Sliding shower doors, also known as bypass doors, are a great option for many bathrooms. If you’re considering installing glass doors for your shower, you might consider sliding options for the many benefits they offer. We’ll discuss pros and cons of bypass shower doors as well as different types to choose from.
What are Sliding Shower Doors?
Sliding shower doors are exactly what they sound like. Rather than swinging open they slide from side to side. In most cases, they have two glass panels. Some showers allow both panels to move or keep one fixed in place. These doors are mounted on tracks that allow them to roll effortlessly open or closed. There are many reasons you might choose bypass shower doors for your bathroom.
Pros of Bypass Shower Doors
Why might you choose sliding doors for your shower? There are a lot of benefits to choosing these types of doors for your shower enclosure. They even work with tub shower combos to help you ditch all the shower curtains in your home for more practical and stylish options.
Save Space with Sliding Shower Doors
One of the main reasons why people choose bypass shower doors is because they save a lot of space. With hinged or pivot shower doors, you need plenty of room to allow them to swing outward. In many cases, this makes a large portion of your bathroom unusable to help keep the area clear for the door swing. Instead, sliding doors slide from side to side, so they don’t take up nearly as much room as hinged options. This makes sliding doors great for smaller bathrooms, or where the layout puts the toilet, cabinet, or other fixtures right in the way of where the shower door would swing open.
Easy to Use
Another great reason to choose sliding shower doors is that they’re super easy to use. In many cases, if you have children, elderly, or special needs family members, they may find it much easier to open and close sliding shower doors compared to hinged doors or even shower curtains.
Cons of Sliding Shower Doors
Sliding shower doors have a lot of great characteristics, but there are some drawbacks, too. Make sure you consider all the factors before choosing doors for your shower enclosure.
Not Suited for Small Shower Openings
One of the main issues with bypass shower doors is that they might not work for all shower enclosures. Because of how they operate, you’re generally looking at each glass panel of your sliding door system being about one-half of the width of your shower opening. For instance, most bathtubs are about 60 inches long, so for your tub shower combo, you’re likely looking at having two glass panels that are about 30 inches wide. So, small showers might not have enough space to allow for sliding doors. Building codes require doors to be at least 22 inches wide, and many local codes might require them to be bigger, so you are limited on where you can use sliding shower doors.
Tracks Can Collect Soap Scum
Another thing to consider is how easy shower doors are to clean. While glass doors are typically much easier to clean and maintain than pesky shower curtains, sliding options might feature U-channel tracks that can collect water and soap scum. This means sliding shower doors that feature these tracks will need regular cleaning to help keep them in top-shape and to help prevent bacteria and mold moving in and feeding off of built up soap scum.
Types of Sliding Shower Doors
Once you’ve decided on bypass shower doors for your bathroom, you’ll need to consider what type is best for your home. Sliding shower doors come in framed, frameless, and semi-frameless options, each with their own unique look as well as pros and cons.
Framed sliding shower doors have metal frames around each of the glass panels, which slide on tracks on the top and bottom. These are ultra-sturdy and offer plenty of support for the glass. This also means that we can use thinner glass panels in some cases because of the extra structural integrity offered by the frames. You can choose different finishes for the frames to help match your bathroom’s décor, as well. Just keep in mind that these might make your bathroom look slightly smaller than other options, though they’re infinitely better than an opaque shower curtain.
Frameless Shower Doors
However, many people love the modern and minimalist look of frameless shower doors. Luckily, there are options if you love the look of frameless, but want sliding shower doors. These usually feature barn door hardware, which has become all the rage in recent years. This allows for minimal hardware and completely unenclosed glass panels. The sliding mechanism is located near the top and you can choose hardware in many different finishes and colors to suit your bathroom. Because frameless doors don’t have a track on the bottom, they might not provide as tight of a seal as framed or semi-frameless solutions.
Semi-Frameless Sliding Shower Doors
Semi-frameless doors are like a compromise between framed and frameless options. These doors are usually enclosed in a frame around the opening of the shower, but the glass panels themselves aren’t framed. The doors slide on the top and bottom to provide extra support for the glass panels. Many people choose semi-frameless sliding shower doors because they help provide extra protection against leaks, but still have that modern frameless look.
Glass Experts at Apple Glass
Whether you need new shower doors or residential glass repair, call our team at ED Bathroom Accessories. Our specialists offer the glass expertise you need for your home and business. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality glass solutions at competitive prices. Get the advantage of experience when you choose our experts for your glass repair or installation project. Call us now at (074) 221-8404 in Cape Town for a free quote!