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Types of Shower Doors

Jul. 05, 2021

In addition to style, sliding glass panel doors are the best choice when choosing a functional shower door. Here are some reasons why this type of door may be right for your shower. 

Versatility; install in a tub/shower combination or shower stall. 

Space saving; perfect for small bathrooms where there is no room to open the door. 

Cost; simple installation is affordable. 

Customizable; a variety of frame and glass finish options to coordinate with your bathroom aesthetic.

While sliding doors are a logical choice for any shower stall, you should also know what other door options must offer in terms of style and function. Let's take a look at shower door options so you'll be informed before making your choice. 

Sliding Shower Door

Sliding Shower Door

Sliding vs. Hinged Shower Doors 

The two most common types of shower doors are sliding shower doors and hinged shower doors, referring to the way the shower door opens. Sliding doors slide along a track, while hinged doors open outward.

Sliding shower doors 

Whether your bathroom contains a tub/shower combination or you are short on space, sliding doors are the right choice. Since the slider is built into the frame of the tub or shower, there is no need to use bathroom space to open the shower door. Sliding doors are designed for wider tubs and showers, so it can be challenging to find sliding door models that fit compartments less than 60 inches wide.

Which side of the sliding glass door should I open? 

Shower experts recommend that the sliding panel be located on the interior track and open from where the shower fixtures are located, allowing you to adjust the showerhead and water temperature from the outside of the tub or shower. However, this is your preference as a homeowner. On most sliding door models, the direction can be switched. You may even prefer a sliding door model that slides open on both sides. 

Are sliding doors the best choice for small bathrooms? 

For bathrooms where space is an issue, sliding doors are usually the best option. With hinged doors, the design of the bathroom must take into account the amount of space the shower door needs to be able to open properly. However, sliding doors may not be the best choice for the smaller side of the shower or tub. Sliding glass doors are typically designed for stalls up to 60 inches wide. If you have a narrower stall, you may have difficulty finding a sliding door model that fits. 

Hinged Shower Doors 

For showers that are too narrow for sliding doors, hinged doors are the right choice. However, if your bathroom is designed with enough space to open the door, that would be best. 

Hinged shower doors work similarly to any domestic door, opening inward or outward to provide access. Double-door versions have hinges on both sides of the shower stall and a handle on each door in the middle. Another popular design is a fixed panel with hinged doors, so the panel will protect part of the shower while the doors provide access from the inside to the outside. 

Should shower doors open inward or outward? 

In most cases, the shower door will open. However, the door can be installed so that it opens inward. For doors that open outward, make sure your bathroom has enough space to use other features such as the toilet and sink when the shower door is open. 

Framed vs. Frameless Shower Doors 

Both sliding and hinged shower doors come with optional frames, so choosing a frame depends largely on your style preferences and installation capabilities. Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of shower door framing and how it affects the aesthetics and functionality of your bathroom.

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