Sliding Shower Door Vs. Hinged Shower Door: Which Is Right for You?

May 4

There are several options when it comes to choosing shower doors. However, one common difficulty that buyers often face is choosing between a sliding shower door and a hinged shower door. Both accomplish the task of keeping the water in a closed space, but beyond that, what makes each unique? We’ve put together this blog post to go over the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Sliding Shower Door

Also known as bypass shower doors, sliding shower doors move from side to side. They usually come with tracks at the bottom and the two vertical sides. Some contemporary designs however, are trackless or frameless.

Advantages

  • Perfect for small bathrooms: As they don’t open out, sliding shower doors provide an efficient space saving solution. They’re ideal if you have a small bathroom where every bit of the area counts.
  • Provides a seamless aesthetic look: Sliding glass doors, especially the frameless ones, don’t obstruct light and help convert your bathroom area into a coherent unit, no matter how complicated the space design is.
  • Handles are functional: These shower doors typically offer handles that can also act as a towel rack. The handle usually spans the length of the door on one side.
  • Make both sides of the tub/shower accessible: Sliding shower doors have two glass doors that slightly overlap and either slide or roll open. This makes the tub accessible from both sides. So, you can turn on the water without having to step into the stall or tub.

Disadvantages

  • Hard to clean doors with bottom tracks: Framed sliding shower doors are difficult to clean. The bottom metal track where the rollers sit can accumulate soap water, grime, and rust over time. This can make the doors stick if you don’t clean the tracks frequently.
  • Limited access space: As they’re fixed and the doors slide/roll into each other, the space to enter into the shower enclosure becomes limited.

Hinged Shower Door

These standard design doors swing out to open. Both framed and frameless options are available. To install frameless hinged doors, the two hinges on the side are drilled directly on to your bathroom wall.

Advantages

  • Easy to clean and maintain: Hinged doors don’t have any tracks at the bottom like sliding doors. So, cleaning and maintaining these shower glass doors are easier than sliding doors.
  • Larger opening and better safety: As hinged doors open out at least full 90 degrees, they provide a wider space into the enclosure. Also, the openings can be made larger with the use of additional side panels which makes them safer for people with mobility challenges.
  • Provide aesthetic look: A frameless hinged shower door blends into the wall as the use of hardware like tracks, brackets and hinges are kept to a minimum. They help make the whole bathroom area look like a seamless single unit.

Disadvantages

  • Not suitable for small bathrooms: As hinged doors open outward, it requires more space forward. This can be a problem if you have a small bathroom.
  • Water may spill out: When the door is opened after a shower, water may spill out on the bathroom floor outside the enclosure. So, you’ll need to spend some time to soak up the water after coming out of the shower.

If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, the size/area of your bathroom is a significant factor when selecting a sliding or hinged shower door. The cost will depend on the type and thickness of the glass as well as on the frame, semi-frame and frameless options. All you need to think is what suits your style, needs and your bathroom!

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