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If you keep up with the latest bathroom renovation trends or have seen any new shower enclosures in bathroom spaces recently, you’ve probably noticed that old-fashioned shower curtains are out, and frameless glass shower doors are in. There are plenty of benefits of frameless shower doors, so they’re a great choice… but how do you choose the perfect one? The two main options you have when it comes to frameless shower doors are hinged glass shower doors and sliding glass shower doors. Both new designs have advantages and disadvantages you’ll want to consider, so keep reading to figure out which type of door is perfect for your needs!

All About Hinged Frameless Shower Doors

As their name suggests, hinged shower doors swing open on a hinge, which can be located in the middle of the shower or on one side, depending on your preferences and bathroom design. These doors can usually open-up to 90 degrees, sometimes further, and usually utilize a handle as an opening mechanism.

Pros of Hinged Shower Doors

Easy Access

In homes with different accessibility needs, hinged shower doors can be a huge benefit. Older adults with changing mobility, people with disabilities, and larger people can enter hinged shower door enclosures with ease, thanks to the potential for wide(r) door openings.

Simple Care and Cleaning

Whether framed or frameless, hinged shower doors are easy to clean because they don’t rely on a metal track to hang and have less metal framing. This means every inch of the door can be accessed and scrubbed more easily and sanitized properly.

More Customization Available

Because your hinged shower door probably has more surface area than a sliding door might, you can go all out when it comes to customization. Some current trends include black grids in glass and other black framing options, as well as matching door hardware to match your shower and tub fixtures. You can also install a type of hinged shower door called a pivot shower door. Pivoting doors open both ways, increasing the luxury of the showering experience.

Cons of Hinged Shower Doors

Not Ideal For Small Bathrooms

Because hinged shower doors open outward by design, they need enough space to fully open if you want to reap the benefits. This means that they may not work well in bathrooms that are on the smaller side or have limited space around the shower enclosure.

May Not Suit All Families

If you have small children, you might want to reconsider a hinged shower door. This is because a large frameless glass panel opening into your bathroom can pose a hazard for younger or more careless children who might slam, walk into, or otherwise (accidentally or on purpose) mistreat the door when open or closing.

Leaking May Occur

One of the perils of hinged shower doors is that leaking may occur depending on how the door is opened — and where the gap is between the shower wall and the door. You may have to be extra careful with the way you open your hinged shower door as well as where you point your showerhead.

All About Sliding Frameless Shower Doors

Sliding doors open by sliding on a metal track, other similar tracks, or by using specialized wheels, opening more like a patio door onto a deck rather than your home’s front door. These doors can use a handle to open, or they may open with a bar across the length of the door.

Pros of Sliding Shower Doors

You’ll Save Space

Because sliding shower doors don’t require additional space to open, they’re a space-saving option that will still create a modern look in a small bathroom. No matter how small your spaces, sliding doors can accommodate your shower enclosure needs.

Suits Existing Enclosures

If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to upgrade your shower enclosure, a sliding frameless shower door might be the perfect choice for you. Because a sliding door is more likely to fit any existing bathroom configuration, you may be able to keep your existing shower or tub and upgrade the door alone, which can be much more difficult with hinged frameless shower doors.

Keeps Water Where It Belongs

Because sliding shower doors attach to your existing shower walls with more of a “seal,” you don’t have to worry about water all over your floor thanks to kids or people showering in a hurry — meaning you’ll spend less time mopping up.

Cons of Sliding Shower Doors

Less Accessible

Sliding shower doors save space effectively, but this space-saving means you might compromise on accessibility. Because the doors only open as wide as the sliding panel will allow, half the opening, a sliding shower door might not be the best option for people who need increased space to safely enter the shower enclosure.

Tracks May Need Maintenance

Metal tracks can be a great way to include matching new hardware in your bathroom design, but they can also gather debris over time if they aren’t cared for properly. You will need to take the time to ensure your shower door is clean and dry after use. Speaking of clean and dry…

Can Be Difficult to Clean

While you should learn how to care for your shower glass doors no matter what, there are special considerations for sliding doors since they have tracks. These tracks can trap soap residue, hair, and anything else that might end up in your shower, and they can be tricky to get fully clean as they overlap.  They can be cleaned however, with the proper care and effort.

Your Dream Bathroom Is One Call Away!

Whether you decide on a hinged or sliding shower door, you can be sure you’re creating an open and modern shower enclosure that changes the entire look of your bathroom, increases your home’s value, and makes showering an amazing experience! If you’re interested in exploring shower door options or learning more about the choices available, get in touch with Alderfer Glass today. Our team of professionals are looking forward to hearing from you about how we can help take part in designing the shower enclosure of your dreams!

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