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What Are the Different Types of Sliding Shower Doors?

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  • Written By: Donna Johnson
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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One feature that a homeowner may choose to add during a bathroom remodel is a new shower door. Using shower doors rather than shower curtains can improve water containment and add beauty to the bathroom. There are several types of sliding shower doors, including bypass doors for standalone showers, tub and shower combo units, framed or frameless doors, and privacy doors.

Either a standalone shower enclosure or a tub and shower combination unit can use sliding shower doors, which are often called bypass doors. Typically, shower stalls call for a door between 48 inches (about 121.92 cm) and 60 inches (about 152.40 cm) wide. Tub and shower combination units generally include a tub that is 60 inches (about 152.40 cm) wide. The width of the shower door is usually adjustable by trimming the upper and lower door tracks to size — the label typically includes a range of widths for which the door is appropriate. The opening must be measured after the shower portion of the bathroom upgrade is complete to ensure the measurement allows for the thickness of the backer board and the material that forms the walls of the shower.

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Framed shower doors feature a metal frame all the way around each of the two panes of glass. This gives the appearance of a vertical line in the middle of the sliding shower doors, which some people find visually unappealing. The look of framed shower doors can be enhanced by choosing a finish that matches new or existing bathroom faucets, door handles, or other bath accessories. Manufacturer's care instructions should be followed carefully to prevent the frames from rusting.

In frameless sliding shower doors, the only metal that is used is what is necessary to secure the door, such as brackets and tracks. The tracks — and towel bars on some units — come in a number of different finishes as well. Installation may be more difficult due to the thicker, heavier glass, but the weight will not affect the usage of the door.

Homeowners also are not limited to plain clear glass. Privacy sliding shower doors are available in a variety of designs. Some feature an etched pattern to add shower privacy and visual interest to the bathroom. The glass may also be textured — "rain" and "pebble" styles are popular examples. These patterns and textures reduce visibility, increasing privacy.

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