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Maintenance DIY.

Q I'm starting a rehab in my apartment unit's bathroom and am considering replacing the shower curtain as part of the project. Installing a shower curtain is a fast and easy job. What are the pros and cons of installing a shower door as part of the bathtub without poking holes in the bathtub?

A While appearing as a guest on "The Tonight Show" many years ago, famed hotelier Conrad Hilton was asked by Johnny Carson whether he had a "message" for the American people. With great gravity, Hilton paused before turning to the camera: "Please," he pleaded, "put the shower curtain inside the tub!"

Keeping with Mr. Hilton's thoughts, we are big fans of shower doors as opposed to shower curtains because residents also leave the shower curtain outside the tub. Shower door installations are a great do-it-yourself project, because it is easy to do and the results looks great.

After removing the existing shower curtain, clean the tub and walls to remove any soap scum. Measure the tub ledge wall to wall and subtract 3/16th of an inch (to leave room for the wall channels) and transfer the measurement to the bottom rail track of the shower enclosure. After measuring twice and cutting once, temporarily set the bottom track on the tub ledge and tape it in place. Next, set the wall channels in place, use a level to make sure it is plumb with the wall. Mark the mounting holes of the wall channel with your pencil. Do the same thing for the other side. Remove the channels and before drilling, center punch the hole to keep the drill bit centered. If drilling through tile, use a ceramic drill bit (Do not center punch tile.).

Once your holes are made, insert wall anchors. Now you are ready to set the bottom track. Use adhesive caulk and if you feel the track may be abused, also use some Liquid Nails adhesive at several spots under the track. Remove any excess caulk and then use painter's tape to temporarily hold the track in place. Before fitting the side channels, run a bead of adhesive caulk on the backside of the channel. Install the channel-use the supplied screws and bumper to fasten the channel to the wall-and repeat on the other side. Wipe away excess caulk. To install the top rail channel, measure from wall to wall at the top of the wall channels. Subtract 1/16 of an inch and cut the top channel to that length. Again, measure twice. The top channel should fit snug between top of the wall channels. Lastly it is time to hang the doors and adjust the fit. Most doors come with good instructions, so read them, because there may be details not included in this explanation.

If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send questions to: Frank Alvarez and the team at Buffalo Maintenance will reply.

Editor's Note: The June edition of units Magazine contains a feature concerning California's recent bout with rent control, encompassing both legislation and last year's ballot initiative to repeal the state's Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The article mentions Assemblyman David Chiu's Assembly Bill 1482. A short sentence describes the bill as having failed. Unfortunately, while at the time of printing the bill was in committee, that bill has succeeded in passing the California legislature. This correction appears in our online edition at

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Date:Jul 1, 2019
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