How to Choose Your Glass Shower Enclosure
Today, shower enclosures are designed to do more than just contain spraying water. Aside from serving their functional purpose, glass shower enclosures also double as tools for enhancing the visual appeal of seamless perceptions desired for modern, rustic, and traditional styles. In contrast to the prefabricated shower and bath inserts of yesterday, customized bathroom designs are becoming one of the most important aspects of the real estate market, giving the home personality, while offering a better quality of life for the homeowner. Customization is attainable across all budget limitations to create a bathroom design that meets personal needs, maximizes the functionality of space, and aesthetically enhances the theme of the home.
Consider the custom built shower area as the one feature in the room to receive the most attention. Glass enclosures act as frames that highlight shower wall features, adding beauty to the open space in an area where mental relaxation meets physical refreshment. Whether you are adding a new custom shower, or you have decided to update an outdated space that encourages your bathroom to meet its full potential, you will soon find that there are endless options available to meet your design needs.
Customized walk-in showers are desired for their distinguishing artistic features that emphasize the masterpiece tile design of shower wall space. Once created, the enclosure should be a complimenting piece to the artwork of your new wall, while also serving the functional purpose of centralizing the water to its designated drain area. Choosing a shower enclosure style can become overwhelming with so many choices. From the design layout to choosing between a framed or frameless appearance, clear, tinted, textured, or frosted glass, sliding, swinging, or folding doors, and many options in between. Ensotile is committed to guiding our clients through the process of decision making by explaining the differences found in each option, so you can keep the excitement flowing about your new shower.
Sizing It Up
Beginning with your bathroom design, theme, and spatial limitations, choosing your shower enclosure layout is one of the first decisions to make. The recommended walk-in shower is at least 32” x 32” to allow room for a person to move. Depending on the space you have for your bathroom, the more room that you have to allot for your shower, the better. Double showers are also a great choice for your shower design. Not only do they allow enough space to practice your dance moves along with that American Idol rehearsal, but you can also make it a party by offering enough room for two people to shower at the same time. Custom walk-in showers can be customized to any size, depending on what appeals to you! So, once you know if you want a small shower, or a larger shower, the next step is to figure out the best location.
Visualizing The Perfect Placement
Look around your bathroom, and imagine the best place for your shower. If this is a new bathroom, and there is no room yet, close your eyes and follow along. For smaller bathrooms where you choose to do a separate bath and shower, the best option is to go with a corner shower. If the bath does not appeal to you, and the space is available, consider eliminating the tub, and introducing the double shower to your room. For larger bathrooms, you may choose to give your shower a spa like theme, where the shower is encased with floor to ceiling walls, and use a glass entry door, or knee walls with glass windows to offer more visual detail. Another idea is to use a full glass enclosure, so that the tile accents will capture the perception of luxury and grander. After you have an idea of the allotted space, and you have a visualization of where your new shower will be constructed let’s talk design options.
Corner, cased, or freestanding, you are sure to find a custom option that fits your style perfectly! The most common design layouts for shower enclosures include panel, inline, right angle, and neo angle. Curved shower enclosures require custom glass panels, and are not as popular as other designs for they require a higher level of specifications for creating the design. If your bathroom is really unique, custom tempered glass can be used to develop any design that will fit perfectly with your style.
Panel Shower Enclosures
Panel shower enclosures serve the purpose of protecting the room from excess water spray, but the panel enclosure is unique in providing a doorless entry into the shower area. A glass panel shower panel can be used in any bathroom for both walk-in and tub/shower combinations. They create a separate space for the shower area, while still serving a functional purpose, and adding a modern style that highlights the shower wall design. Typically used for stand-up showers, the panel may mount from ceiling to floor to create a stall, or atop a buttress to act as a divider between two spaces. If you love the light that glass transmits onto elegant tile works, but you are not sure that a glass door is necessary for your shower area, look into glass panels to get the illuminating effect of the glass shower enclosure without the added door. This option may also add to the needs of special needs access to the shower, as curbless showers with window visibility are ideal for special needs clients.
Inline the Straight Line
Say you have three standing, beautifully tiled, walls, and you need a shower enclosure that will protect the rest of the bathroom from the water spray, but still showcase the exquisite stone shower walls with that special niche and custom bench. In this case, the inline glass shower enclosure is for you. An inline shower enclosure fits flush with the already standing three walls, whether above a shower/tub combo, or walk-in shower room. The inline shower enclosure is the most popular style of full enclosures for a shower/tub combo, because one of the easiest ways to transform an existing bathroom is to customize the shower wall with tile, and add a new glass enclosure for easy access into the tub. For a more modern look in tight quarters, a knee wall, or a half wall, could break the area between another fixture, like the toilet or sink, and the shower, to provide privacy and maximize your space. In large master bathrooms where style meets wow, one trending design is to create a shower paradise where a large shower room is encased with a full tile walls, and several glass panels across the front of the scene.
