Remodeling your bathroom is a great decision that adds value to your home and enjoyment to your every day. A popular bathroom upgrade is changing out your existing shower to a glass enclosure. While there are benefits to a shower curtain (softening the room, the ability to change out decor easily), a glass shower enclosure is often the best option. Read on to learn about the different types available and the pros and cons of each. A new, perfect bathroom is just around the corner!
Why Consider a Glass Shower Enclosure?
Glass shower enclosures are versatile. No matter what the aesthetic of your bathroom–from modern and chic to warm and spa-like–your style will be accented by a glass shower enclosure. They are sleek and classic and fit in with any design.
If you want to make a small or dark bathroom seem larger and more spacious, a glass shower is the way to go. Rather than your eye being stopped by a shower curtain, it will be drawn to the back wall of the shower, making the whole room seem bigger. Since your shower is probably the largest feature in your bathroom, it makes sense to open it up as much as possible.
Glass shower enclosures are easy to clean and maintain. You don’t need to worry about a shower curtain liner growing mold or mildew anymore–just spray the shower doors with glass cleaner and run a squeegee down them, and you’re good to go. Glass shower enclosures are low maintenance and stay looking good throughout their lifetime.
If your bathroom renovation includes a new tiled shower, glass doors are a must in order to highlight it! Glass doors will make your shower the focal point of the room. If you don’t want the shower on full display, you can always choose etched or frosted glass doors to hint at the tile work without making it completely visible.
Glass shower enclosures raise your home’s value. They’re popular, easy to maintain, and last forever. A bathroom remodel can give you a return on investment (ROI) of around 60%, and a glass shower enclosure is definitely a good choice to make your home more desirable for future buyers.
What Type of Glass Shower Enclosure is Right for My Bathroom?
There are three main types of glass panels for you to consider: framed, frameless, and semi-framed. There are pros and cons to each type.
A framed shower enclosure has a metal frame that holds the glass panels in place, framing them, as the name suggests. Because the frame outlines the glass, this type of shower enclosure is very strong. The frame does obstruct some of the view of the shower, but by choosing a frame finish that coordinates with your aesthetic, you can make the frame part of the decor.
Least expensive option, since thinner glass is used
Least likely to leak since it’s sealed
Frame obstructs some of the view
More difficult to clean since the frame can trap water
Can look dated, depending on the finish used on the frame.
Looking both high-end and on-trend, frameless panels seem to float effortlessly in front of your shower. This type of shower enclosure looks modern, sleek, and gorgeous. If your shower is beautifully tiled, you may want frameless panels so the line of sight is completely unobstructed. The pieces of hardware that attach the panels to each other and the walls are designed to become part of the aesthetic.
Make the space look bright and open
Shower walls become the focal point of the bathroom
Sleek, modern look
Since there’s no frame to support the glass, it needs to be thicker and heavier
Water may leak out from the gaps between the panels
Not as sturdy over time
Most expensive option
Falling somewhere between completely framed and completely frameless, semi-framed panels often give you the best of both worlds. Your shower enclosure could have a frame along the tops and bottoms of the panels (leaving the sides free), or the panels could be frameless and the door framed. Semi-framed panels are a good option if you want the unobstructed view that frameless gives, but want to add a little visual interest with the frame.
Gives a mostly unobstructed view
Middle of the road in terms of price
Can be a more interesting design
The door panel is often a weak point in the structure
Can leak where there are gaps
Framed area is harder to keep clean than frameless panels
What Type of Glass Should I Use?
There are several options when it comes to the thickness, styles, and patterns available for your glass shower enclosure. Generally, with framed panels, you want to use thinner glass, since the frame adds strength to the structure. Frameless panels need to be made of thicker glass, usually ⅜ or ½-inch thickness.
Some shower panels are made of clear glass. This gives you the benefit of your bathroom appearing brighter and larger. The smooth glass is very easy to clean, but it will show water spots more readily. If privacy is an issue, a clear glass shower might not be the best option for you, as lovely as it looks.
If you choose a textured glass, you get the benefit of additional privacy. Textured glass might be trickier to clean, but it also won’t show every water spot. It is a more expensive option and, depending on the pattern you choose, can look dated. It doesn’t give you as much of a light and airy feel as clear glass does, but it still gives you the modern look of a glass enclosure. There are many types of textured glass available, so you’re sure to be able to find one you love. Some options include
Frosted, which gives you some opacity.
Low-iron, where the green tint is completely removed.
Patterned, or etched. You can get any kind of design from abstract to floral.
Rain, which looks like it has droplets on the surface
Hammered, which makes the glass opaque and gives you a unique pattern.
Tinted, where the glass is made green, blue, gray, or another color.
What Type of Door Do I Need for My Glass Shower Enclosure?
Glass-paneled showers generally have either sliding or hinged doors. Sliding doors are often better for small bathrooms since you don’t need the space to swing it out. It does usually move on a track, which can make it harder to keep clean, and because of the track, it’s not a curbless design and won’t be accessible for people with mobility issues.
Hinged doors have a more minimalist appearance, especially when they’re frameless. They can be a little messier, dripping water onto the bathroom floor when opened. They’re also usually more expensive than sliding doors. But if you’re looking for an accessible option, hinged doors are generally the better choice.
Of course, you could also go with the doorless option. Walk-in glass showers can be perfect for a bathroom where minimalism is a priority. They are classy, modern, and almost always add value to a home. For people looking to age in place in their homes, a doorless shower is a perfect solution. Because of its curbless design, walk-in showers are accessible for children, the elderly, and people with mobility challenges.
Ready to Get Started?
Do you have your heart set on a glass shower enclosure for your bathroom remodel? You’ve made a great choice. Glass shower enclosures add style, functionality, and value to your home, and you’ll love including one in your new bathroom. And we’re here to help! We can talk to you about any design questions or concerns you have regarding your desire to remodel your DC, Virginia, or Maryland bathroom. Our skilled team can bring your dreams to reality, remodeling your bathroom so it meets all your needs. Contact us today.