What is the best shower door?

 

How many times have you seen a bathroom shower design and thought, “wow!” Perhaps you’ve visited a spa or plush hotel, or even been to a friend’s house and been knocked out by the clean lines and imaginative use of space.

And now that you are constructing a new home – or remodeling your current home – you want some of that wow factor for your own space. But where to start? There are so many options out there, and a quick browse of the internet often creates more questions than answers.

That’s why you need someone with experience, an eye for detail, and a commitment to quality. Someone to help you pick out that unique design and see it through from conception to construction to installation. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s see if we can help you narrow down your first and most basic question when it comes to bathroom design: Which shower door is best?

There are countless options out there, and, thanks to modern designs and technology, you can do so much with glass to create a design that not only catches the eye but also makes perfect use of the space available.

With that in mind, the first answer to your question about which shower door is best is: It depends on exactly what your priorities and spacing necessities are.

You can create some bold and innovative looks via several methods, and the latest trends include a move away from aluminum framed shower and tub enclosures toward a more appealing frameless style.

 

What makes frameless shower doors so appealing?

With far fewer metal parts, frameless shower doors are easier to clean and maintain and provide the superior look and feel that designers and homeowners increasingly desire. 

Frameless enclosures can be configured in a large variety of ways, depending on the layout of your bathroom space. At Drexler, we assess each space individually, and ensure the design that is the perfect fit for the individual room. 

A frameless shower design utilizes sturdy, tempered glass that does not require the support of metal exterior edges, resulting in a clean-lined, modern look that is free of visual obstructions. This look helps to showcase other meticulous and impressive designs throughout the shower and bathroom – whether it be stonework, tile, or eye-catching hardware. And yet these designs also ensure perfect convenience and practicality, including keeping the water exactly where it belongs – inside the shower enclosure.

With that in mind, let’s explore more of the pros and cons of different frameless shower enclosure designs.

An elegant bathroom with a stand alone tub and shower. The shower door has gold hardware with a traditional swinging door.

Swinging doors

The pros of this option include clean looks and price point. In fact, the cleanest and most affordable frameless shower design starts with a swinging door. Either alone or accompanied by adjacent “fixed panels” for larger showers, the swinging door offers a wide range of design options and styles. Swinging door designs provide a clean, open feel, and intuitive operation, making this Drexler’s most popular choice. However, this design also requires adequate room to swing in and out, which could present a challenge in some bathrooms, especially those with less room or unique layouts. And, in some bathrooms, the addition of a frameless swinging shower door may decrease the flow or create an issue with the ability of existing doors in the room to open.

Shower and toilet area of a bathroom. This shower is using a glass door with sliding mechanics. The tile in the shower and floor use differing textures and patterns.

Sliding doors

If a swinging door does not best suit your needs, have no fear. There are still several attractive options, including sliding doors. Sliding doors do not open outward, so they do not encroach on usable space. And technological and design advances have created a whole range of options previously unavailable. For instance, in the past, sliding doors or “bypass doors” were only offered with metal frames and tracks along the bottom. These frames collected grime, making them less appealing. Modern designs, however, offer much cleaner alternatives. This includes our new “barn door” systems – which have very little hardware and no bottom track. We have several full-sized operational displays in our Atlanta showroom.

 

Shower and tub area that uses a glass divider as the shower door and barrier. This bathroom is styled with marble title and white bathtub.

Doorless/screen options

Another option for small bathrooms with limited space is a simple shower screen with no door. Removing the encumbrance of a door which swings out into the middle of the space automatically improves flow. It also increases the perception of space. The main drawback to doorless/screen options includes the fact that, without a door, the shower may become drafty. It depends on your bathroom situation, but you may find that a screen does not allow the shower area to warm up to a certain level – certainly not to the levels attained with a fully enclosed shower.

 

 

 

Beyond shower doors

Now that you have an idea about shower doors, let’s look at some options that go beyond the door itself and include other unique looks and functions.

Curbless showers

An exciting trend that is starting to sweep shower design is a movement toward “curbless” showers. This design provides a completely level transition from shower floor to bathroom floor – hence these showers have no curb or are curbless. This design can prove especially helpful for those that desire an easy transition from shower to bathroom floor – including those who face mobility issues. And modern designs ensure a beautiful look that also keeps water from splashing all over or seeping out onto the rest of the bathroom floor. (include David’s piece about curbless showers from MyHome here

Keep glass options in mind

Showers are about far more than door design and layout considerations. And it is important to keep the glass type itself in mind. That’s right, there are different glass choices to consider. For example, optional low-iron glass has none of the green tint associated with regular, “clear glass.” And low-iron glass keeps your white tile or stone looking bright. That said, standard “clear glass” may better fit your budget. A prepared and knowledgeable designer can help you determine the perfect look for your bathroom.

 

Drexler also offers options for keeping your glass clean. ShowerGuard glass is the only glass with permanent protection and a lifetime warranty against stains and corrosion. ShowerGuard and low-iron glass can be purchased separately or even combined as “ShowerGuard Low-Iron” glass.

Before determining exactly which shower door or design is best, we highly encourage you to visit Drexler’s showroom during the planning stages of your project. Here we can help direct you into the best option for your new or existing space, or help you avoid implementing a bathroom layout that is not optimal.

 

Come visit us today and discover the Drexler difference!