What Are the Different Types of Glass Shower Doors?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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There are countless different types of glass shower doors. They can have frames or be frameless, and they can have smooth or jagged edges on their tops. The glass can be clear, textured, or etched as well. In addition, doors can be hinged, sliding, or folding. Although nearly all glass shower doors are made of tempered glass, some have extra protective coatings that prevent cleaning issues such as water spots.

Many glass shower doors have a frame that surrounds the door, typically constructed of metal. Common materials for frames include silver, stainless steel, brushed nickel, bronze, and brass. In many cases, the frame will match the hardware on bathroom cabinets and bathroom faucets.

Frameless glass shower doors have become increasingly popular as well. With a frameless shower door, the glass edges are visible, which allows the door to have a more artistic design. For example, some frameless doors are simple rectangles, while others might have waves, arches, or other designs at the top, bottom, or along the sides. The glass door itself can even be curved or bent, giving it a distinctive appearance. These custom-made doors typically cost more, but they are often a focal point of a bathroom.


If one or more edges are visible, there are several design options from which to choose. For example, the edges can be rounded, squared, or flat. In addition, they can be sloped or have a polished, jagged appearance. In most cases, the top edge will have a decorative look, while the other three edges may only be smoothly polished.

The way that glass shower doors open must also be considered. Some doors are hinged and swing open, similar to any door in the house. Other doors are sliding, similar to many patio doors. It is also possible to have the shower door constructed out of two or three folding panels — a popular design if the shower is used in combination with a bathtub. The folding panels are located above the bathtub rim, keeping the shower water from escaping.

Many people choose to have textured or etched glass shower doors. Textured glass doors can be found in many patterns, such as pebbles, waves, mazes, and swirls. Etched glass can be as unique as a homeowner pleases. It can have an ornate design, a mountain peak, or simply a set of initials. Some designs may be selected from a glass company’s etching options, while others may be custom designed. Both texturing and etching can give some degree of privacy, though certain designs offer more privacy than others.

Most glass shower doors are tempered to prevent the glass from forming sharp edges in the event that the door shatters, but there are often opportunities for people to select the glass thickness. Glass coating options usually are available as well. The thickness can range from 0.25 inches (about 0.6 cm) to 0.5 inches (about 1.3 cm). The coating works to prevent soap scum and water spots.


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Post 3

@ocelot60- You have heard right, clear glass shower doors are difficult to keep free of water spots. This is especially true if you have hard water. This is whey textured or etched glass doors are better options.

Another benefit of glass shower doors that aren't completely clear is that they offer more privacy. Textured glass doors provide the best privacy benefits, plus etched glass doors are usually the most expensive of the three varieties so you might want to avoid them.

Post 2

I'm looking for suggestions to help me find the best new glass shower doors. Though I like the looks of clear glass doors, I have heard that they are hard to keep clean. I certainly don't want to spend a lot of time on this task, but I want my bathroom to look nice once they are installed.

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