Shower doors often seem as though they are one of the simplest features of any bathroom. They serve two functions: providing access to a watertight shower area and preventing water from escaping while the shower is in use. The basic function of a shower door may be simple but today there are countless varieties of different sizes and styles available for your bathroom. Which type of door you need or want will depend on your shower tray and the size and layout of your room. Here, we’ll explain a few of the most popular types of shower door, including the benefits and requirements of each.
As their name suggests, these doors are opened and closed by rotating on a pivot, similarly to any other hinged shower door. However, because the pivot point is not at the end of the door, they reduce the distance that the door intrudes into the rest of the bathroom when it’s opened. This makes a pivot shower door an appropriate choice for smaller bathrooms or rooms where a traditional door might be obstructed by adjacent units. The simplicity of pivot doors means they are unlikely to encounter reliability issues. The only real disadvantage of pivot doors is that placing the hinge nearer to the centre of the door results in an unavoidably narrower opening for getting in and out of the shower, which can become an issue if you choose a smaller door.
Unlike hinged or pivot shower doors, sliding doors function on rollers and are open and close when they are moved along rails. The obvious benefit of a sliding door is that it will never intrude into the rest of your bathroom, only ever occupying the same amount of floor space as its enclosure. Sliding doors are available in one or two door varieties, with the latter being especially useful in corner showers, as there is not a single large door that needs to slide out of the way when opened. While sliding doors are good at maximising space, they also have a larger minimum size than some hinged designs due to the need for extra space for the door to slide into when it’s opened. It’s also especially important to keep sliding doors properly maintained, as blockages or damage can cause mechanical faults and make them unusable.
Fixed shower doors are designed for use with walk-in showers and, unlike other doors, are not designed to be moved. Fixed doors truly have more in common with shower screens than other doors, though they will sometimes have a narrow hinged panel at the end furthest from the shower itself. This panel can be angled inwards when the shower is in use, in order to prevent water being splashed around the bathroom. Fixed shower doors are a popular choice in modern wet rooms, or other bathrooms with low profile shower trays, where they are used to provide users with a seamless showering experience. While fixed doors are minimalist and stylish, they require more space due to the user needing to walk around them to enter the shower instead of being able to open and a hinged door. They are a great option for wet rooms or disabled bathrooms, due to being highly accessible.
Folding shower doors function as something of a fusion of sliding doors and traditional hinged doors. The door will slide open and closed but also have one or more hinges, allowing it to be folded when opened. As a result, a folding door shares most of the benefits of a sliding door but without the need for extra enclosure space for the door to move into. Folding doors can make it a bit trickier to get in and out of the enclosure, as they usually won’t leave as wide an opening for users to get in and out. These doors can be installed in the tightest of areas, making them a great choice for smaller bathrooms such as in hotels or other accommodation, though the smallest sizes can be a bit too tight for some users.
A corner shower door is designed for installation into right angled corners of bathrooms and will most commonly have two sides, which combine with the existing walls to create a shower enclosure. In recent years, new variants have been introduced, including pentagonal enclosures, but these will usually sacrifice some space. In most cases, corner doors will result in a square shaped base, though rectangular variants are also available for properties with space to spare. The simple shape of corner doors means that finding matching trays is a straightforward task and it’s easy to find trays and doors sold in a package together, letting you be confident that you’re choosing an appropriate combination.
Quadrant shower doors, sometimes also referred to as round shower doors, fit into similar spaces as corner doors. They are also designed for placing in corners, with a curved shape that results in a base shape similar to a quarter of a circle, hence the quadrant name. Round doors can feature the full range of door opening styles, with the exception of folding. Their shape makes sliding doors a popular choice, resulting in a stylish, modern shower enclosure that does not intrude into the rest of your bathroom. While a quadrant shower cannot offer the same amount of standing room as a square enclosure of a similar size, they are great for making the most of your available floor space.
Framed doors are the more traditional style of shower door, with metal or plastic frames that hold the glass panels in place. Framed doors will generally be less expensive than frameless, due to the reduced amount of glass required in their manufacturing, and are often stronger due to the greater amount of support given by the frame. Modern framed doors are stylish in their own right, with a minimal amount of visible framing and special options available on metal components, such as chrome finishes.
In contrast to framed doors, the glass panels in frameless doors are not held in place by extensive framework and are instead held together by small clamps. The minimalist appearance of of frameless doors makes them a natural fit in modern properties and the simple design means they’re usually very easy to clean and keep clean. Frameless doors have something of a reputation for not being as durable as framed doors and the load carried by the clamps does mean that lower quality doors are prone to wear and tear. However, a high quality frameless shower door with safety glass will be every bit as durable as its framed equivalent and the design means it’s straightforward to replace the clamps, if necessary.
If you’re looking for a full range of high quality shower doors that offer supreme value for money, HeatandPlumb.com offer a vast number of different styles and sizes. You can view the collection here and find your perfect shower door today.