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What are the Different Types of Steam Shower Doors?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

A steam shower door needs to be able to hold steam inside the area effectively, which is why there is an entire category for this type of door. The main requirement of steam shower doors is that they seal shut well enough to contain the steam; so as long as a door does this task efficiently, the design is up to the homeowner. One of the most popular types of steam shower doors is the sliding kind, which is known for not taking up much room. Another common type is the familiar swinging door, which often looks just like a standard door, but with a particularly tight seal. Finally, homeowners can choose between framed and frameless doors for their steam shower.

Sliding doors are typically ideal for smaller rooms that do not have enough space for a door to swing open. This type of door is known for being quite easy to clean, which is good because the downside of a sliding door is that it usually becomes hard to open and close if it is not kept clean. Additionally, the rollers may need to be replaced occasionally to ensure that it continues to work properly. In general, keeping the rollers in good shape and the track free of dirt and debris should ensure that it slides open and shut smoothly.

Woman posing
Woman posing

When space in the bathroom is abundant, steam shower doors that swing are often preferred. This is especially true for owners who do not want to worry about cleaning the door regularly for it to work properly. Most homeowners are also familiar with the typical swinging door, and it will likely match the rest of the doors in the house, as well. Of course, it is important to always keep the area around it clear so that the door is not damaged by hitting items as it swings open. Otherwise, swinging steam shower doors are often low maintenance and easy to use.

Whether a swinging door or a sliding door is chosen, homeowners also have the choice of steam shower doors with or without a frame. This is just an aesthetic consideration, as the door typically works the same with or without it. Frames are typically aluminum, and provide an outline around the glass, with the handle built into the frame. On the other hand, frameless steam shower doors are typically all glass, offering a clean look, with the handle built right into the glass. These steam shower doors are usually made of a thicker glass than the framed types in order to remain durable.

Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- I grew up in a home that had a frameless shower door on a steam shower, and it had a lot of chips and cracks around the edges. Though this might have had something to do with the glass being older, it didn't look very nice and was concerning. I think that a glass shower door that has a frame is going to be much more durable for your needs.


@spotiche5- I agree with you, frameless shower doors look great, especially when they are attached to contemporary white porcelain or ceramic stone steam shower stalls. I have a friend who has this type of shower in his house, and it looks great. He has not had any trouble with his frameless doors, either.

I asked my friend if there are certain tips to follow for keeping this type of door in good condition, because I'm thinking about installing one on my shower too. He said that the best way to keep this type of door free of damage is to shut it gently when you get in and out of the steam shower. Shutting it forcefully or slamming it is definitely not a good idea since it doesn't have a frame to absorb the shock.

You can also keep the frameless glass and your entire steam shower looking great if you wipe it down after each use. This will not only keep hard water deposits from building up, but it will also help prevent rust and corrosion around the hardware of your steam shower door.


I'm thinking about installing a steam shower door that doesn't have a frame. The doors I've had in the past have all had frames, so I don't quite know what to expect other than that I love the looks of frameless shower doors. Is this type of shower door durable, and does the lack of a frame put it at a higher risk for damage?

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