A Guide to Different Types of Shower Doors – The Pros and Cons

a curved shower

As bathroom renovations continue to increase, having various types of shower doors to choose from has almost become a necessity.

For instance, sliding doors can be chosen for their ease of use. Likewise, if you’re looking for an affordable and straightforward option, fixed shower screens might be ideal.

Homeowners can also go with custom glass shower doors to best match their bathroom requirements. There are so many types of glass shower doors available, choosing the right one can be a daunting decision.

This blog post highlights the different types of shower doors along with their pros and cons. Let’s find out more!

Shower Doors

Shower doors are essential components of a bathroom that serve to contain water within the shower area, ensuring the rest of the bathroom remains dry and safe.

They come in various styles, materials, and mechanisms, each offering unique benefits and suiting different bathroom layouts and preferences.

Pros and Cons of Different Types

Choosing the right door is crucial for achieving the perfect blend of functionality and style in your bathroom. Let’s explore different types of shower doors to help you make an informed decision:

1: Traditional Hinged Shower Doors

a traditional hinged shower door

Traditional hinged doors are a classic and popular choice for enclosing shower spaces. These doors operate on a hinge mechanism, swinging open and closed like a standard door.


  • Provides a classic look with a wide range of design options
  • They swing open like a regular door
  • Can be customized


  • They require more space compared to other types

Design Variations and Customization Options: These doors come in various designs, allowing you to customize the appearance to match your bathroom decor. You can choose from different frame finishes and glass patterns.

2: Sliding Shower Doors

Sliding shower doors, also known as bypass doors, consist of two or more panels that slide past each other on tracks. They are ideal for bathrooms with limited space, as they do not require additional space to swing open.

Sliding doors can be framed, frameless, or semi-frameless, offering versatility in style and design. They are commonly used for bathtub showers and larger shower enclosures.


  • Ideal for small bathrooms
  • A variety of designs are available
  • Less expensive compared to other types


  • Chances of wear and tear are high

Materials and Design Considerations: These doors are available in different materials such as glass, plastic, or metal frames. Consider the material that best compliments your bathroom aesthetics.

3: Pivot Shower Doors

a bathroom with shower

Pivot shower doors swing open like a traditional door, pivoting on hinges attached to the shower enclosure’s side or a fixed glass panel. These doors can be framed, semi-frameless, or frameless, providing a range of aesthetic options.

Pivot doors require clearance in the bathroom for the door to open, making them suitable for larger bathrooms.


  • Ideal Spaces for Pivot Doors
  • Available in Different Styles and Configuration
  • Aesthetically Pleasing


  • Can be expensive

Design Versatility and Options: Pivot doors provide design versatility, and you can find various styles, from contemporary to more traditional looks.

a frameless shower door

4: Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors offer a sleek, modern look that has become increasingly popular in contemporary bathroom designs. These doors lack metal framing, relying on thicker tempered glass for stability.

Frameless doors provide an unobstructed view, making the bathroom appear larger and more open. While they are typically more expensive, their minimalistic design and ease of cleaning make them a desirable option for many.


  • Clean yet aesthetically pleasing to look at
  • Highly customizable
  • Pretty strong and durable


  • Requires some maintenance

Installation and Maintenance Considerations: While the installation may be more complex, the minimalist design is easier to clean and maintain.

a bifold shower door

5: Bi-Fold Shower Doors

Bi-fold shower doors, also known as folding or accordion doors, consist of several glass panels that fold inward, similar to a concertina. This mechanism makes them an excellent choice for small bathrooms, as they take up minimal space.

Bi-fold doors are typically framed or semi-framed, offering a practical solution without compromising on style.


  • Ideal for small bathrooms
  • Customizable
  • Easy to install


  • Expensive

Style Options and Customization Features: Bi-fold doors come in various styles, and you can choose different finishes and glass patterns to suit your taste.

6. Curved Shower Doors

a curved shower door

Curved shower doors are designed for quadrant or corner showers, featuring a gentle curve that conforms to the shower base’s shape. These doors can be sliding or hinged and are usually framed due to the complexity of their shape.

Curved doors add a unique architectural element to the bathroom, maximizing space in compact areas.


  • Ideal for small bathrooms because their shape can help maximize available space.
  • Add a modern and sophisticated touch
  • Wider entry point


  • Curved shower doors can be more expensive
  • Fewer design and finish options

Factors To Consider When Selecting A Shower Door

When buying glass shower doors, various factors have to be taken care of;

Bathroom Space and Layout

The size and layout of your bathroom will influence the type of door that’s most suitable. Sliding or bi-fold doors are better for smaller spaces, while pivot doors suit larger bathrooms.

Aesthetic Preferences and Bathroom Style

Consider the overall aesthetic of your bathroom and your personal style preferences. Choose a shower door that aligns with your bathroom’s overall design theme.

Frameless doors suit modern, minimalist bathrooms, while framed doors might be better for traditional or transitional styles.

Ease of Maintenance

Consider how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in cleaning and maintenance. Frameless doors are easier to clean, while framed doors may require more attention to prevent mold and mildew in the crevices.

Budget Constraints

Shower doors vary widely in price, with frameless and custom designs generally costing more. Determine your budget beforehand and find a door that offers the best balance of quality and cost.

Door Operation and Accessibility

Consider how the shower door will operate and whether it meets accessibility needs. Sliding doors are convenient for tight spaces, while hinged and pivot doors provide a wider opening.

Ensure that door handles and opening mechanisms are user-friendly, especially for those with mobility issues.

The right shower door can enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your bathroom. Whether you prefer the sleek simplicity of a frameless door, the practicality of a sliding model, or the compact efficiency of a bi-fold door, there’s a shower door option to suit every preference and bathroom layout.

By considering the factors outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to choose a shower door that meets your needs, complements your bathroom design, and provides years of reliable use.

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