Are you considering buying a new shower door? Well, with multiple design options, it must have been hard for you to decide. So, if you want to make an informed decision, read through till the end.
Based on the mechanism installed for closing doors, shower doors are classified as sliding, pivoted, hinged and folding. In addition, there are further four types of shower doors based on the shape and design. These include curved glass, neo angle, framed, and frameless shower doors. Moreover, shower doors come in frosted, tinted, or clear glass forms.
Further, in this article, we will go through each of these types in more detail and talk about their pros and cons.
Types of Shower Doors based on Mechanism
Based on the type of mechanism installed for opening and closing the door, there are about four main types of shower doors i.e. Sliding, hinged pivoted, and folding.
Sliding/Bypass Shower Doors
The sliding doors or the bypass shower doors are known to be a spacing-saving option. Since the glass door slides beside another and you don’t need space for the swinging of the door.
Sliding doors are available in the frame and frameless (these types are discussed later) options. However, the framed option is more prevalent.
The main advantage of these doors is that you can fit them in small spaces. In addition, if you are looking for something inexpensive, sliding doors are a great option to consider.
Besides that, sliding doors carry a metal frame at the bottom and top, which can rust over time due to moisture. Secondly, in some cases, the opening of the sliding door can be quite small.
Hinged Shower Doors
Hinged shower doors are same the as normal household doors. The door can swing in one direction with a couple of hinges mounted on the wall or the stationary glass panel.
Most of the time, the door is designed to open outward, if you have space issues, you can do the opposite of that.
Like the sliding doors, they are cheaper and easy to install. You can use them for standalone shower space or a bathtub shower spacing.
One of the downsides is difficult cleaning. Secondly, the door needs to swing outward, you cannot go with it if you have a space constraint.
Pivoted Shower Doors
Pivoted Shower doors are quite similar to the hinged shower doors. However, the major difference is the rotation of the door in both directions.
In this case, you can install two hinges, one at the top and one at the bottom, and the door can swing around the vertical axis, making it a revolving door. In the other case, you can install hinges on the left or right, making it perform like a typical door.
If you consider designing the pivoted doors as revolving, you can significantly save up some space. In addition, the frameless pivoted doors are much easier to clean.
Having said that, the water can escape out from the frameless pivoted doors creating a water mess outside.
Foldable Shower Doors
These are non-traditional kinds of shower doors, which fold inward when you push them on one side. A foldable shower can be bi-fold or tri-fold.
In the case of bi-fold shower doors, there is a pair of hinges, which folds the two panels. While in the tri-fold, the glass panel folds in three layers. The design philosophy behind these doors is to save up space and give a sufficient opening.
Since the foldable shower door usually bears metal frames and hinges, they inhibit the outside view.
Types of Shower Doors based on Shape & Design
In addition to the types discussed, there are further few types based on the shape and design of glass panels. In terms of shape, you will find curved glass and neo-angle shower doors. Whereas, in terms of design, framed and frameless shower doors are another group.
Curved Glass Shower Doors
Curved Glass or Rounded Glass shower doors are usually designed for showers installed in the corner i.e. quadrant shower enclosure. Curved glass doors are available in hinged and sliding options.
Rounded Showers give your bathroom an elegant look, and these doors are suited to fit in tight corners. However, they are expensive when compared to other types.
Neo Angle Shower Doors
Neo Angle Shower Doors are also designed for corner shower spaces i.e. pentagonal shower enclosures. In this case, the two glass frames on the sides are fixed/stationary, and there is mostly a pivoted door in the center.
The neo-angle shower doors give you a full view of your bathroom from the inside and can save up space since you can install them in closed spaces.
However, the installation is somewhat difficult, and they seem a little outdated. In addition, they can easily catch soap scum which can be difficult to clean for most homeowners.
Framed Shower Doors
The word “framed” clearly mentions that the glass panels are enclosed in metal frames. The frame can be along the top and bottom, or all the sides.
The frame can support even thicker glass panels, making these kinds of doors inexpensive. You can go for these doors if you have budget constraints.
To make things easier for the installers, some framed shower doors come with built-in hinges or pivots. Yet, these doors gather soap residue more easily, therefore homeowners will need to clean them more often.
Frameless Shower Doors
Frameless doors offer a cleaner and complete picture as they are completely free of frames throughout. Since they don’t have metal frames, a thicker glass (1/2 inch) is used for frameless doors. They give the bathroom a royal and luxurious touch.
Frameless shower doors come in some designs, much like framed shower doors. These are available in the pivot, hinged, bi-fold shower doors, as well as circular and sliding doors.
Types of Shower Doors based on Glass Type
Since we have talked a lot about shower door types, why not discuss the glass type which is used to make these shower doors?
Frosted Glass Doors
Shower doors with frosted glass are very popular as a decorative option for shower enclosures. Its design gives the impression that the shower is always filled with steam.
With frosted glass, a bathroom might feel more private. You can use this approach if there is just one bathroom available for several individuals.
Tinted Glass Doors
Tinted glass is identical to frosted glass in appearance. But in this case, manufacturers create a variety of colored tints instead of using white as the base color. These glasses are ideal for modern decor.
Like the frosted glass, it provides you some privacy by being opaque. But the downside of titled glass is that it blocks most sunlight entering your shower, so darkening it.
Clear Glass Doors
Clear glass in the shower doors can be a good choice if you want to give your bathroom a classy look. It’s not as private as other types, but if you’re aiming to emphasize other elements of your bathroom, for instance, its tile work, this might be the best option.
What is the difference between a pivot and a hinged shower door?
Though both these doors revolve around hinges, however, the hinged door is like an ordinary house door that can swing in a single direction. Whereas, the pivoted door can rotate in both directions.
What type of glass is best for shower doors?
The best one depends on your needs. If you want to give your bathroom a clean and elegant look, you can try using clear glass. While if you are more concerned about privacy, you can use a frosted glass shower door. Speaking of material, tempered glass is the best when designing shower doors.
What is the difference between a bypass and a sliding shower door?
The bypass shower door is another name for a sliding shower door. In this case, one door slides behind another saving up space.
Shower doors come in a wide variety of styles, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to decide on the finest one. To begin, it’s critical to recognize and categorize your objectives. Consider how much room you have to work with. Next, take a look at your spending plan. After considering all these points, you can make an informed decision about the sort of shower door that’s right for you.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.