covered in mildew, which can be difficult to clean off. This is quite a cheap and easy problem to fix and shouldn’t take you more than half an hour if you’ve got the right replacement seal strips.
Most shower doors have two different types of seals on them, one called a lip or bumper seal, which is installed on the vertical edges and seals against the other glass panels or walls of the shower, and a second drip seal which is installed along the bottom edge of the door and directs the water running down the door onto the shower floor and seals between the door and the floor of the shower.
If your shower head is still in good condition but some of the holes have become blocked, try effortlessly cleaning out your blocked shower head.
What You Need
- Replacement lip or bumper seal strip, for one or both sides of your door
- Replacement drip seal strip for the bottom of your door
- Craft knife or scissors
- Damp soapy cloth
How To Replace Your Shower Seals
Most glass showers are custom built to fit the available space, so seal strips are sold in individual lengths which can be cut to accommodate your shower. If you have a standard “off the shelf” shower then you may be able to get a full replacement seal kit which will already be cut to size.
To start with, you need to remove the old seals from the door. Once they have become brittle, they’re usually quite easy to remove, unless there are mineral deposits holding them in place. Just grab onto the seal and pull it outwards off of the glass door. This obviously depends on the type of seals installed but they aren’t usually glued held in place with fasteners.
Use a damp, soapy cloth to wipe down the edges of the glass where the seal was and remove any mineral deposits and mildew from the glass.
If you’ve got mould or mildew on your caulk or silicon joints, you can use this cleaning trick to remove it without any scrubbing or hard work.
Next, cut a length of seal strip slightly longer than the section you are replacing.
Install the seal onto the door by pressing one end of the seal onto the corner or end of the door and then pushing the seal into place from this end, working your way to the opposite end. The seal should be tight and take some effort to get seated correctly.
Once your seal is in place, you should have a section of overlap which needs to be trimmed. Use your craft knife to trim the overlapping piece so that the edges are flush.
Do the same for the remaining seal strips which you’d like to replace and your shower will be as good as new again.
Have you replaced your shower seals? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments section below.
Michael, do you have a method for trimming a T shaped vertical shower door seal ? I can devise a method similar to trimming the bottom door sweep, but this T shape promises to be more challenging.
Or do you have a pertinent reference on the Internet?
Love this article! I am inspired by your work and got some great ideas. Thanks and keep sharing.
My wife has been thinking about remodeling our bathroom for some time now, but we weren’t sure how to find the right option. I loved that you mentioned your tips. It would be nice to have a variety of different options to choose from so she gets exactly what she wants.
I have a old shower door. How do I replace the plastic seal that holds the door in place? And what is it called?
i installed the new sweep. new sweep stays on the door fine, but now my door won’t close. i think the problem is that I barely have a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. , so the sweep is actually too big for my small gap
do you have any tips?
Are you not able to adjust the door hinges at all? You might be able to move the door up a couple of millimeters, just enough to free up some space for the seal. Another option would be to trim the seal down to the correct size if possible.
adjusting door hinges – wouldn’t that be a lot of work? it’s connected to the glass enclosure with a metal hinge. How would I move that up?
trimming the seal – that sounds reasonable. im just not sure if I have the proper tools for it. What tool should I be using?
I’m a savy homeowner, previous general contractor. Advise that you don’t adjust the door or hinges. That’s for a professional installer.
I trimmed my “T” edge sweeps by cutting a cedar wood guide about 3/16 thick x 1/4 wide – that’s the size guide I needed to guide the amount I wanted to remove. Lay the guide on the bottom flange of the T , and use that guide to remove the necessary amount using a single edge razor blade. Remove a smaller amount that you might determine, to allow for error. You can always remove more if needed, after a trial fit. Hope this helps.
I replaced the sweep, and trimmed it to fit. I used a straightedge and razor blade to get it done. Same with the side seal. No easy but I got a good seal.
I appreciate the article. The vertical side seal on my shower has a flat edge and is glued on to the glass ( but now coming off). I noticed your replacement seal hugs the glass on 3 sides and you’re not recommending glue. Is this a better seal?…my first attempt at gluing my seal strip didn’t work too well.
