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Glass Shower Door Options (Which is best for your Bathroom Remodel?)

September 15th, 2022 | 3 min read

By Michael Flory

Marble shower with glass shower door

Glass Shower Door Options (Which is best for your Bathroom Remodel?)

A great way to spruce up a new bathroom is by adding a glass shower door. But, without knowing what options are available to you, it will be difficult to know what type of glass shower door you want for your new bathroom remodel.

As a custom designer and remodel who specializes in bathrooms, understanding the various types of glass shower doors and what works best for our clients is our job. We not only want a shower you’ll love looking at, but one which works well too.

In this article, you will learn some facts about the different types of glass shower doors as well as learn which is best for you depending on the layout of your bathroom and shower.

tile shower with 3 panel glass shower. Black hardware with a return panel

What are the different types of glass shower doors?

There are 2 main types of glass shower doors; a swinging door and a sliding door.

Each has its unique characteristics so it is important to learn the different types so you make the right choice for your bathroom remodel.

1. Swinging glass shower door

3 panel glass shower door with tile shower

A swinging glass shower door is a popular option for most bathroom remodels.

Characteristics of swinging glass shower doors

This type of glass shower has hinges that operate the swinging mechanism. 

These hinges can either be connected to the wall or to a header. (header hinges in the picture to the right)

There is a large amount of customization available for a swinging glass shower door.

A swinging glass shower door can be configured in any number of ways to fit the layout and design of the shower space.


2. Sliding glass shower door

A sliding glass shower door is another great option that is available for most bathroom remodels.

Glass sliding shower door with textured glass

Characteristics of sliding glass shower doors

A sliding glass shower door has a rail mechanism along the top of the glass panels that enable to glass to slide.

There is a rubber brake or softening system in place to prevent the panels from crashing into the wall when opening or closing the door with force. It’s still best practice to be careful when opening or closing glass doors.

When the doors are closed, there is enough overlap so that when the shower is on, the water does not leak between the panels. 

There are many types and variations of sliding mechanisms available to fit the style of the bathroom remodel.

Which is best for you

Selecting the type of shower door you want for your bathroom is an important decision to make. Each function differently and you want to make sure it will work for your bathroom and shower space. 

Swinging shower door is right for you

For some showers, the layout of the shower space dictates that a swinging shower door is your only viable option.

3D conceptual design of swinging glass shower door, with green tile and a return panel

This shower space is in the corner of the bathroom and has an elevated ledge along the tub.

A swinging shower with a return panel and a small side panel next to the door is the only viable option.

The opening where the door goes is not large enough to accommodate a sliding system. A swinging door is the only option.

3D conceptual design of glass swinging shower door and main bathroom door with barn style opening mechanism

Another example of a bathroom where a swinging door is the best option is when a shower space is angled. The picture above, for example, has three sides with 45-degree angles. 

This is very possible for a swinging glass shower door but impossible to achieve for a sliding door.

Sliding shower door is right for you

For shower layouts that have a large, rectangular opening, a sliding option is always possible. A large opening is needed because you need enough space to move the panels from side to side.

You also need secure mounting points to hang the mechanism from that will support the weight of the mechanism and the panels. A rectangular shower space with studded walls on opposite sides of the opening will work well for this purpose.

A fiberglass shower/tub base is an excellent mounting point for a sliding shower door. The fiberglass comes in standard rectangular sizes and has flat points of contact for the sliding mechanism to attach to.

Sliding glass shower door with black hardware

Next steps to get your new glass shower door or bathroom remodeled

In this article, you learned the different glass shower door options, their characteristics, and which is best for different shower spaces. Your understanding of glass shower doors is clear now and you have a much better idea of how to plan a bathroom remodel.

Want to learn how much it costs to remodel a bathroom? Here is an article to learn about bathroom remodeling costs and what factors influence bathroom remodeling costs.

If you want some inspirational ideas for a bathroom remodeling project, here is an article about some ideas for a bathroom remodel.

Ready to move forward with a bathroom remodel? Our sales team would be happy to answer your questions and help you remodel your bathroom space or shower. Fill out our contact form and we will reach out to you.

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.