Glass Shower Doors and Enclosures

July 15, 2020 | Starr Tingle

Glass Shower Doors and Enclosures

The shower doors we have today are beautiful, sleek, and easy to clean. In this post, I’m going to tell you my absolute favorite, the options, and pricing.

This post is all about glass shower doors and enclosures.  

Shower door. What’s the first thing that came to your mind when you read those first two words? Hard to clean? Janky? Times have changed my friend, shower doors are now a luxury item. Let me tell you all about it!

My Favorite

My favorite shower door enclosures are swinging door, frameless, heavy (3/8”) glass. I always get a clear glass with the protective coating. My metal finish ranges from chrome (my favorite) to oil rubbed bronze, to brushed gold. A door like this for a 5’ shower opening should cost you around $1,200.

The Options

Door

There are three types of doors types: swinging, rolling and sliding.  

I have a swinging door, and I would say that 75-80% of the shower doors I have installed in remodels and new construction are swinging doors. These are my favorite because they work well, the hinges are simple and easy to clean, and they hold up well over time.

Newer to the market are rolling doors. The rollers are exposed on the top of the glass. These are the real deal, and I’m looking for ways to incorporate them into more projects. They are heavy-duty, so you will be looking at using a 3/8 or 1/2 glass, they look so cool, and they operate so smooth!!

Sliding doors I try to avoid. They lose their ability to operate smoothly over time. The mechanisms get gunked up with hard water, and that track is hard to clean.

Frame

If you choose to go with a swinging door, there are types of frames to consider.

Frameless – clean design look with no metal framing around the door, these come in the 3/8 and 1/2 glass and are so gorgeous. By far, my favorite. The only metal is the hinges and the handle, and whatever type of system holds the stationary pieces of glass – should your shower have that option – in place.

Semi-Frameless – Typically, with this installation, there are metal frames down each side of your door and the stationary panel. The thinner glass is usually used – the metal frame helps support the smaller glass.  

Framed – Traditional design with metal surrounding all the edges of the glass. The thinnest glass can be used with this.

So let me reiterate: my advice is to temporarily use a shower curtain until you can save up the money to have a frameless, 3/8” shower door installed. The frameless shower doors are that worth it.

 Glass Thickness

Your two main choices for the thickness of your glass are 1/4 and 3/8. My preference is for the 3/8” glass. It is very heavy, so this is something you should plan for from the very beginning. If the door is going to swing versus slide or roll, you will need to add additional framing to secure the door hinges.

Glass Finish

There are tons of glass options. I looked up one manufacturer I’m familiar with online – Basco Shower Door, and they have 12 or 13 glass options. For me, I would be thrilled if they only offered clear. I do understand that not everyone enjoys so little privacy, but honestly, the shower glass fogs up soon after the shower starts, so it’s not like you are on display. And there is a lock on your bathroom door. I would 100% lock Tony out before I would choose a textured glass door. I feel that strongly about it!

Metal Finish

Again, so many options, and I’m so excited to report that brushed gold is now an option!! When I visited Basco’s website, I was a little surprised that there are 14 finish options. There is truly something for everyone. Even if you have a frameless shower door, the handle and the 

Protective Coatings

All manufactures have been coming out with protective coatings on their glass over the past couple of years. Claims are made that the glass stays cleaner longer and resists water spots. When Tony and I remodeled our home 5 years ago, we opted for the protective coating, and I have been happy with it. I cannot tell anything has been done to the glass, and my glass looks as good today as it did the day it was installed.  

I have to say that Tony and I are super picky about caring for our shower, though! 99% of the time, we squeegee down the walls and glass when we finish our shower. I think that has helped contribute significantly to the overall look of the shower.  

Would I opt to spend that extra money on a protective coating again? Yes, I probably would. I want to do everything possible to ensure that my shower door stays looking new as long as possible. The protective coating runs about $500, but it really depends on the size of your shower enclosure. Ask your installer to quote the protective coating separately for you so you can see the investment.

DIY?

So, for me, I would always recommend that shower doors be measured and installed by a pro. There are four or five companies in Louisville who sell and install shower doors. Measuring correctly is critical; if you don’t measure accurately and it doesn’t fit, guess what? You own it. So I wouldn’t really advocate this as a DIY project. The website I mentioned early, bascoshowerdoors.com, does have videos all about how to DIY, and you can find a list of distributors in your area so you can purchase the components.  

You should review and understand your options before you hire a general contractor or contract directly with a shower glass installer. Understanding your options ensures that you will get the look and function you want.  

This post was all about glass shower doors and enclosures.

Wrap Up 

So, I hope I have armed you with enough information to make the right buying decision for shower doors. I’m committed to educating homeowners and helping them love the process of remodeling their home. I believe taking the time to learn about the bathroom components will make your rebuild go faster, smoother, and help keep costs down. If you have a specific remodel question, send me an email at Starr (at) starrtingle.com. I would love to help you out!

If you live in or around Shelbyville, Ky, and want to work with me to remodel or build a home, you can contact me here. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook @Sanctuary Homes, Instagram at @sanctuaryhomes, and Pinterest at Sanctuary Homes. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME!! Chow for now!