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arrowTake Your Shower To The Next Level With This Glass Upgrade


One of the best ways to make a small bathroom look bigger is to enclose your shower stall in glass. Because you can see right through it, a glass enclosure or even a glass door doesn’t cut the room off where the shower begins.

Glass in the bathroom can make the space look luxurious in a subtle way because it’s nearly invisible—and never a distraction. A smooth, glass enclosure or door also tends to make a bathroom look sparkling clean if you keep it wiped down.

The door, however, might be more important than you think—in terms of function, style and maintenance.

Here are three kinds of glass doors that can turn your shower stall—and your bathroom—into a showpiece:

Framed doors. A framed door typically comes with an aluminum or composite frame. If you like the look, you can match the color of the frame—chrome, bronze, nickel or gold, for example—to other metal accessories in the room, like towel racks, the sink faucet and the cabinet door handles.

The framed door, even on an all-glass enclosure, is the only part of the system that opens and closes, so it’s important to choose one with seals, sweeps and magnetic hardware that will create a watertight fit—and help keep the water in the shower where it belongs.

The framed door is made from lighter-weight glass than a frameless door, so the price is often a bit lower. But framed doors only open out into the room—not in to the shower—so they’re not always practical in the tiniest of bathrooms.

Frameless doors. A door without a frame is usually made from heavier glass than a framed door, and has smooth, polished edges. Some glass enclosures with frameless doors actually have a bit of metal on the bottom or edges—contractors call these “semi-frameless.”

But some doors have no metal except for small hinges that attach it to the shower enclosure and allow it to open and close. These are the ones that designers tend to prefer because they can open in or out based on design needs. And because there’s no frame to distract the eye, they lend to a clean, open look in the bathroom.

Plus, frameless glass doors are easy to clean and minimize the risk of mold, as there’s nowhere for it to hide and grow. The tradeoff: Because they have no seals and sweeps, some models don’t contain leaks as well as framed doors.

Sliding-glass doors. Designed for a wide shower, these double doors are popular because they open effortlessly and have handles that can double as towel racks—sometimes both inside and outside of the shower. Sliding glass doors also tend to cost a little less than swinging doors.

Because the door slides to the side instead of outward or inward, there’s no need to worry that it will slam into the toilet or sink.

However, sliding doors sit on rollers in a metal track, so they’re a bit more prone to mold, mildew and even rust, depending on the material yours is made from—if water sits in the track. And the track isn’t always easy to clean.

When you replace your shower, spend some time choosing the door. It’s the part of your shower that gets the most use. Make sure you select one that works for the way you like to take a shower—and for the way you’d like your bathroom to look.


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