Some of the most frequently asked questions in bathroom remodeling pertain to the glass shower enclosures or splash guard. Do I have to have a bathroom shower door? What are my choices for glass shower enclosures? How much metal will it have? Do I have to get a slider? What are the choices in obscured glass? What is the price difference for the thicker glass? Can I get bathroom shower door glass treatment so I don’t have to clean it?
Glass shower enclosure technology has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years. Bathroom shower doors no longer have framed doors, stationary panels no longer need track and clamps to hold them in place, and pivoting doors can swing in or out these days.
Here are good examples of Bathroom Shower Doors:
This is a 12 year old glass shower enclosure – The bathroom shower door is framed in metal, and there is a metal track all the way around the perimeter of the shower door enclosure.
Here is the same glass shower enclosure recently remodeled by Roadrunner –
The ONLY metal on this frameless glass shower door is the hinges and handle for the door. This is the look everyone wants, but of course it costs more (3x more) because thicker 3/8″ or 1/2″ glass is required for this glass shower enclosure.
Here is another example – This glass shower enclosure was installed less than 10 years ago.
Here is what a similar bathroom shower door looks like now – As you can see, there is much less metal on today’s frameless glass shower doors.
Many people ask why they even have to have a glass shower enclosure? Well, water flies in a shower and unless you want the floor to get wet, you need a splash guard. A standard 60″ wide shower or tub opening must have a splash guard for this reason. Now there are no rules, you can get your floor wet if you want, but it could be dangerous when slippery. In many cases the toilet is right next to the shower, and that limits you to either a sliding door or a pivoting door which you have to step in to turn on the water. So even though bathroom glass sliding doors are not particularly popular, they are practical in smaller bathrooms. But the shower sliders are getting better. Here is an example of a modern bathroom shower door slider – Two sliding pieces of glass. Yes, there has to be metal around the perimeter, but they are getting better. For this bathroom a glass slider makes the most sense.
Some people pay mucho bucks for a beautiful tile shower and then want to cover it up with an obscured glass shower enclosure. This is just silly. If you want privacy then use a cheaper material in the shower, you won’t see it anyways. Obscured glass in 1/4″ costs no more than clear glass, but in the thicker glass, obscured costs 30% more for some reason.
Glass treatments have also come a long way in the past few years. You can get it treated at the factory, but they don’t quite have that down yet. It can look streaky. After install glass shower enclosure treatment is the way to go. For $150 a specialist will come in and treat the inside of the bathroom shower door and warranty it for 5 years.