While a simple shower curtain may be sufficient to keep water off your bathroom floor, shower doors provide an elegant solution for water-tight seals, privacy and easy access to your shower.
Showers generally fall into three types of designs: Bathtub showers, alcove stand-alone showers and corner standalone showers. The shower door you choose largely depends on the design. The type of door that will work best for your shower depends on the design of your shower, the size of the opening and how far out you want to open the door.
Bypass or sliding doors
Often, consumers have one name for something, and the remodeling/building industry has another name. Most people know these as sliding glass shower doors. The bath industry calls them bypass shower doors, though they alternately call them sliding glass shower doors.
Bypass shower doors can be installed either on the bathtub/shower unit or on shower-only units. They are relatively easy to install and are low cost by comparison to other types of shower doors. A more “forgiving” install than swinging door units as they do not have the same plumb requirements. Typically bypass shower doors come with a towel bar on the door.
Neo-Angle Shower Doors
For a small bathroom, a neo-angle shower door can be a real space saver, since a corner shower door configuration cuts across the 90° angle created by a corner shower. For this shower door, there are two smaller side panels running perpendicular to two side walls with the door centered between them. Usually, the door opens out into the room in a neo-angle door.
Pivot Shower Doors
A pivot shower door is a swinging door that has a pivot hinge allowing the door to open in either direction. Pivot shower doors can swing 180° so they can open in or out. The pivot hinge can be attached on one side of the door, or it can be center mounted to create a revolving shower door.
Pivot hinges are the design used on most ultra-modern curved glass shower doors.
Steam Shower Doors
A steam shower door design is intended to be steam tight from floor to ceiling and along all seams, allowing a shower to double as a steam room. To contain steam, the glass panels extend from floor to ceiling of the shower enclosure.
The steam door design can be made of solid glass panels with a hinged door that has an air-tight seal on built in. Usually, a steam shower enclosure has built-in movable panels above the door, called transoms, that can be used as vents.