While most potential homebuyers like to have at least one bathtub in a home, many homeowners are choosing to replace bathtub-shower combinations with shower enclosures. These enclosures can help make a bathroom look larger and brighter, and they can be more convenient for those who prefer showers to baths. If you’re planning to update your home with shower enclosures, here are some things to consider.
Consider the Space
The first step to choosing a shower enclosure is to decide where it will go in the bathroom and carefully measure the space. Having the shower in a corner or in a cramped bathroom will automatically narrow down the available options. The size of the space will help determine the size and shape of the enclosure.
Decide Where the Shower Head Will Be
The placement of the shower head also affects which type of shower enclosure is suitable for your bathroom because there can’t be any gaps in the areas where the shower spray will go. In particular, the door shouldn’t be directly in the line of fire of the shower head. The positioning of current plumbing components may determine the position of the shower enclosure and shower head.
Choose a Shape
Shower enclosures come in many different shapes and can even be custom designed to suit your needs and specifications. They can have all straight walls or some curved walls. However, designs using the standard 90-degree, 135-degree and 180-degree angles will be less expensive and easier to keep clean.
Determine Which Type of Door Is Most Suitable
Sliding doors can be best when space is at a premium, but these don’t work in very small enclosures. Folding doors are also a space-saving alternative. If space allows, pivot doors and hinged doors are also options. These open outward, so there can’t be any obstructions nearby. Also, outward-opening doors can cause water to drip on the floor outside of the shower.
Decide if You Want a Shower Tray
Some people create wet rooms with tile on the floor and any walls the shower will reach, which is particularly popular in homes where there’s someone who may have difficulty stepping over raised edges. Others opt for a shower tray. For the best fit, it’s often a good idea to purchase a tray especially made to go with the shower enclosure.
Choose the Frame Type
Shower enclosures can be framed, semi-framed or frameless. Frameless enclosures have the most contemporary look and are easiest to clean. However, they are also the most expensive. Framed enclosures are the sturdiest and least expensive, which makes them suitable for families with children. Semi-frameless enclosures can be a good compromise between appearance and price.
Decide How Thick to Make the Glass
The glass used for shower enclosures is typically between 5/32″ and 1/2″ thick, with thicker glass being heavier and needing more support. Those opting for frameless and semi-frameless enclosures often opt for 3/8″-thick glass, with 1/4″ glass also being a common choice.
Choose the Type of Glass
Another thing to consider is whether to get the plain glass or opt for a tinted, patterned or mirrored enclosure. Plain glass is easy to see through, so it may not be the best option if multiple people may be using the bathroom at once.
Decide Whether to Get Treated Glass
Some treatments are available to help make the glass stay clearer or make it easier to clean. You’ll need to decide whether the extra expense is worth these added benefits.
Choose a Reputable Installer
Installation is very important, so make sure the installer measures all the wall and floor angles accurately and adjusts the glass to suit those angles. Proper measurement is important because the angles of your bathroom may not be exactly 90 degrees. Some parts of the enclosure also need to be perfectly level, such as the header for a sliding door. The professionals at Martin Glass can help you determine which type of shower enclosure will be best for your bathroom and your budget.