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What Are the Different Types of Shower Door Seals?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

The different types of shower door seals include translucent PVC, magnetic strips, and vinyl. Each type of door seal is designed to fit between two pieces of glass, or glass and another material, that are stationary or may also sometimes be in motion. The seal prevents water from penetrating between the glass. It also creates a cushion so that the two pieces do not grind together, or smash into one another, and break. These seals may be used on any type of shower door and wall mechanism, whether sliding doors, a pivoting door, or multiple pieces that intersect to form a shaped glass wall.

Some shower door seals are constructed from translucent PVC. This is a flexible type of plastic that can often be molded to fit straight or curved edges. The seal is typically designed to prevent water from dripping outside of the doors. It is often constructed with a hard lip that redirects water back into the shower.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

This type of strip may be found lining the edges of stationary glass pieces that come into contact with other materials, such as a tiled shower lip or ceramic tub. Shower doors which use this somewhat invisible type of sealant are often referred to as frameless because the glass appears to float in place without the benefit of a metal framework.

Glass on glass enclosures are typically finished using magnetic shower door seals. Translucent PVC is used to encase the magnetic strips. The PVC is designed to be pushed onto the edges of the glass where the two glass pieces will meet to form a water tight barrier. Once the two magnets come into contact, they lock the seals into place and water is kept inside the shower. Only the side profiles of the two magnets are visible through the translucent plastic, making this type of assembly also common in use with frameless shower door projects.

Vinyl shower door seals are used in doors that are designed inside an aluminum framing. This type of door is often found in a shower with a single glass door entry that is framed between two stationary walls of a different material, such as tile. One single glass piece is mounted into an aluminum frame, and made water tight using vinyl sealing tracks. The tracks are mounted first inside the aluminum frame, and are generally clear in color. They also create a cushion barrier that prevents shock from being transmitted to the glass pane.

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Discussion Comments


@Feryll - Hanging shower doors can be a challenge. I prefer putting the doors in a walk-in shower. That's easier than working around a bathtub. There are several steps in the process of putting the doors up. You need to be able to use a saw and level for starters.

I would say that the average person can put up shower doors if he has patience. And you are probably going to make a few mistakes along the way, so don't get frustrated. If you expect everything to go perfectly then you should have a professional do the job.

I have only used the magnetic shower door seals and they are simple enough to work once you get the door up correctly. I think one seal is about as easy as the next to work with. It just depends on which door you choose.


I'm thinking about installing glass shower doors in our bathroom. I'm wondering whether this will be too big of a job for me. How hard is putting up glass shower doors for someone with average experience in household repairs and building? And which of these types of seals would be easier to install?

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