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13 Types of Shower Door and Glass Options

When is a shower door more than a shower door? When it has the perfect glass for an updated bathroom. When shopping for materials, homeowners often express surprise at how many types of glass doors are available. The sheer number of doors can sometimes make it hard to decide on one. To assist our readers, we compiled a list of the top 13 most common types of doors and shower glass below.

6 Types of Shower Doors

Modernize the bathroom framed, frameless, and semi-frameless glass shower doors and more! From sliding shower doors to space-saving pivot doors, homeowners have several options available to them. Let’s take a closer look at the top six types of shower doors for today’s homes.

1. Framed Glass Shower Doors

Installed in most homes across the country, framed shower doors still dominate the market. Their affordability, functionality, and durability make them popular options for any shower space. Perfect for any traditional bathroom design, framed doors experience fewer leaks than all other shower door options.

Framed glass doors allow homeowners to choose the finish on more hardware than frameless showers. On average, they cost less than all other types of shower glass doors and demonstrate superior durability. Almost all sliding doors are also fully framed.

While framed shower doors may not be the most modern or sleek shower door option, they can be customized to include every glass style. Over time, however, some types of metal framing may start to corrode, which usually does not impede the door’s functionality, but detracts from the bathroom’s overall aesthetic.

2. Frameless Shower Doors

Modernize the bathroom with sleek, stylish frameless shower doors. The simple elegance of frameless doors contributes to a clean, classy look.

Frameless doors often require more space than other doors because they swing open and closed. Bathrooms that can not accommodate this type of door may need a sliding door or one of the latest curved shower doors that work well for corner showers. A frameless walk-in shower with a stationary glass panel may also provide a solution for tight spaces.

Aside from their luxurious aesthetic, frameless doors offer one additional perk. More than any other type of shower door, they make a bathroom look spacious, open, and airy. After a good cleaning, a frameless glass shower may even evade the detection of guests, appearing more like a completely open shower enclosure.

3. Semi-Frameless Shower Door

With a semi-frameless shower door, homeowners can achieve a sophisticated, modern look at a lower price point than a frameless door. Semi-frameless shower enclosures have framing on one or more sides of the glass panels, but no frame around the door itself. They give the illusion of frameless construction with the added protection of framing around some of the edges.

Try to find handles and hinges that match existing bathroom fixtures, such as the faucet, showerhead, and towel rack. This type of shower door offers a semi-unobstructed view into the enclosure, making the entire bathroom appear more spacious and airy.

While a semi-frameless door costs less than the frameless shower door option, it still commands a higher price than most other doors on the market.

4. Sliding Shower Doors

Sliding doors save lots of floor space because the glass door slides along a track rather than swinging on hinges or a pivot. Homeowners often dispense with the shower curtain and install a sliding door on the rim of a tub and shower combo. Unsuitable for a corner shower, these types of doors are found mostly in small bathrooms.

Also known as bypass doors, they may have clear glass or textured glass. Some owners report tripping over the bottom track of a sliding door, especially when stepping in or out of a tub and shower combo. Since they usually have frames, this type of shower door is subject to corrosion, especially inside the tracks.

5. Glass Pivot Door

A pivot door serves as the perfect solution for a shower in a small bathroom. Because it opens on a pivot located near the middle of the bottom edge, a glass pivot door can function in places where a hinged door can not. In the tightest spaces, a pivot door can also open into the shower enclosure to save floor space.

Pivot doors come in framed, semi-frameless, and frameless varieties. Most pivot doors use a clear glass type, but some have tinting or an opaque coating. They also usually require minimal customization during installation to maximize the use of available space.

6. Bi-Fold Shower Doors

Close the narrow opening of a shower enclosure with a bi-fold shower door. Tight shower stalls that will not accommodate a bypass door or pivot door can sometimes use a bi-fold shower door instead of a shower curtain. In the most cramped spaces, tri-fold shower doors might be the only available glass door solution.

A bifold shower door is hinged in the middle to allow both pieces of glass to fold inward. At least one of the two glass panes slides along a track. Bi-folds often require a custom installation, which makes them more expensive than sliding doors and framed doors. Corner showers that can not use bi-fold doors may need neo-angle shower doors instead.

7 Types of Shower Glass

From tinted glass doors to frosted glass pivot doors, homeowners have more options than ever. Some shoppers face challenges when choosing a shower door due to the seemingly limitless options. To assist them, we have created the following list so they can discover the best types of shower glass for today’s homes.

1. Clear Glass Shower Door

Enjoy the timeless elegance and simplicity of a clear glass shower door. The most popular type of shower door remains completely transparent, except for a green tinge due to the iron oxide inside the glass. Clear glass doors suit all bathrooms, making them appear more spacious and clean.

Clear glass is the best choice for homeowners who wish to show off their stylish, new shower enclosures. The clear, tempered glass allows more natural light to bounce around the room unimpeded, brightening the entire room. Clear glass doors are recommended for shower enclosures with a window because they permit sunlight to fill the rest of the bathroom.

