How to Replace a Glass Shower Door Seal

Step-by-step and video instructions for hinged (pivoting) frameless glass shower door seal replacement.

The bottom seal – aka door sweep or door wipe – of a hinged (pivoting) frameless glass shower door keeps water in when the door is closed, and wipes water into the shower when the door is opened. The seal will breakdown over time, causing tears and cracks, and needs regular replacement to be 100% effective.

How a glass shower door sweep fails

Note: The same information can be applied to shower door seals that span the vertical edges and install the same way as the bottom seals shown.

Beyond making sure the door seals are in proper condition, there are more ways to prevent water leaks and possible damage.

  • Point the shower head away from the shower door and corner pivot joints.
  • Use a bath mat to absorb any water that may escape the shower stall.
  • Inspect caulk joints regularly for deterioration.

The following steps require minimal tools: tape measure for measuring, and a hacksaw to cut the new sweep to exact length (replacement seals are commonly sold in rough lengths, but not exact lengths for every door size).

1. Remove

The seal may be difficult to remove if there is a large amount of mineral build-up present, but the seal is not attached with adhesives and should need no special tools.

Starting from one end, peel the sweep off.

Tip: Place a soft towel directly under the door and sweep to protect your hands if the sweep suddenly breaks loose; causing your hands to smack the floor.

How to remove a glass shower door seal

2. Measure

Measure the glass door thickness and length for replacement sweep dimensions.

How to measure a shower door for a new sweep

3. Order

Based on the existing seal and dimensions calculated in the Step 2, determine the type of seal and length of seal to order as a replacement.

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon sells universal door sweeps that should fit any door, but will need to be cut to exact length (ref. step 4).
  • DK Hardware is a reseller of C.R. Laurence products and may cut to exact length for a fee. Contact DK Hardware for current cutting options.
  • If you know the brand of the shower door, contact the manufacturer for possible replacement parts — e.g. Kohler Parts — that are a direct fit with no cutting required.

Tip: Ordering multiple sweeps will reduce overall shipping costs, while providing a needed inventory for future replacements and miscuts.

4. Cut

A hacksaw with a 32-TPI blade will produce the best result with an even cut. Then use a utility knife to deburr after cutting (see video for guidance).

We tested a few other cutting methods, but don’t recommend them:

  • A ratcheting PVC tubing cutter or pruning shear may work, but results were inconsistent.
  • Using a utility snip or scissors will crack the rigid PVC material and yield in an uneven cut.

5. Clean

Clean the door sweep area thoroughly before installing a new sweep.

Note: Use the same removal, replacement, and glass cleaning steps to clean soap scum and mineral build-up on and around the sweep between full replacement.

  • To clean the glass, use any general purpose bathroom spray cleaner or glass cleaner, combined with a non-scratch scrub pad.
  • Use a glass razor scraper, combined with general purpose bathroom spray cleaner or glass cleaner to remove hardened mineral build-up on the glass door.
  • To clean the door sweep channel, use a grout brush or a non-scratch scrub pad (doesn’t apply to new sweep replacement).

Items to clean the area of a shower door sweep

6. Install

Starting on the hinge end, push the new sweep over the glass door in short sections – reverse order of removing the sweep.

The firm, but flexible, sweep channel is slightly narrower than the actual glass thickness (this creates a tight pressure-fitted connection), so trying to push the whole sweep on at once, is impossible with just the use of hands.

If a drip edge is part of the sweep, face it inwards to keep water within the shower.


You might also like