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How to Choose the Perfect Shower Door

Clear Glass

Unless it’s completely necessary, don’t choose frosted or patterned glass. It may have some upsides such as the illusion of being easier to clean and maintain. It also offers privacy for the person in the shower. Those benefits however, aren’t worth the fact that it will make your shower and bathroom look smaller. Frosted or obscure glass will also hide your beautiful tile work behind it. If it’s the perfect shower door you seek, then opt for clear glass.

Swing or Slide?

Sometimes you may not have the option of one over the other. Tight bathrooms may only allow you to have a slider. On the other hand if you have a 36″ opening, a slider will look ridiculous as each door will be about 18″ leaving you little room to get into your shower. If room isn’t a problem, consider a hinged door. A shower enclosure with a hinged door has more character than a sliding door. You’ll also have plenty more hardware finish options to choose from such as Champagne Bronze or Satin Brass. If your mind’s made up on a slider, then consider the Barn Style frameless slider for a beautiful and stylish upscale look. 

Is the Perfect Shower Door Taller?

How tall should it be? Standard framed and semi-frameless shower doors measure about 71″ in height. For most, that height is enough to not have to worry about water splashing over the top of the shower. If you’re remodeling your shower, then don’t settle for anything less than 76″ for your frameless door. Should you go higher than 76″? In my opinion, if you have the ceiling height and tile, then the answer is absolutely. A taller frameless shower enclosure exudes luxury and the price increase from 76″ to 80″ or even 84″ is insignificant.

Clips or Channel?

These are the two basic methods of securing the glass panels; clips and u-Channel. Clips will give your shower door a cleaner, more frameless look. The glass sits directly on the tile or on top of the clips, precise measurements are required for a perfectly installed shower enclosure. Most people prefer clips because u-channel takes away from the frameless look. However, in its own right, the channel can be looked at as a decorative transition from your shower to the rest of your bathroom. The installer has more leeway with a channel install as there is at least ½” of adjustment available inside the channel. Unless you want to use the channel in a decorative way, then opt for the clip installation. When it comes to frameless doors, and the perfect shower door less is more.

Does it Need a Header?

A header is basically a support bar that is used at the top of shower enclosure to help stabilize wobble. A header can also be used to mount a door hinge when top and bottom mounted hinges are used. Most shower enclosure layouts don’t require a header simply because they aren’t wide enough. There may be a bit of wobble when a door swings from a panel, but this is normal. One way to minimize wobble of a panel that supports a door is by making it ½” thick, there are also support brackets that can further stabilize the glass, but they can be an eyesore. If your shower door installation company is requiring a header, it’s probably for a good reason, but get another opinion if you aren’t happy with the look of a header.

Protect the Glass

Now that you’re ready to make a decision on a shower door, should you pay the upcharge for a protective glass coating? For the most part, the answer is yes. Think of it as a warranty on the beauty of the glass. Protective coatings shield the glass from hard water and soap scum by filling the peaks and valleys on the glass surface. This not only protects the glass from mineral deposits, but also makes cleaning the glass a breeze.

Depending on your shower door company, they may offer Diamon-fusion, EnduroShield, or some other similar product. These coatings offer limited lifetime warranties so as long as you don’t use any harsh chemicals to clean your glass. Another option is ShowerGuard, this is a permanent protective coating that is baked into the glass. This option will be pricier, but 10 years down the road, you may be glad you opted for it.

Do you still have unanswered questions? Feel free to contact us, or drop a comment below.

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