Clear glass shower doors require extra diligence to keep them clean. Wiping the glass with a squeegee to remove water droplets after every shower should suffice until the next thorough cleaning with a glass cleaner.

2. Frosted Glass Doors

Maintain privacy and leave a little mystery with frosted glass doors. To frost each opaque shower door, manufacturers etch one side of the glass by sandblasting or applying acid. The etched surface scatters light in all directions, making it impossible to see what’s on the other side with any clarity.

The frosted side of a shower door poses challenges when cleaning because residues may build up on the irregular surface. However, fingerprints, smudges, and soap scum are less visible on frosted glass than on clear glass. The smooth side of a frosted glass door is as easy to clean as most windows.

3. Tinted Glass Doors

Become a neighborhood trendsetter by choosing tinted glass for the shower door. Available in several colors, tinted glass allows homeowners to match their shower door with the rest of their bathroom’s interior design. Some of the most popular colors include:

  • Bronze
  • Gray
  • Rose Gold
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Red

Manufacturers make tinted glass that is completely transparent, 100% opaque, and everything in between. Choose a shower door with enough opacity to achieve the desired amount of privacy. Doors with high opacity may necessitate an overhead light in the shower stall.

4. Textured Glass Shower Doors

Textured glass shower doors offer some privacy without blocking out all the light. The different kinds of textures available determine the opacity of the shower door. Most types of textured glass remain completely smooth on one side for easy cleaning.

One of the best things about textured glass doors is that homeowners can customize them to include almost any design. This feature allows homeowners to match their doors to their bathroom decor. Some of the most common styles of textured glass include:

  • Bamboo
  • Dolphins
  • Bubbles
  • Leaves
  • Rain
  • Fish

5. Low-Iron Shower Glass

Enjoy a crystal clear view of the entire bathroom with a low-iron shower glass door. Low-iron glass delivers enhanced clarity because it has less of a green tinge than a clear shower door. The result is a more true-to-color view of the bathroom’s tiles and fixtures.

Low-iron glass works well in dark bathrooms because the shower door lets in the maximum amount of light. As a consequence, water spots and fingerprints show up more readily on low-iron glass than on clear, tinted, and frosted glass. Also, low-iron glass offers less privacy than every other type of shower glass.

6. Rain Glass Doors

Rain glass looks like it has water streaming down it, even when completely dry. It serves as an artistic alternative to tinted and frosted glass because it offers considerable privacy and suits almost any bathroom. Homeowners should install rain glass in large bathrooms because the rain pattern obstructs all lines of sight into the shower enclosure.

For a private, well-lit shower, rain glass strikes a delicate balance. It offers nearly as much privacy as its frosted counterpart and lets in almost as much light as a clear glass shower door. Like other types of textured glass, rain glass proves challenging to clean on one side, while the other side remains flat and easy to clean.

7. Curved Glass Doors

The contemporary lines of curved glass doors create a sense of luxury and opulence. The doors themselves look custom-made, even when they are not. In general, curved glass doors cost more than any other door made with the same type of glass. However, easy cleaning and a modern aesthetic make up for the extra cost.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Shower Doors

What type of glass is best for a shower door?

The best type of glass for a shower door is tempered glass. It remains the most common kind of shower door glass on the market. Tempered glass undergoes a specialized heating and rapid cooling process to place the surface under compression and the interior under tension. The result is a glass four times stronger than annealed glass.

What is the trend for shower doors?

The trend for shower doors is textured or patterned glass. After losing popularity in previous decades, textured and patterned glass has made a comeback in recent years. Homeowners appreciate textured glass for its increased privacy. Patterned glass allows homeowners to stylize their bathrooms in a way that reflects their personal style and sets their homes apart from others.

What is the best glass for a shower window?

Tempered glass is the best glass for a shower window due to its strength, durability, and resistance to breakage. When it does break, it shatters into small, dull pieces instead of large, sharp shards. Most jurisdictions now require all shower windows to contain tempered glass to increase the safety of occupants.

What type of glass shower door is easiest to clean?

A clear, frameless shower door is easiest to clean because it does not have seals, frames, or texturized pitting, which collect soap scum and mineralized buildup. Plus, any residue left over after an initial cleaning remains readily apparent. Minimal spot cleaning can then finish the job. A frosted, framed shower door with lots of hardware collects more buildup and hides it, making it the hardest shower door to clean.

What is the best material for a shower door?

Clear shower glass is the best material for a shower door because it allows plenty of light into the shower enclosure and produces a chic, modern look. Clear glass remains the most popular material for doors due to its functionality, safety, and affordability. Plus, it showcases high-quality tiles and fixtures within the shower stall.

Types of Glass Shower Doors | Gatsby Glass

Now that you know the most common kinds of glass for shower doors, you can select the best one for your shower stall. Whether you are considering laminated tempered glass or low-iron glass, our shower door experts will help you find the best available solution for your bathroom. Call Gatsby Glass at 866-GLASS-64 to schedule a consultation today.