Shower doors provide a water-tight seal and offer a contemporary, elegant look. You can opt for basic, no-frills glass panels or customized, decorative pieces - all depending on your style and budget.
Shower doors are sold in a variety of designs and sizes. The most popular types include:
- Sliding, or bypass, doors with two or three glass panels that slide back and forth on a set of tracks. These take up the least amount of space and are suitable for alcove, corner standalone or bathtub showers.
- Pivot doors with a single glass panel door that swings open, either to the left or the right. These work for alcove and corner standalone showers.
- Round doors that open inwards, designed for corner standalone showers.
- Neo-angle doors that swing to the left or right, designed to fit angular standalone showers.
In addition, you’ll have to choose between framed and frameless shower doors. Traditional framed doors have a metal frame around the panel of glass. Frameless doors do not, so they have a cleaner appearance. They glass is attached to the shower by heavy-duty hinges at the top and bottom.
Frameless shower doors range in price from $500 to $2,500, depending on size and the quality of the glass. In most cases, budget $800 to $1,500. Framed shower doors start at about $200 and range up to about $1,000. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation, too.
- Water-tight seal - Shower doors prevent water from leaking onto your bathroom floor. You won’t have to deal with cleaning up a wet or damp floor when you get out of the shower.
- Contemporary look - Shower doors have clean, modern lines. The look is neater and more elegant than a shower curtain. Those who appreciate a minimalist look tend to prefer shower doors.
- Resist mold/mildew - Mold and mildew won’t build up as easily on glass shower doors.
- More expensive - Installing a shower door is much more expensive than simply purchasing a shower curtain.
- Track problems - Some shower doors get stuck or fall off the tracks as they age. Cheaper doors, in particular, will get rickety as the age and will be more difficult to open and close.
We’re all familiar with the basic shower curtain. Some people use just a plastic or vinyl curtain to keep water in the shower, while other use a combination of a plastic or vinyl shower liner and a decorative cloth curtain.
With shower curtains, the design options are nearly unlimited. Choose from a wide variety of colors, designs and fabrics. However, shower curtains are not as successful at preventing water from splashing out and the look is not as clean and modern.
Shower curtains are inexpensive. You can find one for as little as $10 at a discount store or you could spend $80 or more for a brand name shower curtain from a department or specialty store. Most shower curtains fall somewhere in the middle of that range.
- Inexpensive - Shower curtains are very inexpensive compared to shower doors. They’re a fraction of the price. You don’t have to worry about paying for installation, either.
- Ideal for kids/pets - It’s much easier to bathe children or pets when you have a shower curtain. A curtain can be pushed all the way to one side for easier access to the tub, while a door can get in the way.
- More color/design options - You can find a shower curtain to match about any style of decor, from modern to traditional. Shower curtains can also be used to hide old or ugly tubs.
- Messier - Shower curtains don’t provide a water-tight seal. If you don’t fully close the curtain or forget to tuck the curtain into the tub, you’ll end up with water all over the bathroom floor.
- Prone to mold/mildew - Shower curtains are more likely to develop mold or mildew than shower doors. If mold or mildew does develop, you’ll have to replace the shower curtain.
- Outdated look - Some people consider shower curtains to be an outdated look compared to shower doors. However, that really depends on the taste of the person who’s designing the bathroom.
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