To Buy or Not to Buy… Online

March 28, 2017

That’s the question.


As we all know, this is the Information Age. Today, almost everything is only one click away. By pushing a few buttons, we can find ways to do things like never before. We can build computers, fix engines, paint any surface, make slime, cakes, shampoo, tooth paste, guns, even bombs, all kinds of recipes and countless items. You can learn how to become a professional fighter, a great dancer or a skilled artist.


But is that all really true? Do you think that by simply watching a few YouTube videos, you could be able to defeat Floyd Mayweather, the world champion of boxing, without the sacrifice of daily training over several years, and without the guidance of an experienced coach? Do you think that you could obtain the agility needed to dodge a jab only by practicing the movement at home without the pain and pressure that a sparring partner would put on you?


Or, do you think that you would be able to perform heart surgery by just watching videos online? Do you think that, when the time came, you would know how to handle each of the surgical tools needed to complete the operation? Would you be confident enough to handle unexpected difficulties without having years of study and practice under your belt?


The answer to these questions is obvious.


In the same way in which you can’t become a surgeon or a professional boxer overnight by watching videos online, you can’t become an expert frameless shower installer. Of course, installing a shower is not a life or death situation, but it does represent a significant investment in both money and time. Frameless shower enclosures are safe investments as they have the potential to add value to your home and can last many years. However, they are only safe if there is not much risk involved; when you choose to measure and install the glass yourself – unless you have years of experience in this trade – you substantially increase the risk involved in your investment.




For example, it takes time and experience to be able to measure an intricate shower enclosure correctly. While there are some shower layouts that shouldn’t pose a huge challenge for a beginner, there are many small details that may not be easily detected by someone


who does not know to look for them. These details, though minor, have the potential to cause serious issues during installation. Some of these problems include not having the right tools (such as a functioning level or an angle finder), tools that are not accurate, poorly installed tile which has resulted in bumps or holes rather than a smooth installation surface, or walls and sills that are out of level.


A word about out of level walls and sills: if you think that your walls and sills are level, think again. It is extremely rare in construction for walls and sills to be perfectly level. It takes an expert tile installer to accomplish that kind of perfection but, sometimes even the more skilled tile installer can’t achieve the best installation because of a poor framing job. If you assume these surfaces are level, when the glass is manufactured, it will be cut that way. However, in reality, if the walls and/or sills are off-level and the glass is cut square, there will be gaps between the glass and the wall or sill, or the top edges of the pieces of glass may not line up with each other, or it may even be that the glass will not even fit the space.




Another thing that may prevent a novice installer from completing an installation successfully is not having obtained certain skills that come through experience and daily practice. For example, you need to have the strength and coordination to draw the glass panels near to the walls and curb of the shower so slowly and so softly so that you can be sure that you are not going to chip or break the glass; and even though there are techniques and resources that can help make this process easier and safer, the high risk of damaging the glass is still present.




So, you’ve installed your shower – you measured everything just right, and managed to install the glass without so much as a single chip. You are almost done and at this point, you begin to think that all the warnings about installing a frameless shower enclosure were just a bunch of myths. Then, you try applying silicone and you discover that this seemingl