When planning the perfect bathroom, there are many decisions you have to make, including the styles and colours that work best in your space. The fittings and fixtures you install in your bathroom greatly depend on these decisions and play a huge role in providing the ultimate bathing experience. Similar to shower trays, shower enclosures are an important part of any bathroom.
The right shower enclosure can transform the appearance of your bathroom. It has the ability to maximize your space, making it a more comfortable experience for anyone who uses the bathing area. A good shower has the ability to combine practicality with aesthetics to fit in with any kind of bathroom layout. With so many choices available to select from, it can be a challenging task to pick out the right bathroom enclosure for your bathroom.
To help you make an informed decision, we have put together this guide. It will encourage you to think about the shape, style and dimensions of your bathroom to help you find the perfect shower enclosure for your home.
Here are some things to consider before making a decision on the type of shower enclosure you want in your bathroom.
Think about the Area
It is vital to assess the type of area you are looking to install your shower enclosure. Is it large, small or has obstructions? Think about the placement of doors and windows which could protrude into the shower area. By taking these questions into consideration, you can decide where you want to place the shower area and which type of enclosure, tray and door will be perfect for it.
Type of Glass
All shower enclosures and doors vary in thickness because of the kind of glass they are made from. They are usually made with tempered and toughened safety glass and can handle regular use easily. When considering a shower enclosure, using thicker glass isn’t always the best thing to do. It greatly depends on the type of enclosure you are looking for.
Since glass is a heavy material, the ideal choice for wet rooms is 8 mm and 10 mm in single glass divider form. Glass with this kind of thickness usually isn’t used for other types of shower enclosure designs because its weight would put unnecessary pressure on the hinges, pivots and rollers. All of these are essential in providing support to complicated shower enclosure designs. Furthermore, the more curved or big the glass is the less thickness it achieves. This happens due to the design and structure of the material.
Thinner glass enclosures in 4 mm – 6 mm options offer long lasting functionality. They are perfect for busy family use. Due to the thinner build, they are available in more curved shapes and diverse designs and can provide more dynamic enclosures.
If you are considering a shower tray for your glass shower enclosure, you should do your research before making a purchase. There are many different brands available in the market with many different features. There are four basic styles of trays available, namely, rectangular, square, quadrant and pentagonal.
A quadrant or pentagonal tray is suitable for those looking for a compact shower tray for their bathroom. If you’re looking for something practical which helps save bathroom floor space, then these are the perfect choice for you. A quadrant tray can give you extra room as it has a rounded edge. However, the difference between an elegant edge and an angular one can make a huge aesthetic difference, so think about your choice carefully.
If you are considering a wet room or a more roomy and luxurious enclosure, rectangle and square trays offer bigger space. They come with the added benefit of being far more versatile as they can both look great even when they are placed in the centre of the room.
Style of Rollers
If you are considering a bi-fold, sliding or quadrant shower enclosure, the choice of rollers should be on your list of important things to look into. Single rollers or nylon twin are becoming a must-have for any shower door due to their durability and hard wearing nature. By selecting a door with plastic rollers, you will be settling for an inferior product. The plastic will become brittle and hard over time. This happens when the plastic gets wet and dry constantly over an extended period of time, causing the rollers to become stiff.
Types of Enclosures
Frameless Shower Enclosure
Frameless shower enclosures and doors can usually be seen in hotels and high-end spas. They offer freeform luxury with a minimalist design. They are called frameless shower enclosures due to the technology used in their design and installation. These kinds of enclosures don’t need frames to support their slide and weight. They are considered to be outstanding when compared to traditional enclosures and can be designed to fit any space. Here are some benefits of frameless shower enclosures.
- The space looks bigger
Installing a frameless shower enclosure will make your bathroom seem much larger than it is. Framed enclosures have a tendency to compartmentalize the bathroom and make it look like you have a room within a room. Solid glass enclosures carry very little visual weight and can effectively open up spaces while also adding to their flow.
- Easy to maintain
Frameless shower enclosures are made using individual slabs of glass. This makes it exceedingly easy to clean and maintain. Since the enclosures are manufactured without any metal borders, there are no parts that run the risk of rusting, denting or falling off.
Bi-fold Door Shower Enclosure
They are a brilliant option for small bathrooms. These doors are compatible with both fully enclosed and recessed enclosures and generally work by folding in on itself. It doesn’t need a large space for clearance outside the main shower area along with allowing room for fittings to be placed such as a vanity unit or a towel rail. Bi-fold door shower enclosures are available in a variety of finishes, sizes and styles. They offer countless benefits to your home, some of which are mentioned below.
- Space saving
Generally, bathrooms have a very limited amount of space, making the shower experience an uncomfortable one. Fortunately, some of these inadequacies can be prevented by designing the bathroom in a way which enables you to make maximum utilisation of the space. Bi-fold door shower enclosures have the ability to blend in really well, even when space is restricted, enabling you to have a relaxing shower every day.
Along with being a practical design, bi-fold door shower enclosures are usually an affordable option. They are available in a wide range to suit the needs of any kind of a bathroom while helping you stay on your budget.
Sliding Door Shower Enclosure
Sliding door shower enclosures have a simple design featuring a sliding panel which moves sideways and a fixed one allowing ease of access. Since it has a wider berth compartment, it doesn’t require any clearance space outside the shower area. If you are looking to give your bathroom a modern look, frameless sliding shower panels offer a pared-back design which can be coupled with a tiled shower tray. This will help give the shower enclosure a minimalist look. However, a framed enclosure with an aluminium frame can provide an attractive finish. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding sliding door shower enclosures in your bathroom.
- Improved appearance
People are increasingly choosing to install sliding door shower enclosures in their bathroom as it provides function and has space-saving qualities. This option is frameless and sleek and uses a stainless-steel tube fixed at the top for the glass to be attached and can give the bathroom a major facelift.
- Greater versatility
Owning a bathtub can provide a significant amount of comfort but it can take up a lot of space. Due to this, many homeowners tend to use their bathtubs for showers. If you also have a tub which doubles as a shower, it is an excellent reason for you to consider sliding glass doors. It can be installed as a semi-frameless door too.
Quadrant Shower Enclosure
These shower enclosures are designed specifically to be used in corner spaces. They curve beautifully around the corner area of the bathroom. They are typically two-sided and have a single or a double curved sliding door allowing entry into the shower area. Here are some benefits that installing a quadrant shower enclosure can bring in to your home.
- Great for an odd layout
Bathrooms often pose unique issues with their layout and the many oddities they come with. This is what often makes quadrant shower enclosures the best choice. A few examples of this could be the placement of your basin or toilet, access to a recess or a vanity unit.
- Effortless cleaning
Square and rectangular showers have two panes of glass and the doors which need to be cleaned. However, quadrant shower enclosures have just a curved surface which means easier and quicker maintenance.
Installing the right shower enclosure in your bathroom, whether it is a frameless, bi-fold door, sliding door or a quadrant shower enclosure, takes a lot of effort. You should make sure the enclosure is of a high-build which will ensure longevity, so you don’t have to replace it in a few years’ time. With a wide range of options available at your fingertips, we hope this article will guide you through the key decisions you need to make while choosing the perfect enclosure for your bathroom.