To get some additional design ideas for your inline shower enclosure, check out these inline layouts from Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Right Angle Shower Enclosures
Right angle shower enclosures are sometimes called 90 degree and cornered showers. A right angle shower enclosure is anything that has a 90 degree angle, which makes a corner, hence the references to the names. Right angle enclosures offer several options for an array of shower designs. Whether you are choosing to do a corner shower with two tiled walls and want to highlight the features within the shower with glass panels and an entry door, or you desire a shower with one full featured wall, double right angles, and three glass panels surrounding with an entry in the front, both options refer to the right angle shower enclosure. Depending on how your bathroom is set up, a right angle shower enclosure offers a modern facelift for your bathroom, as well as a complimenting feature that captures light and illuminates the beauty of your shower sanctuary. Right angle shower enclosures are great for bathrooms that have a need for one 90 degree angle. In separate bath and shower rooms, you may benefit from the right angle shower if your bathtub and shower are side by side in an open layout. With two walls in the corner of the room featured in stone or porcelain tile, and a bathtub in the middle of the wall, you may encounter a buttress where the side of the tub meets the shower area. In this case, as with a knee wall, a custom glass panel may be used to add a window area separating the tub and shower, which meets at 90 degree corner of framed metal or frameless glass with a door enclosure. The corner of the glass panel and the glass door can point either right or left, depending on your bathroom’s layout and the limitations of fixture placement.
For more ideas on right angle layouts, check out these right angle layout options from Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Neo-Angle Shower Enclosures
Neo-angle showers enclosures offer a space saving alternative to right angle enclosures. The standard neo-angle shower consists of two panels that meet at a 135 degree angle with the glass door. A two-thirds neo-angle enclosure has a similar design, but uses only one panel and the angled door. The door of the neo-angle shower is where the squared corner would have sat towards the middle of the room. With the triangular chunk taken out of the 90 degree corner, the bathroom has more walk around space. The neo-angle shower is a solution for small bathroom limitations, but it also has a large value in larger master suites. This design gives you more than the traditional square or rectangular shower enclosure, and accents your well-designed shower at a visually pleasing angle that screams elegance for anyone who walks into your room. Though the two corners of a standard neo-angle shower are usually 135 degrees, the neo-angle design can be customized to fit other angles, as long as the angles are conducive to safety and functionality.
Want to see more ways to incorporate neo-angle shower enclosures? Check out neo-angle glass shower designs from Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Curved shower enclosures
Curved shower enclosures are the height of customization for glass shower enclosures. Using tempered glass to create a round appearance, there are no angles, and the glass is seamless. Curved showers can be used for corners in small bathrooms, much like the neo-angle design. However, in larger bathrooms where the shower design is large and loud, a curved shower can be customized as a full circle in mid floor. The possibilities are endless, and each shower design makes its own statement. To save space in a corner shower, you may choose bypass single or double doors that don’t open out to the floor. However, on larger shower enclosures with only one curved panel and several straight panels customized for a unique design, you may choose a flat glass door. Be sure to consult with your contractor, as the more customization the glass will require, the more your bathroom makeover will cost.
Framed, Semi-frameless, and Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures
Choosing between framed, semi-frameless, and frameless glass shower enclosures is almost like choosing the between rival football teams for your state. Everyone has an opinion as to the best, but the choice is ultimately up to the homeowner for which style is the most functional and appealing for the cost. Understanding the basic differences between the three can save you time on trying to decide which style fits your bathroom.
Framed shower enclosures are the most traditional enclosures that consist of thin glass fully encased in aluminum to frame the design of your shower. The frame is connected to the wall, and the frame outlines the structure, as well as the door. The framed glass shower enclosure offers a more cost efficient alternative option to frameless enclosures, since the glass is thinner, as low as 3/16”, depending on which door option you choose. To get an idea of the framed glass shower design, check out Dulles Glass & Mirror or check out Drexler Shower Door & Custom Glass for framed shower enclosure styles constructed in the Atlanta area.
Semi-frameless shower enclosure designs are a mix between framed and frameless designs. Though there is an aluminum frame protecting the top, bottom, and sides of the glass shower enclosure, there is also an exposed glass edge around the door. The semi-frameless shower enclosure will be a little more expensive than the framed shower, with about a ¼” or thicker glass. The thicker the glass, the more strength it has to withstand the bareness of exposed edges. However, the more it will cost to use in your shower, as more materials are used in the tempered glass process. To learn more about semi-frameless designs, or to see pictures of completed semi-frameless shower enclosures near Atlanta, take a look at Superior Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Frameless shower enclosure designs are currently the most popular style of luxury shower enclosures. Though they may require a header for full functioning safety, they offer the most perceptional continuity of the shower area in your bathroom. With a variety of designs, a frameless glass shower enclosure offers a seamless appearance, created with the thickest tempered safety glass of 3/8” to ½”, and relies on the strength and heaviness of the design for full functioning. With frameless showers being the thickest glass, and having the most desirable appearance for luxury bathrooms, the cost of a frameless shower enclosure will be more than the alternative framed and semi-frameless choices. Check out frameless glass shower enclosure ideas in the Atlanta area with Superior Shower Doors, Drexler Shower Door & Custom Glass and Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Glass Options For Shower Enclosures
Tempered glass is the only glass permitted for shower installations, as it accommodates the needs for safety in the shower area. If the tempered glass should break, it will shatter in several tiny pieces to prevent the chances of injury. In addition to the functionality of tempered glass, manufacturers offer several styles to incorporate the intended style for the home owner’s bathroom.
