Our advice on which shower enclosure to buy
Our advice on which shower enclosure to buy
Are you revamping your bathroom? Or maybe you’re just planning to replace your shower?
Whether you’re upgrading your shower as part of an overall refurb or just tackling your shower for now, you’ll inevitably need to think about which shower enclosure to buy.
Here, we talk you through everything you need to know about shower enclosures AKA shower, doors, so you know exactly what the options are when the time comes for you to purchase one.
Before we talk you through the main types of shower doors that are around right now, we’d like to spend just a couple of minutes explaining what we mean by shower enclosures/doors.
Shower doors are…
The door that you physically open and close to get in and out of the shower. Most traditionally-designed showers have a shower door on them to prevent shower water from soaking the surrounding space.
It’s also useful to point out here that shower doors are for standalone showers. People also have showers that are over their bath (shower doors aren’t needed for these, but screens and shower curtains). With more modern bathroom designs, you’ll also find shower enclosures and cubicles that have been designed in such a way that shower doors aren’t needed, like in the bathroom below.
Now let’s take a look at the different options:
OPTION 1: Sliding
They may be one of the designs that have been around for a while, but sliding doors never fail to look modern and stylish. From a practical perspective, they take up less room than a door that actually opens out.
This means sliding doors are ideal for bathrooms that may be on the smaller scale. With standard sliding shower doors, there’s usually a fixed door and also a door that’s on rollers and can move backwards and forwards along a track.
Insider tip: Invest in the highest quality mechanisms, to prevent sticking or breaking after a while.
OPTION 2: Pivoting
As the name suggests, this type of enclosure features a pivot design. Most hinge or pivot mechanisms can usually be found towards the top and bottom of these doors. Because they don’t open fully into the surrounding space, they’re another option that’s perfect for smaller bathrooms.
Insider tip: It’s essential you get your measurements spot on because when these doors open, they eat into 3/4 of the surrounding space.
OPTION 3: Bifold
Again, this is another tried-and-tested shower door design, alongside sliding and pivoting, that can be found in bathrooms far and wide. This design’s also known for its reliability too.
Bifold shower doors also tick the space-saving box because the split-folding design means they can be opened and closed within the actual shower area. They’re simple, yet still look really impressive.
Insider tip: Don’t go for the cheapest option as they can look that bit chunkier and not as nice-looking as the designs that may cost that little bit more.
OPTION 4: Hinged
Think of how your front door works (or any other standard door in your house) and then apply it to your shower door. Hinged shower doors work in exactly the same way. They can easily be fitted to open from the left-hand or the right-hand side.
On the whole, you can have them with a frame or without a frame, which instantly makes them a design feature in themselves. The glass in these doors tends to be thicker than in other shower doors.
Insider tip: The quality and price very much depends on the type of hinges and handles (if incorporated), glass thickness and extras, such as easy clean glass.
OPTION 5: Inswing
These doors aren’t the type of doors you find in most bathrooms. They’re based on the same principle as pivoting doors, but with the added functionality of a special arm that opens the doors into the shower space.
Once inside the shower, you can then close the door behind you. Some inswing doors are designed to go fully into the space and some, can close halfway into it.
Insider tip: These doors involve a lot more design engineering than most other shower enclosures. This means they can cost a lot more than your standard pivot door.
A few words about shower enclosure glass finishes
Most enclosures are made from clear, reinforced glass. However, you can also choose more unique styles, such as tinted, black or mirrored glass.
Shower enclosure sizes
The smallest domestic shower doors are available at 700mm wide – that’s the minimum width. In some circumstances, some designs can be 650mm wide.
In terms of what you need to remember when you’re ordering your shower door, they’re sold by the maximum width they will fit. This means a 800mm hinged door will fit a 800mm space, it cannot be extended or cut down to fit the gap. In some instances, there are some installation techniques you can use to fill the void, and some doors can be extended (at an extra cost), but it will impact the overall look and feel of the end result.
Which shower enclosure will go for?
We hope you’ve found our advice on which shower enclosure to buy useful?
There are plenty of options, not just the five we’ve mentioned above. If you’d to find out more or need a helping hand making sure the enclosure you choose works from a practical and aesthetical perspective, contact us today. In fact, if you need expert guidance on revamping your entire bathroom/shower space, we can help you with that too.