From stylish walk-in showers to space saving quadrants and bi-fold doors, shower enclosures are available in so many designs and sizes to suit any bathroom space. But this can make it difficult to choose the best one, so here’s a handy buying guide to make things easier for you.
What type of shower enclosures are available?
Before choosing a shower enclosure, make sure you’ve decided on the best possible position and accurately measure the space. Remember to think about the location of the window and doors, as well as any obstructions, as these factors can also determine your choice of shower enclosure.
Shower enclosures feature toughened safety glass in a range of thicknesses including 4mm, 5mm, 6mm and 8mm. The thicker the glass, the more you can expect to pay for your enclosure.
It’s a good idea to start on the size and shape of your ideal shower enclosure and then move on to the style of doors that are available. Here’s a rundown of the various shapes.
Shower enclosure shapes
A quadrant enclosure features a curved front and is designed to fit into the corner of the bathroom to save space. They can feature sliding or hinged doors and come in 800mm and 900mm widths.
Offset quadrant enclosures are almost identical to a quadrant shower enclosure, but feature more showering space and one side longer than the other.
They come in various sizes including 1000x800mm, 1200x800mm and 1200x900mm. If choosing an offset quadrant, you will need to pick a left or right handed shower tray.
A square shower enclosure takes up little space and gives you more options when it comes to the style of door and frame. A square enclosure is a modern option and uses a hinged, pivot or bi-fold door.
If you are looking for a shower enclosure that offers plenty of space, then a rectangular enclosure makes the perfect option. These usually feature a sliding door or a single glass screen fitted to a slimline shower tray.
Shower enclosure doors
When it comes to shower enclosure doors, you will need to think about how the door opens, and the size and position of the enclosure.
If you are fitting a shower door between two walls, you will need to ensure your chosen door is wide enough to fit. If you aren’t fitting a door between two walls, then you will need to fit a side panel to your shower door. Here’s a rundown of the different types of shower doors.
Sliding shower doors
Ideal for large bathrooms, a sliding shower door creates a spacious showering area, and provides easy access. Available in a range of sizes, sliding doors work well with rectangular and quadrant/offset quadrant enclosures.
A sliding door can be fitted between two walls or with a side panel. They can also feature a framed or semi-frameless design.
Bi-fold shower doors
Available in various widths, a bi-fold shower door opens inwards, folding in on itself. This makes this style of shower door a great option for bathrooms that have limited space. They can be fitted in a recess or with a side panel.
Pivot shower doors
Pivot shower doors open outwards from the frame. If choosing this style, you will need to make sure there’s enough room to allow the door to fully open. A pivot door suits a square enclosure, and can be fitted in a recess or with a side panel.
Shower enclosures for small bathrooms
Quadrant shower enclosures are perfect for small bathrooms and en-suites. They fit easily into the corner of the room without taking up too much floor space, and they typically feature sliding doors so you have more room to play with. Available in a choice of sizes, quadrant enclosures are a popular option for small bathrooms in the UK.
Corner entry shower enclosures are ideal for compact spaces too. These also fit neatly into the corner of the bathroom and feature sliding doors.
Another good option is a bi-fold shower door; this folds back on itself, which means you don’t need extra room to allow for the door opening. These are available in a range of widths, starting from just 700mm.
When choosing a shower enclosure for a small bathroom, it’s a good idea to opt for one with a frameless design to enhance a sense of space. You could even fit a sleek wet room screen and a low level shower tray for a clean, minimal look.
Creating a contemporary look with a walk-in shower
If you want to create a sleek, minimal look, then a walk in shower enclosure is the perfect option. Walk in showers can be fitted between two walls or into a corner. If fitting between two walls, then you will require a single glass panel, and for a corner installation, you will need two glass panels.
One end of a walk in shower is the showering area, while the other half is used for drying off and is open to the room. As there’s no door to open and a very minimal step to navigate, this style of shower provides easy access, making it ideal for those who are less mobile. A walk in shower is also great for replacing an existing bath that’s very rarely used.
Walk in showers are usually combined with a low level shower tray. These can measure as low as 30mm, to ensure a sleeker, more streamlined look.