Shower Door Vs Shower Panel: What’s The Difference?

When renovating or putting together a new bathroom, you can choose what divider you use for your shower. Shower panels and shower doors are good options, but which should you go for? After doing some research, we will share the difference between them.

The difference between a shower door and a shower panel is the type of mechanism it has. Shower doors are literal glass or acrylic doors that you swing open and shut to access your shower. Meanwhile, shower panels are made of the same material but are fixed dividers in your shower. 

Note that there are a few things that can pop up online if you look up shower panels. In this article, we are talking about the divider between your shower and the rest of the bathroom. Shower doors and shower panels serve the same purpose. Keep on reading for a more in-depth comparison of the two!

Male hand opens the shower door in a modern bathroom, Shower Door Vs Shower Panel What's The Difference

Difference Between Shower Door And Shower Panel

Both shower doors and shower panels separate your shower area from the rest of the bathroom. They are typically made of glass or acrylic with plastic or metal framing. They are both solid and waterproof. The only difference is that shower doors have a door mechanism.

detail of a modern glass shower cabin.

Shower doors usually work on hinges or with a sliding door. Only the frame is fixed, and the door may have to be attached to a panel, depending on the size of your bathroom. On the other hand, shower panels do away with the door entirely.

Other Types of Shower Dividers And How They Differ

a bathroom that is very clean and ready to use as a shower stall or room divider for the toilet

Do not mistake shower panels for folding bathroom screens. Since shower panels are fixed in place, they cannot move as a folding screen does. Folding bath screens come in various materials, such as plastic, acrylic, or glass, with metal frames.

Aside from shower doors, shower panels, and folding bath screens, shower curtains are a popular shower divider. They are also much cheaper than all the options and the easiest to install. Typically, you do not need to install a shower curtain once you already have one of the other shower dividers.

What Type Of Shower Enclosure Is Best?

A black French Linea Toulon frameless shower screen with white subway tiles on the walls, black circular tiles on the floor, and glass block windows with shelves.

Because of how much similarity there is between shower doors and shower panels, it is a bit tough to choose. Here we list the pros and cons of the two options to help you!

Shower Door Pros

Out of all the shower divider options, shower doors provide the most privacy. It is unnecessary to lock domestic shower doors from the inside, but the door mechanism makes it harder for pets or children to wander into the shower with you. In public spaces, shower doors make a perfect solution for peace of mind. Shared homes or apartments could use a shower door that you can lock from the inside.

Not everyone is comfortable locking the bathroom door during a shower, especially if there are kids and pets you have to keep track of. Perhaps other people also need to use the bathroom while you shower. In this case, shower doors are a good idea.

One more pro is that shower doors are customizable. You can get them in various colors, opacities, and materials. This makes them versatile regarding the interior design of your bathroom. You can even opt for frameless shower doors made of pure glass or acrylic. This is a good option to minimize mold growth. Since there are no small gaps that trap moisture, it is easier to clean and sanitize them.

Shower Door Cons

The main con for shower doors is that they are the priciest option. They also use up more space in the bathroom and can be bulky. You need a big enough bathroom for a door to swing or slide in. Aside from this, there are not too many cons.

Frameless shower doors are prone to leaks. Without a frame or rubber seal, water will pass through the gaps. Finally, most shower doors are not fully opaque. You can get the frosted glass to be as opaque as possible, but there is still the popularity of glass and translucent shower doors.

Shower Panel Pros

Shower panels have an opening for you to go in and out of the shower. Unlike shower doors, they do not completely close off the shower space. This allows for consistent airflow that can aid in drying. While shower panels do not completely block off the shower, it is enough to keep water from splashing everywhere.

Since there is no moving door to worry about, shower panels are space savers. They will be more forgiving for smaller spaces and are excellent for protecting you and the rest of the bathroom.

Just like shower doors, shower panels are customizable and versatile. You can get frameless shower panels for the same sanitation benefits. Shower panels will also be less costly compared to shower doors. Though they are still more expensive than shower curtains, they will look cleaner and more refined.

Shower Panel Cons

Because you cannot fully close them, shower panels may not keep the rest of your bathroom completely dry. Depending on your shower setup and how you shower, the gap can allow for splatters. This is easily remedied by a rug or making it a habit to mop the floor after each shower.

Without a door, children, nothing stops children and pets from going in while you shower except for a locked bathroom door. Shower panels are a better option for people who will not mind the opening and want something to wall off the shower area.

Shower panels can still be expensive, depending on the material. If you are going for a shower panel to minimize your expenses, there are still more budget-friendly options.

Is It Better To Have A Shower Curtain Or Glass Door?

a white shower curtain in an empty shower with water OFF medium shot

Since shower doors and shower panels are very similar to each other, you can easily compare them together against shower curtains. Either is a popular choice for the shower, so you must weigh which option you prefer more.

Whether or not glass or a curtain is better, it all boils down to what you prioritize in your bathroom. Both choices are customizable for interior design, but shower curtains are cheaper than shower doors or panels. Even if you buy several curtains, the cost may still be significantly lower.

Click here to see this shower curtain on Amazon.

Unlike shower curtains, however, glass doors will increase the resale value of your home. Even if it is a big expense from the get-go, it is an investment that will last you for years. If you are living somewhere temporarily, renting, or have a tight budget, then this does not have to be a priority.

Glass shower doors or panels and shower curtains all need regular cleaning and maintenance. There are different ways to clean each. You can rinse a glass door after every shower to remove residue and only deep clean once a week. The same goes for shower curtains.

Click here to see shower glass door cleaner on Amazon.

To deep clean shower curtains, toss them in the washing machine or scrub them with soap and water. You may also use baking soda or detergent if you prefer. Shower curtains are more prone to mold compared to glass doors as they are more porous.

Depending on the quality of your shower curtain, the design may fade with time. Shower doors can also fog up with use. This can be easily avoided through regular cleaning.

The Verdict

Male hand opens the shower door in a modern bathroom.

Choose the option that best suits you. The same goes for picking between a shower door and a shower panel. Each has its pros, cons, and unique functionality. A good rule of thumb is to consider practicality, price, and design when making a choice.

Wrapping Things Up

The main difference between a shower door and a shower panel is that the latter is fixed in your bathroom with just an opening. It does not have a door and can be made of similar materials as a shower door. You can also call a shower panel a bathroom divider. Aside from doors and panels, shower curtains and folding screens are popular bathroom dividers. Choosing which to use for your bathroom and shower comes down to preference.

Did you find this post helpful? If you did, check out our other articles before you go!

Gap Between Shower Door Frame And Wall - What To Do?

Is Shower Door Glass Typically Tempered?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *