Before setting your sights on a particular shower door, you want to make sure that you’ve got the basics down. You cannot go in blindly just because you either like the design or how the glass looks. Your shower should ultimately be functional, safe to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. So prior to making the final purchase, you want to nail down all details. This means extensive research to weigh out the pros and cons of each design and type. So we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide of shower doors for 2020 to help you make an informed decision.

Why taking prior research when buying a shower door?

 1.    It is a large investment

Glass shower doors are a big investment. While some designs are more expensive than others (frameless vs framed), the general cost is nothing to scoff at. It all comes down to the quality of glass, the thickness, the size, and the style of your doors. Shower enclosures that meet safety standards and look elegant could run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

2. Replacement cost is too high

If you want to replace your shower enclosure, you should account for the cost of labor. This process is very long since it involves removing the old door and installing a new one. While replacement costs for sliding doors are on the lower end, other designs can cost as high as $1,000. Also, if a project involves replacing one type with a different one, the overall cost will be even higher. So for instance, replacing framed with a frameless shower system.

3. Choice of design and type is crucial for your home value

Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most important features that directly affect your home value. This is the main reason why any home improvement project will generally consist of one or both. Remodeling your shower is a great way to improve your bathroom interior and enhance its functionality.

Accordingly, the choice of design and type plays an essential part in boosting the value of your surroundings. In addition to that, it allows you to flawlessly blend your home’s interior design scheme across all surfaces. Not just has that but the variety of shower options helped you create a soothing atmosphere based on your personal taste.

 Types of shower doors

a) Sliding shower doors: Perfect for saving extra space for opening door

Sliding doors are one of the most popular types of shower enclosures. The design, as the name implies, includes a fixed glass panel and a sliding one. This shower system uses tracks that the moving panel can slide through using rollers. In addition, the design works tremendously well in both small and large spaces. You can fit sliding shower doors into an alcove or even a small corner if you have limited bathroom space. However, you can also use two fixed panels and two sliding doors if you want to cover a broad surface area.

  • Pros

-Space-saving since the door doesn’t open out

-Cost-effective

- It can help create large shower spaces

-It can also be fitted to create small shower corners

  • Cons

-The track system can fail or the rollers might need replacing

-Sizing is somewhat limited (usually starts at 1000mm)

 b) Pivot shower doors: Excellent for small space bathroom

Pivot shower doors use a mechanism that allows only a portion of the door to open into the floor space. This design uses a hinge installed both on the top and on bottom of the door about one-quarter of the way. Moreover, pivot doors can help you save a small amount of space while still being relatively inexpensive. They also won’t fail or break down since there’s no room for mishaps with their trusty mechanism.

  • Pros

-Inexpensive

-It won’t break down

-Great for smaller spaces

  • Cons

-Three-quarters of the door open out and take bathroom space

c) Infold shower doors: A luxury but expensive option

Infold or inswing shower doors use a unique yet stunning design and sweeping motion. This system allows the door to open into the shower as it wraps around you when you close it. While this shower enclosure is very sophisticated, it requires an elaborate mechanism that comes with a hefty price tag. In fact, infold shower doors can be 3 times more expensive than their pivot counterparts.

  • Pros

-It saves a lot of space

-An elegant and smooth sweeping motion

-It can accommodate small to medium spaces

  • Cons

-Very expensive due to the intricate design

d) Bifold shower doors: Saves lot of space with beautiful opening and closing design

Unlike other designs, bifold shower doors are more of a classic and traditional type of enclosure. These doors are highly reliable and have been used by homeowners for years. In addition to that, the split-folding design is very simple as it opens inwards saving space in the process. The only setback might be how bulky some models can be, particularly those on the cheap end. Since bi-fold doors use a frame within a frame, the inner one has to be much thinner to operate properly. So, this will inevitably affect the thickness of the glass as well, as most options come in 4mm.

  • Pros

-These doors open inwards, hence they save space

  • Cons

-Thin glass panels could make the doors feel flimsy

-This design isn’t as visually appealing or striking as others

e) Hinged shower doors: Simple and beautiful design option suitable for frameless

Hinged shower doors operate just like any standard door. With that said, the simplicity of the design doesn’t take away from the beauty and elegance of this shower enclosure. Glass thickness in this option is quite reliable and ranges from 6mm to 8mm. These hinged glass doors look much better in larger shower rooms as they open up and illuminate the space. However, they could be quite expensive especially considering the quality of door furniture used. So, for instance, premium handles and hinges will drive the price even higher.

  • Pros

-Beautiful frameless shower door designs

-Simple design and smooth opening/closing motion

  • Cons

-The door opens into the bathroom, so it will take up more space

-Premium accessories and thicker glass drive the price up

f)  Readymade available designs or custom shower door

When ordering your new shower doors, you want to ensure the design and dimensions fit perfectly into your bathroom space. So, if you’re working with a limited surface, you want to go for infolding or sliding doors. On the other hand, if you have a large shower room, hinged swinging doors work and look best.

At Fab Glass and Mirror, we offer a large selection of readymade shower enclosure designs to choose from. From fixed shower screens to frameless bypass, each design is made from premium glass and quality hardware. If you can’t find the right measurements you’re looking for, you can build your own with our custom feature.

In addition to that, you get to pick each and every small detail from dimensions to glass and hardware. So try our custom shower door request handling process to get your own personalized shower enclosure.

g) Shower Door measurement guide

Before ordering your shower doors, you want to make sure you’ve got the right measurements. So start by measuring the width of your enclosure. You can either use a tape measure or a laser device. It’s also worth noting that you should take the width both at the top and bottom, for optimal accuracy.

If the two measurements slightly differ, always go with the larger of the two. Repeat this step for height as well. When choosing shower doors, go with dimensions equal to or greater than the width you measured. This is mainly to account for how out of square most walls tend to be. With that said, you should still try to get as exact of measurement as is possible.