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Pivot vs Hinged Shower Doors: Selecting the Best for You

Discover the difference between hinged and pivot shower doors! As two of the most popular shower doors, pivot and hinged doors grace the shower enclosure openings in millions of bathrooms around the world.

But what is the difference between pivot and hinge shower doors? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of both types of glass shower doors.

What Is a Hinged Shower Door?

A hinged shower door hangs on hinges attached to the inside of a door frame or directly to the shower enclosure. Hinged shower doors swing open and closed much like non-shower doors. Similar to framed, hinged doors, a frameless or semi-frameless shower door will often swing on hinges, as well.

What Is a Pivot Shower Door?

A pivot door sits on a fulcrum that can be found almost anywhere along the bottom of the door, including the middle. Because they do not hang on hinges, they require less floor space to open and close than hinged doors but more floor space than sliding shower doors. Still, pivot shower doors provide an effective solution for a corner shower with a small shower tray.

Benefits of Hinged Shower Doors

A hinge shower door offers several benefits to homeowners. Its large opening, intuitive design, and easy cleaning make it a popular alternative to a shower curtain. Let’s explore some of the main perks of hinge doors before looking at a couple of drawbacks.

Large Opening

Other than sliding glass shower doors, hinged doors provide the easiest ingress and egress to the shower space. Their large openings allow people of all sizes to step in and out of the shower with ease.

Intuitive Design

A hinged door opens like most doors—the full width of it swings open and shut from side hinges. Few people face challenges when trying to open hinged shower doors once they figure out whether they open inward or outward.

Easy to Clean

Depending on the type of glass, hinged doors usually prove easy to clean. Hinged doors with clear glass will look great for a long time with little more than a wipe from a squeegee after each shower. During thorough cleanings, pay extra attention to the hinges, where soap scum tends to build up.

Drawbacks to Hinged Shower Doors

When shopping for new glass shower doors, homeowners will encounter several different types of hinged doors. While hinged glass doors have few drawbacks, they are more bulky and costly than pivot shower doors.


Most hinged shower doors open wide, so they need a lot of space to operate. Homeowners who need a solution for small bathrooms may need to look elsewhere. A pivot door can spin on a pivot hinge in the middle, saving space by creating a revolving door.


Although a hinged door will usually cost less than a pivot door of the same size, it will still carry a high price. The extra material required for the frame, hinges, and other hardware adds to its cost. Hinged shower doors with a frameless design will cost more than a framed pivot door, so some price overlap exists.

Benefits of Pivot Shower Doors

Pivot doors serve as a welcome solution for corner showers and stand-alone shower stalls in bathrooms with limited space. Their affordability, compactness, and easy installation make them a popular choice for new homeowners. Find the main benefits of pivot shower doors below.


When upgrading from a shower curtain, pivot shower doors represent an affordable door type. Their simplicity and limited hardware keep costs low. As usual, the larger the pivot door, the more it will cost.


The beauty of pivoting doors lies in their space-saving ability. Because the pivot hinge sits near the middle of the door, it does not open as wide or take up as much space on the bathroom floor as the hinged option.

Easy to Install

A pivot door remains one of the easiest shower doors to install. The reduced labor hours should result in a lower bill after installation. All shower doors should be installed by an experienced shower door installer.

Drawbacks to Pivot Shower Doors

As an economical bathroom solution, pivot doors present some tradeoffs. Small openings and minimal water drippage represent two of the most common drawbacks to these types of doors.

Let’s examine some of the potential downsides to a pivot door:

Small Opening

One of the most common drawbacks to pivot doors is a small opening into the shower space. Often used in cramped bathrooms to save floor space, a pivoting door leaves a small opening for getting in and out of the enclosure.

Drips Water When Open

If the pivot door swings outward, it can lead to moisture accumulation outside the shower space. The excess water can lead to mold growth or water damage. Wiping the floor after a shower will prevent most moisture-related issues.

Installation: Pivot vs. Hinged Shower Door

Pivot and hinged door installations follow different procedures. In general, the installation of a pivot door proves more challenging because it often requires drilling into the floor. It is also more difficult to adjust a misaligned pivot door than a hinged door.

Because pivot shower doors work well in small bathrooms, cramped conditions present an extra challenge during the installation process.

Cost: Pivot vs. Hinged Shower Door

Pivot shower doors cost more than hinged doors because they require more hardware and take longer to install. However, some overlap in price may exist, depending on the type of glass and hardware. For example, a frameless hinged shower door with stainless steel hardware will cost more than a framed pivot door with aluminum hardware.

Lifespan: Pivot vs. Hinged Shower Door

Pivot and hinged shower doors have similar lifespans. In general, the quality of the materials will determine how long a door lasts. Corrosion tends to affect the hardware of hinged doors more than pivot shower doors. Cautious use and regular maintenance will improve the lifespans of both types of shower door.

Pivot Door vs. Hinged Door: Which Will You Choose? | Gatsby Glass

Does your bathroom’s shower enclosure need a new shower door? Are you looking at hinged and pivot shower doors? Our seasoned glass door experts can help you find an aesthetically pleasing solution that maximizes your available space. Call Gatsby Glass at 866-GLASS-64 to schedule a free consultation today!