Shower Doors for Commercial Projects
For years, hotels have been transitioning from tubs to showers. Whereas a hotel tub usually dons a curtain, showers tend to have doors. Shower doors not only create a sleeker and more sophisticated look, but they can make the space feel larger and more open. Plus, designers love that their shower wall selection isn't hidden behind a shower curtain.
So, how do you decide what shower door is best for your property? From sliding to hinged, each door style offers different benefits that depend on your bathroom’s layout and design. We’ll explore the different types of shower doors and what you need to consider when selecting the right door for your space.
What is Tempered Glass?
When it comes to shower doors, safety is a top priority. That's why most shower doors are made from tempered glass - a material that’s several times stronger than regular glass. It’s made by heating up the material to a high temperature and then rapidly cooling it down. This creates a compression in the outer surface of the glass and tension in the core - making it much more durable and resistant to breakage.
If tempered glass breaks, it should shatter into many small pieces with dull edges – not into large shards. For obvious safety reasons, most commercial settings require that shower doors are made from tempered glass. You can verify the glass is tempered via the identifier stamp on the corner of the glass.
Sliding Doors vs. Hinged Doors
Choosing a hinged or sliding shower door almost entirely depends upon your bathroom layout. A hinged door consists of a fixed panel and a swinging door. The door is often mounted directly to the wall, but it can also be attached to the panel. Hinged doors work well for smaller showers (like a 36" shower) that can’t accommodate sliding doors. However, because they must swing out (due to building codes), hinged doors only work when there aren't any obstructions, like a toilet.
Sliding doors consist of two glass panels, with at least one sliding on a track, guide, or header. These doors are ideal for tighter spaces since no clearance is needed for them to open (like with hinged doors). However, the shower must be large enough to accommodate both panels.
You’ll often find the term ‘bypass’ when researching sliding doors. This typically refers to two sliding doors that glide past (or bypass) each other. This enables you to enter the shower from either side. Many people are unaware that the innermost panel of a shower enclosure should be positioned closest to the wet wall in order to prevent water from seeping between the glass panels.
More Shower Door Options
Barn doors: This style has become increasingly popular. Barn doors work in the same way as regular sliding and bypass doors but feature exposed rollers for a sleek, modern look.
Fixed glass panels: An alternative to the traditional shower door, a single glass panel is attached to the wet wall. This could be a great option if you’re designing an oddly shaped shower or working with a very small space.
Bowfront doors: These sliding doors curve outward for maximum showering space and must be paired with curved shower pans. We recommend you order both the pan and door from the same manufacturer to ensure they line up perfectly.
Measuring for Shower Doors
Most shower doors come in 60”, however, Mincey can customize your door to fit your project. The average shower door height (including the frame) is between 76” and 79”. Don't get this confused with clearance. Most local codes require a clearance of 72” – meaning there should be 72” of vertical space to enter the shower. Your shower door might look similar to this:
Because sliding doors have two panels, they should overlap by a few inches. However, this amount depends upon both the size of the shower and the door. A smaller opening will result in more overlap. Be sure to consider the overlap when measuring for your shower door. And don’t forget the shower walls or trim if not installed yet – they’ll also affect the width of the opening.
Mincey’s standard Hinged Doors are fabricated to site measurements after the wall installation is complete. The accompanying fixed panel is custom, and measurements for each shower must be provided. Our Verona Adjustable Hinged Door, on the other hand, has fixed measurements, but the door can adjust to accommodate the opening of your shower.
What About Tubs?
Consider who your guests or residents are when deciding on a bathtub enclosure. If your property is geared towards families, a glass enclosure can be an obstacle when washing little ones in the tub. If you do choose a shower door, most of our sliding doors can be fitted for tubs. Keep in mind there must be a 3” wide curb on the tub for the door guides.
No shower door is complete without the necessary accessories. These include towel bars and handles, which are typically installed using pre-drilled holes or specialized mounting hardware (after the doors are in place). So, which hardware should you choose for your hotel or multifamily property?
Towel bars do double duty – they act as handles while allowing easy access to towels or washcloths. Finger pulls or knobs complement a more minimalist or contemporary bathroom space. Some of our customers do a combination of both - a towel bar attaches to one panel and a small knob or finger puck on the other. If a guest enters the shower where the towel bar is placed on the inside of the panel, the knob makes it easier to open the door.
Of course, you can also choose a classic handle that complements the look of your shower door. Mincey offers a variety of accessories for your shower. Talk to your representative about what options work for your selected door.
Most shower doors are offered in clear and frosted glass. Frosted glass offers privacy since it blurs the view of everything inside the shower. It also hides water spots and soap scum better than clear glass. However, it can make the bathroom feel smaller and darker and may require additional lighting to brighten up the space.
Clear glass, on the other hand, provides a modern and spacious feel to the bathroom, making it seem larger and brighter. It also allows for more natural light to enter the shower. However, it’s less private than frosted glass, and it can be unforgiving when it comes to water spots and soap scum.
Cleaning Your Shower Doors
It's important to avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals on tempered glass. They can scratch or damage the surface. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild, non-abrasive cleaner like dish soap or a vinegar and water solution. Apply the cleaner to the cloth or sponge and gently wipe the glass in a circular motion, being careful not to apply too much pressure or scrub too hard.
Rinse the glass with clean water and dry it with a lint-free towel, microfiber cloth, or squeegee to prevent streaking. Clean your doors regularly to prevent dirt, grime, and hard water stains from building up on the surface.
Need more help deciding which shower door works best for your space? Contact us! We'll walk you through the options. And be sure to contact our certified installers. These companies are trained to handle and install all of our products.