Shower enclosures and shower doors are similarly priced, but differ in how they contribute to the overall style of your bathroom.
Glass shower doors and enclosures have a definitive high-end appeal you just can't capture with a shower curtain. While a shower curtain can provide color and a softer material that absorbs sound and reduces echo, choosing glass is a definite upgrade. If you move from a shower door to a full shower enclosure, you are making a luxurious style statement. Here's why you might choose an enclosure over a shower door.
A shower enclosure typically includes two or three glass panels that attach to your bathroom wall(s) to form an area that is exclusively for showering. Shower doors can be used with shower-over-tub configurations or with walk-in alcove showers. In both cases, you will have framed and frameless options.
Style: Clean, and modern, shower enclosures provide separation while also creating space and light so a smaller bathroom doesn't feel any more compact, and a larger bathroom just gains an extra shot of luxury. Shower doors can also create the feeling of more space, and they are a step up from a shower curtain without the same luxe look of an enclosure.
Easier to clean: Glass is easy to maintain no matter if you choose an enclosure or a shower door. And, thanks to a tip on Facebook from our friends at William's Tile, we now know to apply car wax to our shower glass.
"After installation apply car wax on inside of glass and buff off ... maintain by using a squeegee and applying wax periodically. I've been suggesting this to my clients for 39 years (and) all clients are pleased," they posted on our story about shower enclosures.
No matter if you choose an enclosure or have a shower-over-tub or a walk-in alcove shower, you still have framed and frameless options in a variety of styles and finishes. You can also choose between a sliding door or a pivot version for your entrance point.
Installation: The best time to consider a shower enclosure is when you're planning your bathroom remodel; an enclosure is not often a change you can retrofit if your existing layout features a shower-over-tub, for example. You'll need to be sure the walls to which your enclosure will attach are reinforced to support the weight of the glass and that panels meet your shower pan at a point where water won't splash out onto your floor or that your floor slopes properly toward the drain if you eliminate a threshold altogether.
Shower doors, on the other hand, can be installed without a lot of of extra construction in a couple of hours with your existing configuration.
Price: Shower enclosures have a price range that starts at about $700 and can run as high as $3,000 on eFaucets.com. Shower doors are similarly priced with a price range on eFaucets.com of $500 to $3,400.
Whether or not you choose a shower enclosure or a shower door will largely come down to if you are planning a full-on remodel or if you're looking to upgrade your existing bathroom. Shower enclosures have an edge on creating a truly luxurious space but are similarly priced to shower doors which are still an upgrade to the standard shower curtain.