Here’s a good article on different types of shower doors by Kitchen and Bath Center.
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The shower curtain is a perfectly respectable way to keep the water inside your shower and off your bathroom floor and décor, but if you want to opt for something more custom and permanent, today’s shower door options can’t be beaten.
WHICH SHOWER DOOR IS RIGHT FOR ME?
The type of shower you have, the size of the opening in your shower, how far you want the shower door to open, and the overall design of your bathroom are all variables that will affect the type of shower door you choose.
The most important variable to consider is what type of shower you have. Is it a combination bathtub/shower? Is it a stand-alone shower? Is the shower situated in a corner or a nook, or have some other unique shape to contend with?
SLIDING SHOWER DOORS
For a bathtub/shower combination, the most common shower door option is a sliding shower door. It’s also called a bypass door, and generally consists of two or three panels that slide past one another on a track situated at the top and bottom of the tub. This is also the most common type of shower door for a standalone shower. The reason being is that it takes up the least amount of space and can be found in a variety of sizes and styles, so it’s cost-effective.
SWINGING SHOWER DOORS
Another type of shower door option is a swinging shower door or pivot shower door. This type of shower door can be mounted, so it swings open into the shower or, more commonly, outward into the bathroom. These are good shower door options for shower openings that are too small to fit a sliding shower door. A swinging shower door generally can be up to 36.5 inches wide. If the shower opening is larger than the general measurements, you will likely want to pair the door with some sort of stationary panel.
FRAMED OR FRAMELESS
Your shower doors can be attached by a framed enclosure or a frameless enclosure. A framed shower door is one that has some type of aluminum or composite material around the glass. A frameless door has clips holding the sides of the glass.
If you choose a framed door, the frame can be finished in a wide variety of ways, from brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze to satin or gold. There are even some shower frames that have a fluted, wood frame, like the look of crown molding.
Frameless shower doors are more modern than other door types on the market. They are easier to clean and care for, and they are usually preferred for a bathroom with a modern look. They are also ideal for small bathrooms because they can create a sense of spaciousness.
BARRIER-FREE SHOWER DOORS
If you want to design your shower for better accessibility, you can also choose to go with a barrier-free shower. Barrier-free eliminate the need for a bottom track, and there is one consistent floor that runs throughout the bathroom and shower floors. The shower can be set off by glass or could have no shower door at all but be separated from the bathroom by glass block or tile wall.
The Glass in Your Shower Door
The glass used in your shower door can be clear, which is most common, or it can be frosted or etched for additional privacy. Frosted and etched glass comes in a wide variety of colors, designs, and patterns. There also are colored and tinted glass options. There are even shower door options that come with mullions inside them to give the look of a picture window.
Protecting Your New Shower Doors
One question that we receive daily at Kitchen & Bath Center is how to clean and maintain your new shower properly, especially the glass doors. What we recommend is having a “Cardinal 10 Surface Protection” or C10 applied to your glass doors before they leave the factory. C10 is a bonding system that repels water, oils and soap scum from the glass as well as blocks UV rays. The film can only be removed through harsh abrasive cleaning or actual removal of the product itself. C10 has been highly researched and tested, showing that it can maintain the daily abuses of shower time and will keep your new doors looking clear for years to come.
There is no more restful place in your home than the sanctuary of your bathroom shower. With today’s options, you can create the look and feel you desire for your bathroom shower in almost any size space, with nearly any size budget.