Which Side Should A Shower Door Open?

Ugh, that feeling when you don’t find it easy to open your shower door to the left or right! Sometimes, people face unwanted issues like a shower door just reversed. For these, you must know which way should a shower door open.

A shower door may swing open to the left or the right. To make it simple to get out of the tub, the door should open outward. This is a typical requirement of the building code. Most contemporary shower doors have changeable hinges, allowing you to switch them to the left or right depending on what suits you best.

Even from the installation process, you should consider some crucial factors about the sidings of a shower door. To understand the subject thoroughly and avoid any more trouble, follow this article.

Which Way Should A Shower Door Open?

As we said above, it is against building regulations to install a shower door that only opens inward. A door that opens inward may be easily stopped after a fall. In the event that it also opens outward, your shower door may open inward.

Therefore, a pivot hinge may be used to install a swinging shower door. As a consequence, the door will be able to open in both directions. It is important to understand the shower door swing code to make a safer bathroom for everyone.

a shower door with push sign

Shower Door Swing Code

The entry through which you enter and depart your shower must be at least 22 inches (56 cm) broad, according to the International Residential Code (IRC). Both before and after the shower door is installed, this criterion must be fulfilled. As a result, you cannot install a shower door that, when open, limits the entrance to a size lower than 22 inches.

All shower types must adhere to the 22-inch standard. This requirement also applies to showers without frames or shower stalls without doors. A shower door that does not adhere to this standard will not be produced by any reliable shower door manufacturer.

Things To Keep In Mind While Installing the Shower Door

These are absolute things to do before you install a shower door. If you checked all the boxes, it would ensure your safety and an amazing bath experience.

Surrounding Environment

  • It is unnecessary to have the shower door bang repeatedly against a sink if one is close by. Both the shower door and the sink will be harmed by this.
  • It won’t be worth it to fix usability problems if the shower door opens in the incorrect direction. Maintain a basic design and make sure the shower door can swing freely to the left or right at all times.


It is yet another aspect of a shower door’s configuration that is important.

  • Shower doors may be installed in reverse, so you are not necessarily limited to one choice. But it’s preferable to start by considering usability.
  •  keep this in mind after deciding where to place the shower door. When utilizing a shower door correctly, this can have a significant impact.

Access to the Shower Valve

The fact that taking a shower starts as soon as you open the shower door is something that many property owners are unaware of. As a result, you must make sure that the shower valve can be reached from outside the shower. If not, you will constantly need to enter the bathroom to activate the shower.

This can be irritating because you can’t warm the water from outside the tub.

This is why accessibility should be prioritized regardless of which side the shower door opens. This implies that you should be able to turn on the shower without stepping into the 

Different Types of Shower Doors 

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to shower doors. Each shower door has its own pros and cons, and each of them can be opened in a different way. So, you can choose which one would go well with the shower door swing code and the overall bathroom aesthetics. 


The most common kind of door, operates similarly to a standard door. The complete unit is fastened to the shower stall, and the glass is joined to a hinge that swings open. The hinge might be either conventional hardware with a single direction of swing or a pivot hinge that allows the door to swing in either direction.

Larger bathrooms with lots of room for mobility and no risk of the door striking other objects in the room are best suited for the hinged door style.


Smaller bathrooms benefit greatly from sliding doors, which may also be put in bath/shower combos. When using this kind of door, the door is mounted onto a metal track frame. Some alternatives have two sliding doors, while others just have one component that glides open and shut on one side and is set in place.


A fixed shower door is a glass panel that acts as the transparent wall of your shower. The shower cubicle has a fixed glass panel that leaves an entrance through which users can enter the restroom. These look stunning in bathrooms with a modern or industrial design and come in a variety of styles, from plain glass to glass that looks like paneled windowpanes.


The folding door is the least typical of these four types of doors. This style of door is set on a track, but rather than moving completely open, it folds inward like an accordion. Small bathrooms benefit greatly from the use of these doors.

Shower Door TypesPros Cons 
Hinged It can be swung in both directionNot suitable for small bathrooms
Sliding Good for smaller bathrooms Do not look into larger bathrooms.
Fixed This goes well with modern-day designs Not suitable for basic bathroom designs 
Folding Great for small bathroomsNot very common compared to others

What Is The Difference Between Hinged And Pivot Shower Doors?

A hinged shower door only swings one way. Pivot shower doors that rotate swing both inward and outward. It’s crucial to arrange your work such that the hinged shower door swings outward when installing one.

Installing a pivot shower door greatly simplifies the process. It is simple to place the hinges on either side of the shower frame if you like, because the door may swing both inside and outward.

Are Shower Doors Reversible?

The majority of swinging shower doors may be made to open backward by simply installing them upside-down.

  • Swinging shower doors may be made to open in the other direction by attaching hinges to the right side of the shower stall rather than the left.
  • Shower doors that slide in either the left or right direction are built in this way.
  • Your shower door’s present opening orientation can be changed during installation.
  • A shower door installation shouldn’t be altered in a way that stops a swinging door from extending outward.

Depending on how they are installed, many sliding shower doors are made to open from either the left or the right. They include reversible tracks, allowing you to pick which side of the door to open on. The side that your sliding shower door opens on may often be changed by changing your present installation.


Why Do Shower Doors Not Go to the Ceiling?

The majority of shower doors are typically 72 inches tall. Because there must be space for steam and moisture to escape, most contractors avoid placing shower doors all the way to the ceiling.

Should The Shower Door Be Higher Than The Shower Head?

The door’s height is not governed by code. However, the shower head’s height should be at least 72 inches and typically 80 inches. Shower doors come in a number of styles, but they all need to be high enough to keep the majority of water from draining out when the door is closed.

Do Hinged Shower Doors Leak?

Most shower glass doors leak at the glass-holding metal track or at the door opening. Even though this leak could be small, over time you might see water stains and mildew in the corners.


Hope this answers your question about which way a shower door should open. 

Spend some time positioning the shower door properly. Make sure it does not strike anything as you open it externally as part of this. Choose the best shower door that would compliment the overall aesthetics and usability of your bathroom.

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