Hi Jason, I have the same type of seal and need to know how to clean under it. I can get a minimal reach inside but as it’s ‘stuck’ to the shower wall, I can’t see how to accomplish this without removing it entirely and replacing. Were you able to get an answer?
No where have I been able to find how to allow for where the side seal and bottom seal meet. They can’t overlap or the door wouldn’t close all the way. Does the side come down right to the bottom and the sweep left a little short or does the sweep go all the way out to the partition glass and the side seal left up just above the sweep seal
I’ll tell you how I did mine, that works with no leaks. My bottom seal is a “U” shaped section that swallows the bottom of the glass door. The side seal is in shape of a “T”, that self adheres to the edge of the glass with a two sided tape.
I installed the bottom seal to extend beyond the door edge just enough to align with the edge of the “T”, so that both seals terminate at the same point, as both touch the adjacent partition. The bottom seal actually swallows the T section, because the T section is slightly narrower than the inside dimension of the bottom seal. In other words, the T section extends down far enough to enter the bottom U section, thereby creating a leak proof intersection. The entire installation is very simple following these instructions.
Hope this helps.
I have an older bronze vertical wall channel with a rubber gasket that fits the shower door glass. How do I fit the glass snug in this vertical “ clip like” channel without breaking glass . Existing door has been removed and I see no way of pushing glass back into channel . Rubber mallet on opposite vertical?? The channel is tight.
I think you’re going to have to use some sort of rubber mallet to gently tap it in. You could also lubricate the rubber and glass with some soapy water (dish soap). It’ll help get it in place and then you can just rinse it off afterwards and the soapy water on the inside will eventually dry out and hold in place.
When replacing the side seal on the hinge side of a frameless shower door, does it matter which way the flexible seal faces? The seal folds onto itself when the door closes, should flexible seal form a “U” with the bottom of the “U” closer to inside of the shower or bottom of the “U” closer to outside the shower?
Door gets stuck on seal when opening and I can’t figure out why
Trying to visualize what you’re describing, I think I’ve got the gist of it. I would think that the seal shouldn’t fold onto itself, it should rather be on the other side so that it “lifts” away from the sealing edge. The folding in on itself is probably what is causing it to get stuck. It should have enough of an angle on it that it closes up and puts a bit of pressure on the sealing edge when the door is closed.
Put a towel on the floor and let it get wet.
Any advice on how to fit something like this to a fixed shower screen? I’ve had a two part shower screen fitted, the first part is fixed in place but the bath is flexing and water is coming through! The gap is maybe 1-2mm so I can’t easily slide one under!
If the shower screen is fixed, is there any reason why you can’t close up the gap with some sealant, like silicon? This would likely be a better long term solution.
Thanks for the reply – the fitter did silicone the outside of it, but it’s not created a seal – water is escaping underneath it, presume it’s as the bath flexes. I could silicone the inside of it though, potentially when the bath is full so in theory at its heaviest.
It sounds like the fitter has done a poor job. Silicone is quite flexible, so the bath flexing shouldn’t be an issue. Perhaps try doing the inside as well and see if that works.
I have a shower door that broke. How do I replace the plastic seal that holds the door in place? It works like a hinge. 68 ” ht and 31 18″ width.
What is the best lubricant for a new bottom shower door seal?
You shouldn’t be using lubricants on your seals. They should rather be fitted to be able to move easily over any surfaces.
I changed the 2 magnetic seal gaskets to ensure proper closure of my shower door. The door closes perfectly at the bottom, but halfway up the seals or gaskets separate 2-3-4 mm. They are well inserted and snug. What can be causing this?
It’s probably a minor alignment issue with the door on the hinges.
That was it! Thank you Michael
I want to replace both the side and bottom stripping but where do you recommend finding the proper one? A quick search of Home Depot/Lowes makes it seem like the bottom one will be relatively easy to find, but the side one seems hard to come by.
Yes! I’m having the very same problem.
My shower seal is actually on the tray.Curved doors with no bottom seal. Can I replace this and with what ?
You should still be able to replace it, your local hardware store will probably have some options. Try removing the seal (if you can without damaging it) and take it through to them as a sample.