Last Updated:Are you searching for new shower doors?
Perhaps you are renovating or simply upgrading your bathroom. No matter the reason, it’s important to find shower doors that work in your home.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of shower doors on the market, and choosing the right one is difficult. Frameless, semi-frameless, framed, glass, and so on – it’s confusing and aggravating to pick out a shower door on your own.
That is why we have compiled a list of the top 10 best shower doors of 2020. We have also included a comprehensive shower door buying guide that will help you find the perfect shower door for your bathroom.
Choosing the Right Shower Door: Buying Guide
This buying guide will cover everything you need to know about the different types of shower doors. We know, there can’t be that much information about shower doors, right?
Wrong. This guide is comprehensive, but there is so much to know about shower doors.
Anyway, this guide will offer enough information that you will be able to make an informed decision about your shower door purchase.
Types of Shower Doors
This section will cover the different styles of shower door frames. There are eight different styles, but most homeowners stick to a fairly standard framed shower door. As mentioned previously, there are a lot of different types of shower doors – a type of door for every style of bathroom.
Framed Shower Doors
Framed shower doors are the most common type of shower door. These doors are typically affordable because they have a normal metal frame with thin glass.
However, not all frame shower doors are cheap-looking. There are framed shower doors that look modern and chic, but you will pay much more money for that style of the framed shower door.
Overall, a framed shower door is what we recommend if you want a “standard” shower door that does not cost much money. You do have options if you want a fancy one, though.
Semi-Frameless Shower Doors
A semi-frameless shower door has all the extra stability of a framed shower door with the clean appearance of a frameless shower door.
A semi-frameless shower door will typically have an outer frame without a frame for the door itself. Hence the name “semi-frameless.”
We recommend a semi-frameless shower door if you want a nicer appearance than a framed shower door without shelling out the money for a frameless shower door.
As the name implies, a frameless shower door will not have a frame. Instead, the door will be made of thick, heavy tempered glass that does not require a frame.
However, there will still be some metal components on a frameless shower frame such as hinges and handles. A frameless shower door is the closest you will get to have a shower door without any metal, though.
The lack of frame gives a very modern appearance to a bathroom, which is why frameless shower doors are growing in popularity. They look especially nice in infancy, modern bathrooms with an open shower design.
One thing to keep in mind is that a frameless shower door will cost about double the price of a standard framed shower door. The thick tempered glass used to make these doors is expensive!
Glass Tub Enclosures
Do you have a bathtub and want something a little better looking than a curtain?
A glass tub enclosure is a solution. It’s basically a shower door for your bathtub. The door is typically a sliding door with a frame that attaches to the top of your bathtub.
Glass tub enclosures don’t fit on every bathtub, but if you can find one that fits on your bathtub, then it’s a great option.
Sliding shower doors are the usual choice for those that have a bathroom with a toilet close to the shower. The reason is simple – there is no swinging door, which saves a lot of space.
Now, sliding doors are similar to framed shower doors. There are budget-friendly options that look ok and they are modern, chic options that look like something from a magazine.
The purpose of a sliding shower door is the same for all types – have a shower door in a bathroom that is too small for a swinging shower door.
A pivoting door is typically a standard framed shower door with a hinge that pivots. These shower doors have a sophisticated look that exudes power and price. In our opinion, they look best in white marble bathrooms or even bathrooms in older homes.
The one downside of a pivoting shower door is that it will only fit in a large bathroom – the door swings much further than a standard door.
Due to that, we recommend hiring a professional to measure your bathroom to ensure that a pivoting shower door will actually fit in your bathroom.
Bi-Fold Shower Doors
A bi-fold shower door is another great choice if you have a toilet that is close to your shower. These doors will fold inwards, which will offer a larger opening than a sliding door.
The one downside of a bi-fold shower door is that it does require a large shower because the door needs room to “accordion” when you open it.
That said, a bi-fold shower door is a great choice if you want something a little different than a sliding shower door in your smaller bathroom. The downside is that bi-fold shower doors tend to have a more utilitarian look to them.
Partial Tub Enclosure
A partial tub enclosure is a great modern choice if you do not intend to showering in your bathtub. These enclosures will typically begin near the faucet and extend about halfway down the tub, which offers some protection from water splashing out of the tub.
Also, a partial tub enclosure usually looks better than a full tub enclosure. However, it does not offer any protection from water splashing out if you take a shower in your bathtub.
Shower Door Finishes
There are two different types of finishes you can have on a shower door – clear glass or textured/opaque glass.
This section will cover the pros and cons of both types of finishes.
Clear Glass Finishes
As the name implies, a clear glass finish is simply glass without any finish. The glass is clear, which offers no privacy. However, a clear glass door will make your bathroom look larger.
Clear glass finishes are certainly the more popular option, but textured/opaque glass finishes do have their place in some bathrooms. A clear glass shower door will also require daily cleaning to prevent it from getting dirty.
Textured Glass Finishes
A textured/opaque glass finish gives those in the shower a bit more privacy. These doors also require much less cleaning to maintain their look.
The downside is that a textured glass shower door will make your bathroom look smaller because it eliminates the view of the shower. But it is a good option if you have a shower that does not look good.
Overall, a textured glass shower door is the choice we recommend for someone that does not want to do much cleaning on their shower door.
Shower Door Materials
The only shower doors worth purchasing are made of one material – glass.
Sometimes the glass is tempered glass and sometimes it’s standard glass, but it’s always glass. Sure, there are some plastic options that look great when you purchase them, but a plastic shower door will look bad within a few years. They also have a tendency to accumulate mold faster than glass shower doors.
Hardware and Finish
The hardware and finish on the hardware of your shower door are important, yet often overlooked feature of a shower door.
This section will cover some of the different options you will see on hardware and hardware finishes on a shower door.
Aluminium or Stainless Steel
The hardware on your shower door will almost always be aluminum or stainless steel. Both these metals will not rust, tarnish, and can withstand water without any damage.
We strongly recommend purchasing a shower door with aluminum or stainless steel hardware. Aluminum is slightly for installation because it’s lighter, but stainless steel is much sturdier and less likely to bend than aluminum.
There are some shower doors that include brass hardware, which is a welcome addition. However, brass has a tendency to tarnish over time, and that is something we generally want to avoid.
The better solution to brass hardware is to simply purchase aluminum or stainless steel hardware with a brass or copper finish. It brings all the benefits of those two materials with none of the downsides.
Any Type of Finish
The types of finishes available for shower door hardware are too numerous to list. It’s also impractical because the best type of finish comes down to personal preference and the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
We do recommend purchasing hardware that has some finish on it, though. It almost always looks better and it makes the underlying metal last a little longer. Granted, the finish will begin to wear away after enough time, but it’s easy enough to refinish metal hardware.
Shower Door Features
Shower doors do come with some features. These features mostly relate to the glass itself or the installation of the door.
Keep in mind that these finishes will cost more money and are typically only available on higher-end shower doors.
Reversible installation is a very convenient feature because it allows you to install the shower door in any position. This is especially useful for shower doors that swing-out.
Unfortunately, it’s typically only an option on frameless doors because the lack of frame makes it simple enough to not require a particular side.
Thankfully, many manufacturers offer shower doors available on two different sides to accommodate all bathrooms.
Glass coating is perhaps the most important feature you will find on a shower door. Some manufacturers coat the glass with a thin coating that prevents soap scum from sticking to the glass.
We can’t understate the convenience of this feature. A shower door with a glass coating makes cleaning the door so much easier. In fact, some glass coatings are so great that you will not have to clean the door all that frequently.
You can expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars extra for a shower door with a glass coating, though.