Clear Glass – Clear glass in the shower is one of the best options for visual perceptions of opening up the space, and transmitting light onto the shower walls. Though clear glass for shower enclosures and doors is considered clear, there is a green tint that is a product of manufacturing methods.
Low-iron Glass – Another clear glass option that offers the open perception of your shower enclosure without the green tent is low-iron glass. The low-iron shower glass option provides the clearest transparency of all other shower glass options.
Tinted Glass – Tinted glass may appear in bronze or gray to lessen the flow of light, while creating an appearance that adds drama and intimacy to the shower space. Custom glass could be tinted any color to complete a unique style, but clear, bronze and gray are popular and readily available.
Frosted Glass – Through acid etching or sandblasting, frosted glass is used to create a look that captures light, but adds privacy with a satin frost behind the glass. Frosted glass can be custom ordered to incorporate any design from stripes to artistic murals.
To get more ideas on the differences of clear, low-iron, tinted, and frosted glass, check out the video from Dulles Glass & Mirror.
Textured Glass – There are several designs that provide a unique option to glass with designs for privacy and artistic style. Textured glass options include custom designs that appear to be carved into the structure of the glass, creating a unique, one of a kind shower design. To view more shower glass stiles check out Textured Shower Glass Home Design Photos with Houzz or consult with a local glass provider like Drexler Shower Door & Custom Glass and Superior Shower Doors.
Shower Enclosure Door Styles
Just as there are a number of design layouts for glass shower enclosures, there are also a number of choices for doors. Whether you want your door to slide, swing, or fold, you can find the perfect glass shower door to compliment your shower enclosure. You must keep in mind that doors which swing open will need enough space to function.
Bypass Doors for Glass Shower Enclosures
Bypass doors are sliding doors for your shower, which have been around since the beginning or shower and tub combinations. These enclosures eliminate the need for shower curtains, and serve the purpose of protecting the bathroom from water spray, while offering easy access into the shower area. With new frameless shower designs, new glass bypass shower door options are on the rise to give an open and seamless appearance for easy bathroom updates. To learn more about the new frameless bypass shower doors, check out Drexler Shower & Custom Glass out of Buckhead.
Swinging Doors for Glass Shower Enclosures
Swinging doors offer a traditional open and close entry way into the shower area, and are usually referred to as either single or double doors. For a shower that is fully encased in tile walls, you may desire a single door enclosure, or a double door enclosure, depending on the size of your opening. To further customize the swinging door option, you may choose to go with a hinged door that opens out only, or a pivoting door that opens out and in, swinging 180 degrees in both directions. To see options for single shower door enclosures, take a look at these Shower Doors of Atlanta designs and double door shower door ideas.
Bi-fold Doors for Glass Shower Enclosures
Bi-fold doors for glass shower enclosures offer a space saving option that breaks the shower door into folding panels for minimal space needed to function. Thin glass panels are connected together to create a door that, when open, folds together in a stacking order on one side of the entry. Bi-fold glass shower doors are ideal for areas where the function of a swinging door would be interrupted by a close setting fixture, or the entry opening space is too small to slide the door to one side of the shower. The bi-fold glass door allows the visual appearance of a complete shower enclosure that frames the tile of the shower area, while solving problems with space hindering door problems. To learn more about the designs of bi-fold glass shower door enclosures, check out these plans by Shower Doors of Atlanta.
Glass Shower Enclosures
There are several considerations to be made when considering the perfect shower enclosure for your bathroom. By now, you should have an idea to take to your contractor with a list of desires that will help you communicate your vision. Keeping an open mind and allowing the contractor to help to guide you in the right direction is beneficial for the process of the shower enclosure choice. The contractor may suggest an idea that you have not thought through about your design, as far as any complicating design features for your specific space. Understanding the language that you are likely to encounter during your consultation will help you to better communicate with your contractor. Before you have your meeting, review the shower enclosure language glossary provided by D’Sapone, so you are able to thoroughly understand what your contractor proposes.
Ensotile is pleased to help in any way that we can to ensure that your new shower area reaches its full potential. Our professionals are happy to answer any questions that you may have about the process from designing your walk-in shower, updating your tub area, or completing a full remodel. Call to schedule your free remodel today, and experience our approach to 100% customer satisfaction.
- Size up your space.
- Visualize where you want your shower.
- Choose your shower shape design.
- Choose between framed, semi-frameless, or frameless designs.
- Find the glass that fits your theme.
- Determine which door is best for your space.
- Speak the language.