The installation of sliding shower doors has become an increasingly popular option for a wide variety of reasons. They are safer than some of the alternatives, easy to clean and maintain, durable and add to the overall appearance of your bathroom space. But during a bathroom renovation project, most homeowners focus on the styling of the shower unit – not the door design. This decision can not only impact the room’s appearance, but can influence performance and durability. So before you purchase a cheap sliding shower door thinking you are saving money, you might want to take a second look.
What are Sliding Shower Doors?
Also called bypass shower doors, this term refers to the doors operating mechanisms. In this type of system, the doors are suspended on a series of tracks that allow them to pass in front or behind each other. Today, this option has become a popular installation for walk in showers and bathtubs. Why? Its sleek and streamlined design and operation makes it ideal for any size bathroom space, and is safer than swinging shower doors in homes with elderly individuals or children.
About Sliding Shower Door Glass
One of the factors that can influence the cost of bypass shower doors is the thickness of the glass. In fact, this is the first aspect you should consider before you buy. Some of the most popular options are 3/8, 1/4 and 1/2 inch, but there are other choices available. In general, the thicker the glass – the more expensive the sliding shower door. If you are opting for a framed design, the thickness will have less of an impact on durability and strength. This is because the framing adds a degree of support and protection to the glass. But keep in mind heavier types of glass add weight, and could increase the wear and tear on the tracking if it is not high quality or properly installed. If this is a concern, verify the sliding shower door tracks have undergone testing to insure they can withstand the stress of normal wear over the long term.
If you think you have found the perfect product, the final step is to verify tempered glass has been used. While it is fairly uncommon to find shower doors not made from this material, it is important to check for safety reasons. Tempered glass is not only 4 to 5 times stronger than regular glass; it also does not break into sharp pieces if breakage occurs. This is an important safety aspect in any home – but can drastically impact the safety of small children and the elderly if the glass was to fail, or during an accidental slip and fall.
The last aspect to consider is the styling of the glass being used. Clear glass shower doors are one option, but if this is not your preference there are other choices available. Homeowners commonly choose etched or frosted designs that cover the door completely or with and array of intricate patterns. This not only adds an element of privacy, but adds a bit of flair to the overall styling of the bathroom space.
The Cost of Bypass Shower Doors
Homeowners may be tempted to opt for cheaper glass shower doors to save on expenses. But in many cases, this can leave you with a low quality product made by a generic manufacturer. Brand name sliding shower doors are produced by many popular brand names in home and shower design – including Kohler, Sterling, Dreamline and American Standard. The average starting cost is around $300, with prices ranging up to $1500 or more for larger and high end models. Also, while installing sliding shower doors yourself is an option, you may want to leave it up to the professionals. While this will increase the overall cost, the end result will be perfectly laid tracking that will operate smoothly, reducing the chance for leaks to form and will minimize wear and tear.
Why Install a Sliding Bathtub Shower Door?
Glass doors are commonly installed in walk in shower enclosures, but they can be used in conjunction with more traditional bathtub designs. The addition of a sliding bathtub shower door can be done at any time, unlike shower enclosures – where installation has to be performed immediately. Compared to using a shower curtain, bypass glass doors can offer a number of advantages.
First, the add value to your home because they are contemporary in design – and not even a luxury shower curtain can match the elegant appearance of glass. Also, they are easy to clean and maintain. The accumulation of mold and mildew is a common problem associated with shower curtains and liners. Glass, on the other hand naturally resists this issue, and many manufacturers incorporate a mold and mildew resistant coating on the surface. Also, they create an open feeling in the room, which is a critical design aspect in small bathroom spaces. In fact, sliding glass shower doors offer homeowners so many advantages there are few reasons not to install one.
Sliding Shower Doors are the Perfect Solution for Any Bathroom Design
Before you put glass shower doors as a secondary thought on your shower improvement project, you may want to give this option another look. Compared to other style choices, sliding doors can offer homeowners everything from low maintenance to increased home value. In fact, this choice could be the best shower door design option for any bathroom space.