The Top Six Shower Door Enclosure Styles


Choosing to renovate your bathroom is a big decision, but it can be even more difficult to decide where to go from there as there are numerous options available. Glass shower door enclosures can help brighten a bathroom by letting light pass through, making it appear bigger. Glass is also easy to clean compared to the standard bath and shower combo and adds value to your home.

Modern shower door designs often include minimal hardware to create an all-glass aesthetic. If you’re looking to incorporate a glass shower door enclosure into your renovated or new-construction bathroom, it’s important to understand the different enclosure styles so you can choose the one that will best fit your home. Here are the top six shower enclosure styles.

Standard Bypass Shower Door

Standard bypass shower door

A standard bypass door is the same concept as a sliding glass patio door, just used in a shower or bath enclosure. The bypass door is contained within a metal frame at the top or on all sides. It has a set pane with one side sliding on a track with manual rollers in it. Bypass shower doors are space-efficient, as they require no room to swing open.

This shower enclosure usually consists of one or two lites of glass with three walls. It can even be incorporated with a bathtub. This is the cheapest type of shower enclosure because it uses the least amount of glass; however, framing has become thinner and more finishes are available to give this enclosure a more modern look.

Hinged Shower Door

Hinged shower door

Hinged, also known as pivot or swinging, shower door enclosures consist of one or more glass lites with two or three hinges on one side that allow the door to open inward or outward. This enclosure style requires space for the door to swing open. The pricing will vary based on the size of the glass and the type of hardware chosen. However, like the standard bypass door, this enclosure style also includes one or two lites of glass on one side with three walls. A frameless design will create a more narrow and appealing sightline.

Sliding Shower Door

Sliding Shower Door

The sliding door is frameless, with one or both of the glass lites gliding due to rollers. This type of shower enclosure could include larger lites of glass, making this a potentially more expensive option. The sliding glass shower door can be used with the popular barn-door style hardware in a number of finishes.

Corner Shower Door

Corner Shower Door

The corner shower door enclosure consists of two or more lites of glass on two or more sides. This type of enclosure is ideal for bathrooms with more space as the two sides of the glass should not be close to any walls. The size of the glass will determine the pricing of your enclosure.

Curved Shower Door

Curved glass shower door

A curved shower door enclosure is similar to the corner door, but with curved glass. Curved glass has to be custom fabricated by a company that has the ability to produce curved/bent glass and will be more expensive than standard flat glass. However, a curved door will add a unique feature to your home.

Custom Fully Enclosed Shower Door

Custom fully enclosed shower door

I’m sure the word custom tipped you off that this is the most expensive shower door enclosure type. A fully enclosed shower door includes glass on at least three sides. It can even be a free-standing shower. Minimal hardware can create a modern, all-glass look.

Endless Shower Options

Your options are endless when choosing a new shower door enclosure. From the size, shape and finish of the glass to the type and color of the framing, showers can truly be customized to your own taste.

Shower doors can be framed, semi-frameless and frameless. The type you choose will depend upon your preferred style. Framed shower doors include a metal frame around all four corners of all glass lites. It secures the enclosure to the bathroom walls. Semi-frameless feature framing on one or more sides of one or more glass lites. This type creates more minimal sightlines. Frameless shower doors are a current trend among homeowners. As the name suggests, this type has no framing. Instead, it has individual pieces of hardware used to anchor the glass to walls, join separate lites of glass and to allow the shower door to operate. No framing means that the glass comprises much of the enclosure’s structural integrity.

If you’re not sure where to get started with shower hardware, read “Breaking it Down: Choosing the Hardware for your New Shower.” For installation information, read “What to Expect During a Shower Door Installation.”

More Information on Glass Shower Doors

If you’re interested in learning more about shower doors and other types of glass, check out the Glass.com Info Center. In the market for a new shower door?

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Jordan Scott

By Jordan Scott

Jordan Scott serves as the editorial assistant for USGlass Magazine. She has a background as a reporter for Tennessee’s Tullahoma News and associate producer for ABC2’s “Good Morning Maryland.” Jordan studied English and international studies at Virginia Tech where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Jordan is a voracious reader and has an extensive book collection. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do but jokes that she has now also earned her black belt in “attempting” to go to the gym. Jordan loves to travel and learn languages. When not abroad, she enjoys exploring new restaurants in her local Washington D.C. area.


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