Shower Door Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

Ashley Christensen
October 2, 2023

When shopping for a new shower door, it can be a bit daunting or overwhelming, especially if you haven’t purchased one before. With all the technical terms and industry jargon, it can be confusing for someone who doesn’t know anything about shower doors to begin to understand what you’re talking about, let alone what they want. Don’t worry, all is not lost. Here we’ll show you everything you need to know before you order a new shower door, to ensure you get exactly what you want. 

Where to Begin

The style and design of a shower door, is a personal choice, as you’ll make selections that match your style and taste. Knowing how much space you have to work with, will also factor into what style of shower door will fit within your space. If you’re not sure, don’t worry, Gordon’s Glass offers free in-home estimates where they will measure the exact opening you have to help you determine what will fit within the space. Other things you’ll need to consider, include the amount of privacy you’ll want. 

Shower Door Styles

There are a few main different styles of shower doors, that all shower doors fall into. Each has its own features to ensure that you’ll find the right one to fit within your space and style preferences. 

Sliding, Bypass, and Tub Enclosure Style Shower Doors

  • At least two panels of glass that slide or roll on a top and/or bottom-mounted track
  • Better suited for wide openings, providing a larger entrance
  • Perfect for alcove shower, tub, and shower combinations, or for smaller, narrow bathrooms as these doors don’t swing out.

Hinged and Pivot Shower Doors

  • Can be mounted either to the wall or a fixed panel using either single or double hinges allowing for the door to open inward or outward.
  • Intended for narrower or alcove, stand-alone showers. 

Neo-Angle and Curved Shower Enclosures

  • Exclusively intended for neo-angle or curved shower enclosures
  • Best for stand-alone showers installed in a corner
  • Space-saving
  • Right or Left swing 

Framed, Frameless and Semi-Frameless Shower Doors

The most affordable option is available in custom sizes and can support thinner glass. Many will contain a rubber seal around the perimeter that prevents leaking but can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This means that they will require more frequent cleaning to ensure that there is no excessive mold and mildew buildup. 

Frameless Shower Doors

If you are looking for a modern, clean design, you’ll want to go with a frameless shower door. Not only are they the easiest to clean but they are available in custom sizes, they also require heavier glass to be able to hold and support the weight. 

Semi-Frameless Shower Doors

The perfect mesh between a framed and frameless shower door, a semi-frameless shower door gives you the best of both worlds. The amount of frames will vary, but most will include a header, like a framed door, but won’t have the side frames, resembling a frameless door. 

Shower Door Glass Options 

Knowing how much privacy you want and what glass will best match your bathroom decor will come into play when you decide on what type of glass you want to be installed in your shower door. 

  • Clear glass will give you a modern, more stylish look. Showers that have elaborate tile work, might want to consider clear glass in order to be able to show off the beautiful tile work. Additionally, a clear glass shower door can make a smaller bathroom feel bigger. If you’re worried about privacy, be sure to keep your bathroom door locked. If you don’t have a lock on your bathroom door, you might want to consider a different glass option. 
  • Patterned glass, such as rain glass, will offer you some privacy, but not the complete privacy that you might be looking for. Patterned glass can add a touch of personality to your bathroom as well as a sense of privacy. 
  • Frosted glass is the most obscure, privacy glass available. With the ability to provide optimal privacy comes a downside, that they are the most difficult to clean. 

If you are in the market for a new shower door, contact Gordon’s Glass today! We have extensive experience in installing all types and styles of shower doors, you are guaranteed to find the perfect one to fit your needs and your preferences. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate. 

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