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What are the Different Types of Bi-Fold Shower Doors?

Article Details
  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Bi-fold shower doors are a common feature in smaller bathrooms because the offer easy access to a shower area while saving space. Made out of glass, these doors can be framed in various metals or left unframed for a more seamless look. There are some options for people looking to install bi-fold shower doors, though these differences are aesthetic in nature. All bi-fold shower doors slide along two tracks and open inward along a hinge between two of the panels.

The most common type of bi-fold shower doors are those constructed with frames. The framing around the glass is metal which can be customized to match the interior of the bathroom. Offering extra support for the glass door, the glass used in a framed door can be significantly thinner than that used in unframed varieties. Many people choose these types of doors because they are cheaper and easier to install than unframed varieties.

This type of shower door is also available without a frame. In this design, panes of thick, strong glass are hinged together, and rollers are attached to the top and bottom of the glass itself. Though there is no framing around the panels of glass in this type of door, the entire area is still framed by the upper and lower tracks that are needed to open and close the doors.

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The glass used in either framed or unframed bi-fold shower doors can be customized in a number of different ways. Tinting is available that changes the color of the glass. It is also possible to texture glass, giving it a wavy appearance that distorts anything on the other side. Etching can also be done to add any custom design to a pane of glass.

Bi-fold doors are all constructed in the same way. The doors run on two tracks, one above and one below the door. They are connected to these tracks by rollers which allow the doors to open to the inside of the shower. All bi-fold shower doors open to the inside, which keeps water off of the bathroom floor.

Though bi-fold shower doors are a common choice in bathroom design, they are not the easiest doors to clean. Water can build up in the track, which can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Debris caught in the track can wear out the rollers and necessitate repairing the door. A framed piece of glass will also require additional cleaning around the metal frame because this area can also attract mold and mildew.

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