How to Pick a Shower Door System
Your shower door system is the centerpiece of your bathroom, both stylistically and functionally. The right shower door system for you will depend on the space in your bathroom, the people in your home, style, and budget. Let's break down what to consider before purchasing a glass shower door system.
Think About Your Space
Are you remodeling or adding a new shower door system to an existing space? Do you need your shower to fit into a corner or an additional return panel to enclose your space? It’s important to think about layout and how you use your bathroom. Is there ample room to swing open a pivoting or hinged shower door, or will you walk right into the sink when you get out of the shower?
Sliding glass shower doors are a popular choice because they open side to side and don't encroach on your bathroom space when opening. Keep in mind that sliding doors can have full bypass, where both doors slide along the track, while others have a single sliding panel with the second one fixed. In a bathroom with less space, a pivoting or hinged door could be more advantageous. Function aside, a hinged shower door is one way to achieve a frameless look and show off your shower.
After you’ve narrowed down the type of shower door systems that might work for your bathroom, the most important step will be to measure the dimensions of your shower space to confirm the appropriate type and size of system you’ll be able to install.
If you’re just starting out in your research on shower door systems, check out our Shower Door Basics article where we cover all the essential terms and concepts.
Choose a Track Style
For sliding doors in particular, the shower door tracks are hardware that support the glass and give structure to your shower door. It is one focal point of a shower door enclosure, complementing the overall aesthetic. As a starting point, think about the theme that runs through the design of your bathroom.
Do you have a contemporary, on-trend style? Sliding glass doors with exposed rollers (sometimes referred to as barn door-style shower doors) can be a striking addition.
Does your bathroom have more architectural features and a classic style? You might want to go with a more traditional shower door, which offers a more prominent metal track to capture the timeless look you’ve come to expect. These doors will show more of the finish color you choose – adding warmth, coolness, or a pop of color.
Do you want more of a minimalist look? Consider a pivoting or heavy hinge door. Because these glass doors have their opening mechanisms on the side, there is generally no metal spanning across the top of the door. Hinged doors in particular have very minimal metal, with the hinges themselves being the primary hardware. This provides an unframed, high-end appearance. Shower screens are also a popular choice if you want an airy Euro-style look with less glass to clean.
The right glass shower door track will add personality to your bathroom design and complement the overall space.
Choose a Glass Finish for Style and Privacy
The glass finish on your shower door can add interest and/or privacy. Choices range from clear to fully frosted, from textured ‘rain’ to a trendy windowpane look. Play around with different glass options combined with different track styles to find your ideal shower door style combination.
There are also options when it comes to the thickness of the glass. The most common sizes available are 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm. 6mm is the standard across the market, giving the look you want at a more accessible price point. At the other end of the spectrum, 10mm is a high-end premium option, with a luxurious feel. 8mm balances the desire for luxury with affordability.
Ultimately, the finish and thickness you choose will depend upon how you use your shower and the style you desire. Would you prefer more privacy or a certain pattern to enhance your style? Or do you have beautiful tile you want to show off with clear glass? What glass thickness works for your budget and preferences?
Make a Wise Investment in Your Home
Of course, budget is always a consideration when investing in a shower door system. That said, it's important to weigh upfront cost with potential maintenance costs (and hassle) during the life of the shower door system.
Quality materials and manufacturing go a long way, therefore, choosing a trustworthy brand is essential. Check for things like:
- Availability of replacement parts
- Customer service and support
- Glass coatings and other features to make cleaning easier, such as Spot Guard from Delta®
Thinking of your general lifestyle and routines will help you rank the shower door features that are most important for you.
One last consideration for investment comes after you pick your shower door. Will you DIY the installation or hire a professional? If you’re thinking of tackling a DIY shower installation project, read this first to weigh your options.
Delta® shower door systems are offered in a thoughtful variety of track styles, glass finishes, as well as the ability to create a custom door with track, glass thickness, finish, and handle options (available at select retailers). Use our shower door finder tool – and in a few simple steps – you will have a variety of top shower or tub doors to choose from.