Showers are built taking inspiration from nature. As a matter of fact, a waterfall is a natural shower. It is an open shower space.
However, people choose to keep some privacy and they built enclosed showers. Based on the design and shape, you will find multiple types of shower enclosures including quadrant, pentagonal, alcove, square, rectangular, and walk-in enclosures. Each of these enclosures is designed to suit different bathroom needs.
Next, in this article, we will discuss in detail the seven types of shower enclosures. And then, there is a guide on the things to consider before buying a shower enclosure.
7 Types of Shower Enclosure
Based on the shape and design, you will find various types of shower enclosures. However, we are going to mention the seven common types and their sub-types.
Quadrant Shower Enclosure
The term “quadrant” means one-fourth portion of the circle. So, the quadrant shower enclosure is shaped like a quarter circle. The shower is enclosed in curved glass doors over the intersection of two perpendicular walls.
Quadrant Shower Enclosures have further two types; standard and offset. In a standard quadrant enclosure, all sides are equal in length. Whereas, in an offset enclosure, one of the sides is bigger than the other. This means it will significantly take up more space.
Quadrant Shower is quite popular in residential places since it fits easily in tight corners of your bathroom. You can use this enclosure in case you are short of space.
Because of their extensive use, quadrant showers are offered in a variety of sizes to accommodate all preferences. The most popular sizes are 900 x 900 and 800x 800.
Speaking of their doors, they usually come up with sliding doors since they are commonly used as a space-saving option.
Pentagonal Shower Enclosure
Pentagonal showers are shaped like a pentagon i.e. they have five sides. However, their shape and fixing position is quite similar to the quadrant shower enclosure. The only difference is that quadrant showers have curved doors while pentagon showers have flat doors.
Similarly, a pentagonal shower enclosure is installed in the corner and considerably consumes less space. In addition, since you get flat sides, you can have the option of choosing hinged doors instead of sliding doors.
Pentagonal Enclosure also comes in various sizes; the common ones are 800 x 800 and 900 x 900 just like the previous case. However, you can find the size, 1400 x 900, in its offset type.
Alcove Shower Enclosure
Alcove Shower is an old-fashioned, custom-designed shower. The Alcove shower enclosure is made up of three existing tiled walls and a glass shower door in door.
You can custom build this kind of enclosure in any area, not necessarily a corner. All you can have to do is create a 3-wall enclosed space, with a pre-fabricated or custom shower tray on the bottom. The front side can be covered with any kind of door (hinged, pivoted, or bi-fold).
The advantage of Alcove enclosure is that you dictate the size of shower space and then built it. You don’t have to go with the standard sizes available in the market.
Square Shower Enclosure
Square Shower Enclosure comes in square space. They also resemble the quadrant shower enclosure; however, they occupy more space. That’s why they are suited for large luxury bathrooms.
Unlike quadrant showers, they can be installed in any space, even in the middle of the bathroom (if the bathroom space allows). With their square, you get to choose different door options.
In terms of dimensions, they are offered in different sizes, ranging from 700 mm to 1000 mm (per side length).
Rectangular Shower Enclosure
A rectangular Shower is shaped like a rectangle. You can consider them as an offset of a square shower enclosure.
They are usually installed in the middle against a base wall, however, you can also install them in the corner. Just like their square counterparts, these enclosures also occupy much space.
In terms of doors, again you have a range of options to choose from. Their small size has dimensions of 900 x 1200 mm, while the large one is about 900 x 2000 mm.
Walk-in Shower Enclosure
As their name suggests, this type of shower enclosure allows you to get into the shower space directly without barriers. There is just a glass wall (8-10 mm thick) separating the shower space from the bathroom, usually with no curbs or doors.
The idea behind this kind of shower is to facilitate the user by easily walking into the shower. This design favors people with mobility issues as they can easily enter or exit the shower space.
In most, cases no shower doors are required, however, you can decide to put them if you need one. They are gaining popularity since they are easy to build and give your bathroom an elegant look with a minimalistic design.
Moreover, it is easier to clean the shower enclosure. The only drawback is that the water may spread to the bathroom space if you don’t use a shower tray.
Tub Shower Enclosure
If you combine your shower space with a bathtub and then install a glass panel around the tab, it forms a tub shower enclosure.
This way the bathtub and shower are separated from the rest of your bathroom, and water doesn’t spread outside the tub. This style is commonly seen in luxury hotel rooms, but not common in most households.
Things to Consider when Buying Shower Enclosure
Since you have known the major types of shower enclosures, here are a few things to consider when buying a shower enclosure.
Size of Bathroom
The first thing to consider is the size of the bathroom. If you have large bathroom space, you can choose between a square and rectangular shower enclosure.
If the bathroom space is limited, choose either a walk-in shower or a pentagonal shower enclosure.
Shape of Bathroom
For a regular shaped bathroom, you can go any of the mentioned types. However, for an irregular-shaped room, you can choose to install a quadrant shower in a corner.
Glass Doors Types
Glassdoor type is another thing to consider. You can choose between sliding, pivoted, foldable, and hinged glass doors. Choose the one, that is comfortable for you to use.
Glass Wall Thickness is another factor to keep in mind. The glass door usually come in thicknesses of 6 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm. The more the thickness, the stronger the door is. However, most brands use 8 mm thickness, and 10 mm glass is manufactured by premium brands.
Now, let’s talk about some questions that you may have in mind regarding the shower enclosures.
What is the best shower enclosure?
The best shower enclosure is the one that completely suits your needs. If you need a simple shower space, then you can go with walk-in type showers. However, if you want a relatively larger space, then you can choose the rectangular shower space.
How long a shower cubicle lasts?
If you properly maintain your shower space, it can easily last 25 to 30 years.
What is a curbless Shower?
Showers usually have a few inches of curb on their base which separates the shower enclosure from the rest of the bathroom and keeps the water within the shower space. However, in some shower enclosures like walk-in showers, people often don’t build a curb. This kind of shower space is termed the curbless shower.
Showers are an important part of a bathroom, and so are our shower enclosures. They come in various shapes and sizes to fit into the bathroom. However, you should be familiar with all shapes and designs of shower enclosures when deciding to buy one. I hope that this post would help you make an informed decision.
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.