Also referred to as shower cubicles, shower enclosures usually feature one or more glass panels that protect the rest of your bathroom from getting splashed while you shower. They’re available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs, with different door types depending on the space you’re working with and your own personal preferences.
With so much to choose from, the decision can be overwhelming, which is where we come in. Here we explore the different types of shower enclosures and important things to consider to help you choose the best shower enclosure for your bathroom.
Things to consider before buying a shower enclosure
First things first, it’s important to know exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new shower enclosure. There’s a huge variety of shower enclosures available at a wide range of price points, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that fits within your budget.
Type of bathroom
The type of bathroom you’re furnishing might impact the type of shower enclosure you go for. For a family bathroom, you might want a larger style with thicker glass that can withstand bangs and knocks, while for an en suite you may need a space-saving design.
Type of doors or panels
Shower doors can either slide, fold, hinge or pivot open. For a small bathroom, sliding or bifold doors are the best option as they open inwards. Pivot and hinged doors, on the other hand, open out into the room, so they’re better for bigger bathrooms. Most showers are fully enclosed on all sides, but you may choose to forego a door altogether and opt for a glass panel instead to create a wet room aesthetic. The glass panel will protect your towel, loo roll and other possessions from getting splashed, while leaving one side of the enclosure fully open.
Space and size
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to measure exactly how much space you have to work with before deciding on the size of your shower enclosure and making a purchase. Will your shower enclosure fit into a corner? Could it fit between two walls? Think about whether the shower door will open from the left or the right, measuring to ensure there’s enough space to get in and out without bashing into the sink or the toilet. As well as measuring the width and depth of the available space, be sure to measure height too.
Type of shower tray
Shower enclosures are made from toughened safety glass, which comes in a variety of thicknesses. The thickness of the glass affects the price of the product, so you’ll typically find that enclosures featuring 4mm glass have a lower price point, with the cost increasing for mid-range 6mm and premium 8mm designs. All of our shower enclosures also feature CleanCoat® technology, an invisible coating that makes the glass incredibly easy to clean, keeping it looking brand new for longer.
Tiles or wall panels
The glass panels and door will prevent the rest of the room from getting wet, but it’s important to protect the walls inside your shower enclosure too. The best way to do this is with wall panels or tiles. Wall panels are easier to install as you simply cut them to size and fit them, avoiding the need for fiddly grouting and tricky shaping.
Types of shower door
Bi-fold shower enclosures open inwards in a concertina effect, helping to save space, which makes them perfect for an en suite or a small bathroom.
Hinged shower doors open outwards and have a wide opening. They’re often seen as a luxurious option, best suited to large bathrooms with plenty of space. If you choose to go for a hinged shower door, it’s important to ensure that the door won’t be obstructed by any other fixtures in your bathroom.
Pivot shower doors also open outwards, pivoting on discreet hinges. They typically require less space than hinged shower doors, but it’s still crucial to ensure that there’s plenty of room for them to open without obstruction.
What types of shower enclosures are available?
Once you have a good idea of your budget and how much space you have to work with, it’s time to think about what type of shower enclosure you want to go for. Here are the most common types, which come in a range of sizes:
Fitting neatly into the corner of your bathroom, square or rectangular corner-entry shower enclosures typically come with a bi-fold door and are a great option for a small space.
Pentagon shower enclosures fit snugly into the corner too, with a neat five-sided design for added interest. They typically come with either bi-fold or pivot doors.
Another corner option, quadrant shower enclosures feature a stylish curved front, with sliding doors for easy entry.
Walk-in shower enclosures or wet rooms
Walk-in shower enclosures and wet rooms are a stylish and popular option for large contemporary bathrooms. A walk-in shower features a tray, while a wet room is typically an entirely waterproofed room.
Sliding shower doors are another space-saving idea, as the door slides along tracks inside the enclosure, providing a wide entrance.
For a wet room or a large contemporary bathroom, installing a divider panel will help to define your showering space and contain any splashes, while leaving one side of the enclosure fully open.