Your Guide to Shower Door Installation & Repair

It's time to ditch the drab shower curtain and treat your bathroom to a stylish shower door.

If your bathroom is looking a little old these days, a new shower door can be the perfect way to transform your space. When it comes to shower doors, there are a variety of options to choose from than can fit your budget and design needs. Whether a frameless shower door is your preference or a frosted door is more your style,  here's everything you need to know when choosing a new shower door.

Choosing the Right Shower Door

One of the first things to consider when choosing a new shower door is your current shower or bathtub/shower combo. Unless you are doing a complete bathroom remodel, you'll need to know what size of shower door to install and how it should fit into the existing space. Some things to think about during this process are which way the shower door will open and its proximity to walls and other bathroom fixtures. Pre-installation planning is important to make sure the door has room to open and close.

Framed vs. Frameless Shower Doors

The great debate between framed and frameless shower doors is one that many homeowners have faced. Here are a few things to consider when deciding between these options:

Framed Shower Doors

Framed glass shower doors are significantly less expensive than frameless doors. So, if you're on a tight budget, framed shower doors may be the perfect choice for you. These doors require a light metal frame around the perimeter of the glass, so you'll want to select the best frame that complements your bathroom's design.

While this type of door is less expensive, it does have some drawbacks. For example, framed glass shower doors are more prone to water and soap buildup. If you choose these doors, regular cleaning is a must to avoid mold and mildew.

Frameless Shower Doors

Many homeowners love the open, airy look that frameless doors can give a bathroom. But frameless shower doors require thick glass and specialty hardware, so you'll definitely want a contractor for this project.

One con to consider with frameless doors is they aren't always completely waterproof. You may want to think about the placement of your shower head to make sure it sprays away from the door.

Thinking about switching from a framed shower door to a frameless option? Make sure that the walls surrounding your shower can support the heavy glass. A local contractor will know whether or not your bathroom is a good candidate for a frameless shower door.

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Sliding vs. Hinged Shower Doors

Once you decide to go framed or frameless, you can decide how you want the shower door to open and close. Sliding doors require a track and two to three glass panels that slide past each other to open or close. Hinged shower doors have one side fixed at the top and bottom of the shower so that it can swing open and closed. If you're tight on space, sliding shower doors are the best way to ensure you can get in and out of the shower with ease. Hinged doors, however, can create a sleek, modern look for more spacious bathrooms.

Types of Glass For Shower Doors

Clear glass showers can make your bathroom feel open and airy, but it can also reduce privacy and require consistent cleaning. If privacy is a priority or if you're the type to stretch your scrubbing schedule, there are three main alternatives to consider: frosted, textured, and tinted glass.

Frosted glass gives your shower an opaque, smooth appearance and can come in different patterns or designs. On the other hand, textured glass creates privacy and hides  fingerprints and watermarks well. Textured glass is a great option for those who have less time for everyday upkeep. Lastly, tinted glass allows for customization so you can choose the best color tones for your bathroom as well as opacity for your desired privacy level. A contractor can help you pick the best glass for your bathroom style and preferred shower door.

Shower Door Parts

The glass section of your shower door gets the most attention, but the smaller shower door parts play an important role too.

Sliding Tracks: Sliding tracks go on the bottom of a sliding shower door to keep the glass panels in place, allowing them to slide back and forth. These tracks are typically made from metal.

Shower Door Sweep: A sweep is a small plastic piece that fits on the bottom of your frameless shower door. This part keeps water in the shower instead of leaking out through the gap between the door and the floor.

Hinges: Hinges are the small metal pieces that keep a frameless shower door in place. They can connect the glass to the wall or another panel of glass. Inside the hinge is a rubber gasket that holds the door and keeps it from slipping. It is important that the hinges remain tight so the door stays in place.

Shower Door Costs

When choosing a shower door, budget is something to keep in mind, as the cost varies significantly between different types of doors. Frameless doors are usually more expensive because they require speciality, heavy-duty hardware and the glass is specially manufactured to eliminate the need for a frame. This glass is also much heavier, so it is important to have a contractor handle frameless shower door installation. Since framed shower doors tend to be lighter and thinner than their frameless counterparts, they are often more budget friendly.

Another cost factor to consider is the size and type of door you will need. If you have a unique shower, you may have to request a custom shower door to fit the space properly. Any custom work can significantly raise the price of a shower door. A contractor can help you pick the right door for your shower.

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How To Clean Shower Doors

While shower doors can be a beautiful addition to your bathroom, they can easily become a cleaning nightmare. Luckily, there are ways to keep cleanup minimal. To cut down on the time you'll spend on deep cleaning, it is best to squeegee after each shower. This will help prevent buildup of soap scum and hard water deposits to shorten scrub time later.

When the deep cleaning time comes around, a vinegar solution can help cut through the grime alongside a non-scratch sponge. If you have a framed sliding shower door, you can use a toothbrush to get in the small spaces, or a paint scraper can help get the gunk where metal meets glass. It's important to clean these areas to avoid mold and mildew growth.

If you're sick of looking at dirty shower doors, a local cleaning service can have them looking like new in no time.

Shower Door Repair

Once your shower door is in place, it should be mostly hassle free other than cleaning. However, you may run into a few problems from time to time. One of the most common problems is leakage. Leaks happen when your shower door caulking or seals have worn out. In these cases, water can seep out onto your tile or drywall. This can lead to expensive damage, so it's important to get it taken care of by getting in contact with a handyman as soon as possible.

Another potential mishap is scratched glass on your shower door. Scratches can make your glass shower door look unclean or dingy. Luckily, a contractor can easily fix a scratch, and shower door repair is much cheaper than replacing the entire door.

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