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Crystal Clear Choices: How to Select the Perfect Replacement Shower Door

September 12, 2023

By Kevin Wisecarver

It’s not often that we replace the shower doors in our homes, so when it comes time to do so, it’s important to make the best choice, based on budget, bathroom size, shower location, and many other factors. Before you make this important decision, you need to learn how to choose a new shower door that will enhance the quality of your daily life, add functionality to your home, and complement the layout and design of your bathroom.

Learning a few basic shopping guidelines can make the process less complicated and more straightforward when it comes to choosing the perfect replacement shower door for your unique bathroom.

Over the last several years we have seen a significant change in bathroom design. These days, homeowners are opting for walk-in shower enclosures with frameless shower doors, for bathrooms that offer a more modern and elegant look and feel. Most people are searching for a shower door style that can create a spa-like atmosphere, while also focusing on shower door styles that can improve functionality and the entire bathing experience. Choosing the right shower door for your bathroom can depend on many variables, including shower and bathroom layout, budget, privacy needs, and more. Learning more about the different styles of doors, and glass types, and the importance of taking accurate measurements, allows you to make an informed decision before you make this type of important investment.

What’s Your Budget? 

Bathroom renovations are notorious for being expensive. It can be easy to get carried away when choosing products and materials for your new shower. However, if you focus on staying within your budget, you can save time and money by choosing a door that offers exactly what you need, and one that will complement your existing bathroom decor.

Doing a little research online to determine the average cost of a custom shower door, based on door style, glass type, size, and other factors, can help you plan ahead and ensure you set aside enough money to purchase the type of shower door you’ve always wanted.

Where Is Your Shower Located? 

Where your shower is located in your bathroom can dictate the type of shower door that’s right for your unique space. For example, a corner shower may not allow you to choose to bypass sliding doors like a shower that’s located in the middle of a wall would. As you’re determining which type of shower door is right for your bathroom, consider where the shower is or will be located and use this information to make the right shower door selection.

Find Out Your Shower Door Dimensions

Taking accurate measurements is crucial to choosing the right type of shower door. Taking measurements that are off by even a sixteenth of an inch can cause major issues. The last thing you want is to have a custom shower door designed, only to discover that the door doesn’t fit perfectly or seal correctly. Use a measuring tape to take all the guesswork out of the process and to get the most accurate measurements. Be sure you measure the shower’s height, depth, and width, in millimeters. If you’re replacing an old shower door, you can take the measurements using the existing shower tray.

What Shower Door Styles Do You Like? 

The style of custom glass shower door you choose doesn’t only affect the look of your bathroom, but how functional it is as well.

When selecting a shower door style, consider the layout of your shower, the size of your bathroom, and your style preferences. The right frameless shower enclosure style can add value to your home and transform your bathroom into the spa-like environment you’ve always wanted.

Shower door styles include: 

Square. Square-shaped shower doors are a popular option for smaller bathrooms. These doors are characterized by their 90-degree angles and straight edges, which create a modern, clean look. A square shower door is also a good option if you have a corner shower.

Rectangular. Similar to square doors, rectangular shower doors have longer edges that 

create a more spacious feel. Typically, you’ll find these doors in master bathrooms.

Neo-angle. These doors are designed for corner showers and have a diamond shape with a corner cut-off. This style can create a unique focal point in any bathroom and allows for more space in the shower.

Hinged. This type opens into the room, making it best suited for larger bathrooms.

Pivot doors. Pivot shower doors don’t require a lot of clearance since they swing on a pin, so they’re a good option for smaller bathrooms, such as guest bathrooms.

Sliding. Sliding shower doors are ideal for bathtubs or showers with wide openings.

Bifold. Bifold shower doors fold inward on hinges.

Other style options include:

  • Barn door
  • Neo-angle shower glass doors 
  • Screen
  • Quadrant

Framed VS Frameless VS Semi-Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors are perfect if you want to update your bathroom and give it a more modern look. These doors allow more natural light to flow throughout the space, creating the illusion that a bathroom is much bigger than it is. Because there is no frame, these doors are also easier to maintain and clean.

Framed shower doors have a classic, more traditional style, with hardware that covers every glass edge. This style works better in larger bathrooms since the bulky metal frame can block natural light, causing a bathroom to feel cramped, dark, and enclosed.

Semi-frameless shower doors offer the best of both worlds, with framing located on the bottom and top of the shower door and no framing on the sides of the door. This style can create an airy feel but doesn’t create the same spacious feel that a frameless glass door does. Additionally, since there is some metal framing involved, these doors are higher maintenance than the frameless alternative.

What Glass Type Do You Need?

To maintain structural integrity, frameless shower doors should be ⅜ inch to ½ an inch thick and made out of tempered glass. Glass at this thickness level provides the necessary stability needed for general wear and tear and heavy-duty use. Framed shower doors tend to have glass that’s 3/16 inch to ¼ inch thick. Glass door thickness should be chosen based on your personal preference and budget.

If you’re not sure which thickness level will work for the type of shower door you have in mind, you can speak with a glass contractor to learn how much weight the surrounding walls are able to handle. Thicker glass is heavier, which means mounting the door on a weaker wall can result in costly damage.

What Finish Are You Looking for?

The type of shower glass finish you choose will have a major impact on the look and feel of your bathroom. Clear and crystal-clear glass are the most common choices for many reasons. The clear shower glass can give the illusion of a larger space while showing off beautiful tile work in your shower. If you have a large family, there are a variety of styles of shower glass available that can improve privacy and add more style to your bathroom. Frosted, patterned, and textured glass offers more privacy when showering, which can be essential for high-traffic bathrooms.

Other popular options include:

  • Crystal clear
  • Tinted, patterned, textured
  • Frosted or opaque
  • Rain pattern

Contact a Top-Rated Shower Door Company to Get a Free Estimate and Schedule a Consultation

Whether you’re purchasing a replacement shower door or designing a new shower, you should consider glass texture, door design, budget, and how well the door will fit in with the rest of your bathroom. If you’re ready to make this important decision and investment, contact Wise Glass today to schedule a consultation with one of our team members and get a free estimate.

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Crystal Clear Choices: How to Select the Perfect Replacement Shower Door

It’s not often that we replace the shower doors in our homes, so when it comes time to do so, it’s important to make the best choice, based on budget, bathroom size, shower location, and many other factors. Before you make this important decision, you need to learn how to choose a new shower door that will […]

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