Find the Ideal Shower
A new shower door, base, or wall is guaranteed to elevate both the style and functionality of your bathroom. Whether you’re looking to completely remodel your shower or just need a quick update, here’s what you need to know to create a cohesive, beautiful shower for your home.
Which Type of Shower is Right for Your Home?
Before shopping for a new base, door, or otherwise, it’s good to start with a basic understanding of the different types of showers.
Pre-Fabricated vs. Custom
Pre-fabricated showers are exactly what they sound like: all-in-one shower units sold with all the components packaged together, from the shower walls to the floor to the doors to even the shower faucet. These pre-fabricated shower kits are often more budget-friendly and easier to install, but you don’t have much flexibility or originality regarding style or functionality.
On the other hand, you can tailor a custom shower to your exact specifications and unique personal preferences. You get to choose the door, faucets, base or flooring, and other shower components.
Types of Enclosures
The shape and style of the shower is another major determining factor when it comes to shopping for shower accessories. Minus the tub-shower combo (which uses a bathtub as a base), most showers are enclosures—enclosed, free-standing walk-in showers often placed in the bathroom corner. The shape and location of the shower are what sets each enclosure type apart. Some enclosure shapes, like the corner or rectangle shower enclosure, are self-explanatory.
One unique design to look out for is the neo-angle shower enclosure, a freestanding walk-in shower with a five-sided, diamond-shaped design that fits nicely into the corner of the bathroom. For a contemporary look, you can also go with a curved shower enclosure, which has a rounded entryway.
How to Choose a Shower Door
Once you’ve figured out what shower type you have or want, it’s time to pick a shower door. First, you’ll want to determine how you want the door to open. Below are your main options:
Hinged shower doors are doors that attach to hinges at the top and bottom of the shower entrance, the door opening and swinging outward from the enclosure.
Pivot shower doors also rest on hinges and swing open and closed, but unlike hinged doors, pivot shower doors attach to one long, continuous hinge. These doors also have a smaller arc to their opening.
Sliding shower doors slide open instead of outward. Although you’re more likely to see sliding doors mounted onto frames, it’s possible to have a frameless sliding door.
Framed vs. Frameless
Whether you want a hinged, pivot, or sliding door, you also want to consider whether you want a framed doorway or a frameless (or semi-frameless) design.
While framed shower doors are easier to install and typically more cost-effective, the design is considered a bit dated. Additionally, the metal frame can be harder to maintain over time due to corrosion and the build-up of mildew, although materials like stainless steel can mitigate these problems. When it comes to framed doors, you’re often limited to ordering from the original manufacturer when you need replacement parts.
Frameless shower doors introduce a modern, sleek style to any bathroom. Not only will your bathroom feel more spacious, but the frameless design is easier to maintain in the long run, seeing as it’s easier to clean and replace parts. Frameless doors also have a wider range of motions, swinging both outward and inward.
Shower Door Materials
Most shower doors are made from tempered glass, a special kind of glass that’s toughened through a controlled chemical or thermal process.
Tempered glass is created in such a way that when it does fracture (which is unlikely to happen), it breaks into small, pebble-sized pieces that are unlikely to cause harm compared to the sharp, jagged edges of ordinary annealed glass.
Even if most shower doors use tempered glass, your glass options are not limited to one style. These glass shower doors can come in clear, tinted, and frosted glass styles. Plus, you can always spice up your sliding glass shower door with brushed nickel or silver hardware.
Shower Base & Floor Options
What is the best shower base? With all the options that exist, it can be challenging to figure out which shower base or shower pan is suitable for you. At the most basic level, you want a waterproof base that prevents moisture from reaching your bathroom floor and fits your shower’s shape and drain location.
However, you might want to consider additional functionality, like selecting a base with solid slip resistance or even one with seating attached. Style is another important factor: Do you want unique, custom tile flooring? A base with a premium high gloss acrylic finish?
Shower Base Materials
Acrylic - Acrylic shower bases are durable and easy to maintain. Though a bit pricier, the acrylic’s scratch-resistant and completely waterproof surface make it a worthwhile investment.
Tile - For a more upscale look, you can opt for a tile shower floor. This option is more expensive and requires more maintenance, but the tile makes for a gorgeous, custom finish to your shower. If you choose the tile floor option, take extra care during the shower installation to ensure the floor is completely waterproof.
Fiberglass - Fiberglass shower bases are cheaper than acrylic and tile materials but are more susceptible to damage, scratches, and scuffs.
Shape & Drain Location
Don’t forget to get a base that matches your drain location! If you have a center drain, be sure to get a base with a center drain fitting. Measure your shower to ensure you buy a base that meets its specifications and shape.
Complete the Look
Of course, no shower is complete without a faucet and shower head! While you’re at it, you can also update your bathroom’s vanity cabinets and lighting for an all-around gorgeous home upgrade. Our designers can get you started.