How Do I Choose a New Shower Door Enclosure

How Do I Choose a New Shower Door/Enclosure?

There are many different types of glass shower doors and enclosures, so it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Generally speaking, there are four different types of showers: bathtub showers, walk-in enclosures, alcove stand-alone stalls, and barrier-free showers. Which one you choose, and what materials and style to go with it, can be narrowed down with the following considerations:

Consider Function

Do you need to replace your current glass shower enclosure, or do you want a whole new shower? If you just need to replace an existing enclosure or door, then that will narrow down your list of options because you’ll be restricted by space, shape, and sometimes style.

You will also need to consider essentials such as functionality. For example, thicker glass tends to be more expensive and heavier, but it also helps create a more stable, smoother gliding door and may also be less prone to shattering.

Ease of cleaning is another important aspect of a shower. Do you want something that generally keeps itself clean and, when needed, can be cleaned quickly? Or do you not mind a little extra maintenance? Frameless showers tend to be easier to clean than framed ones because they are less likely to accumulate mold and mildew.

Narrow it down further by considering privacy. How much privacy are you looking for in your shower? Do you like the security of opaque or semi-opaque walls, or do you like the open feel of transparent walls? Are you worried about anyone (i.e. children) walking in on you while you’re in the shower?

Consider Bathroom Size

How big is your bathroom? Is it large? Small? Somewhere in-between? Size matters a great deal when you’re planning to replace your glass shower enclosure. For example, some types of shower doors are more compatible with a small space than others. Sliding, bypass, round, and folding shower doors all perform well in a smaller space. Swinging doors and doorless showers, for contrast, tend to need more space.

Considering that more space is generally more desirable than less, the type of glass that you use also makes a difference. Opaque and semi transparent glass are more restrictive than fully transparent glass, so these options tend to look better in a larger space. Clear glass shower doors, on the other hand, help a small bathroom appear larger.

Consider Bathroom Style

Unless you plan to overhaul your whole bathroom starting with the shower, you will need to look at your bathroom’s current design style for inspiration on what type of shower is likely to look best.

According to Home Stratosphere, the most popular bathroom design styles are:

  • Contemporary
  • Traditional
  • Transitional
  • Modern
  • Eclectic
  • Craftsman
  • Beach style
  • Mediterranean
  • Rustic
  • Farmhouse
  • Midcentury
  • Scandinavian
  • Industrial
  • Tropical
  • Victorian
  • Shabby-chic
  • Southwestern


Different shower shapes and finishes are compatible with different design themes. For example, a glass, frameless, doorless shower looks stunning in a contemporary bathroom, but may look out of place in a bathroom with a rustic theme.

One of the most important details you will need to consider here is the hardware and track finish. These should match with the other metal fixtures in the bathroom. If you have a brass faucet and cabinetware, then the frame and hardware should also be brass. Mixing metals or finishes in the same room rarely ends well.

Consider Special Needs

Do you have someone who will be using this shower who has a disability or special needs related to old age? If so, that will need to be part of your decision-making process. Tub enclosures are not very elderly-friendly because they create a tripping hazard. Doorless glass shower enclosures work well for people who are wheelchair-bound.

There are other needs which you should also consider when choosing a new glass shower door or enclosure. For example, are the users particularly tall or short? That can affect the height of the shower enclosure. Do young children use this bathroom? If so, you will likely need a bathtub.

Consider Your Own Preferences

Toward the end of the decision-making process, your own personal taste and preferences will be the final say. There are many different types of glass and many different styles of shower enclosures, so even if you nail down bathroom size, style, desired function, and any special needs, you can still have plenty of options left. So collect pictures of the remaining options, have a look at them, and ask yourself: “Which one do I like best?”

Whether you are building a new home or renovating your current one, Community Glass proudly offers a complete line of high quality glass products. Our products improve your home’s appearance and functionality while also simply making it more comfortable. Although we always have great deals on glass, we also hold regular sales throughout the year. Call today to ask about our current deals on glass shower doors and enclosures!