5 Types Of Shower Doors [Which Is Best For Your Needs?]

When it comes to outfitting your shower with the best type of door there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. The best type of shower door should fit perfectly, be aesthetically compatible with your bathroom, and offer privacy if desired. We researched different types of shower door styles and materials to complement various shower styles and bathrooms. Read on to discover elegant and tasteful designs that are practical and visually stunning.

You will want to choose a shower door that is at or beyond the maximum width of your shower's opening. Most showers are outfitted with glass doors, but there are options available in acrylic or fiberglass. Consider the following types of shower doors.

  • Framed shower doors - a stable option for most shower styles (looks bulky)
  • Frameless shower doors - this increases the brightness and light in a bathroom (thicker glass)
  • Bi-fold shower doors - saves space and ideal for showers in the corner of a small bathroom
  • Pivoting hinge shower doors - an ultra-modern style that allows offers 180-degree swing
  • Curved shower doors -  a good choice for a shower/tub combination

Depending on your shower's style, size, and aesthetic preferences you can find the ideal shower door to make your bathroom complete. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits each type of shower door provides for your shower.

A modern interior of new bathroom with glass shower cabin, 5 Types of Shower Doors [Which Is Best for Your Needs?]

How To Choose A Shower Door

Move over shower curtains. A shower door made from glass or a composite of acrylic and fiberglass readily gives a shower an upgrade. Instead of struggling over the best choice of shower door for your bathroom, consider the pros and cons of various door styles and material. Your shower experience will be transformed with the right shower door.

Aside from aesthetic value, you should consider how much you are willing to invest in cleaning your shower doors. Don't forget to calculate how much space you have in your bathroom and the distance between your shower and other fixtures. How your shower door opens can make entering and exiting easier. Frosted glass doors offer more privacy but clear, tempered glass allows for a modern, airy look.


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A framed shower door may feel a bit dated but it still has its good qualities. Typically the glass is supported by an aluminum framework and the finish can play off of the bathroom's wall treatment. Choose a framed shower door for a bathroom with a contemporary or traditional look. Do be advised that the metal frame may be susceptible to mold, mildew, and corrosion over time. Also, framed shower doors only open outward.


  • Affordable option
  • Durable aluminum frame provides ample support
  • Plenty of versatile options


  • Looks a bit dated compared to modern, frameless styles

Check out this modern framed shower door on Amazon.


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Many homeowners love the stylish and modern look of a frameless shower door. Installing this setup gives a shower a more artful and sophisticated look as there is no metal frame. Choose a frameless setup with clear or frosted glass and only deal with minimal hardware and emphasize your shower tile and fixtures. A frameless or semi-frameless shower door is a fitting style for minimalist, contemporary, or industrial bathrooms.


  • Clean, minimalistic look that is visually pleasing
  • Uses thicker, reinforced glass
  • Minimal hardware keeps the shower door in place and reduces mildew, mold


  • More expensive than a framed shower door

Check out this chic frameless shower door set on Amazon.


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Do you long for more space when walking into your shower or tub? Choose a modern, practical bi-fold shower door that is perfect for small bathrooms where a framed door can't fit. There is a modest amount of metal used to keep the door in place which reduces the buildup of moisture, mold, and mildew. Plus, there is plenty of versatility to create a custom shower door with plenty of class and style.


  • Chic, modern style makes a wider opening for entry and exit
  • Reduced need to clean because minimal metal support and framing
  • Great for small bathrooms, tubs, and walk-in showers


  • The profile of the glass is thinner than other options

Check out this modern bi-fold shower door on Amazon.

Pivoting Hinge

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Provided you have ample space between your shower and accompanying fixtures, a pivoting hinged shower door is a visually appealing choice. Choose this style of shower door for corner nooks, farmhouse or cottage style bathrooms, or traditional homes. Be prepared to do some cleaning to keep your shower door pristine, but enjoy a door that easily swings open when it's time to bathe.


  • A clean, modern look that is effortless to open
  • Create a spa-like look and feel when paired with a rain-style showerhead
  • A simple, statement piece for your bathroom


  • Make sure you have enough clearance for your door and hire a professional if needed

Check out this pivoting shower door on Amazon.


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Elevate the look of a cramped or oddly-shaped bathroom with a curved shower door, especially if your shower is tucked in a corner. A rounded shower door style softens the hard, square lines within a bathroom and looks sleek and sophisticated. Shower in style, keep water from escaping and have less to clean with a curved shower door in clear glass.


  • Space-saving design that is tasteful and sophisticated
  • Good for showers in the corner and small, odd-shaped bathrooms
  • Less glass to clean


  • Not a good choice for a shower that isn't in a corner or shower/tub combo

Check out this set of curved shower doors on Amazon.

What Is The Best Thickness For A Shower Door?

The profile of a shower door depends on the style, as rounded and bi-fold shower doors use thinner glass than frameless or framed options. The minimum width for tempered glass is 3/8 of an inch, but most shower doors suggest a maximum width of 1/2 an inch for safety and aesthetic purposes.

Should I Get Clear Or Frosted Shower Doors?

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Installing clear shower doors are a desirable bathroom trend. Note this style of shower door looks sophisticated, opulent, and increases the light in a bathroom. However, clear glass doors require frequent maintenance to continue looking beautiful after every use. On the plus side, a glass door that is frameless or mounted requires less detailing than a framed shower door.

Frosted shower doors are a bit passe and typical of 1990s bathrooms. However, frosted shower doors provide privacy and hide water spots. Choose frosted doors if you can't commit to cleaning your shower meticulously, but scrubbing away soap scum may be difficult compared to clear glass. If you are into bathroom trends, choose the clear door for a brighter, spacious, and chic looking shower.

Check out this frosted shower door on Amazon.

Are Frameless Shower Doors Worth It?

Frameless shower doors beckon bathers to indulge in a spa-like ambiance, and the lack of metal framework makes cleaning a lot easier. However, prepare to shell out a lot more money to install a chic, frameless shower door, compared to the more affordable framed shower door. Frameless shower doors look beautiful in bathrooms with an industrial, minimalist, modern, or contemporary look. Framed shower doors are beneficial for reducing leaks and letting water escape.

What Is The Difference Between A Hinged And Pivot Shower Door?

A hinged shower door typically opens outward and requires a minimum of space for comfort and function. A pivoting shower door may be mounted via the side or have a top and bottom orientation. Pivoting shower doors offer more versatility and flexibility as bathers can enter the shower with a door that moves within a 180-degree radius. Depending on the shower door, additional framework may be needed to support the weight of the door and ensure its longevity.

Are Sliding Shower Doors Outdated?

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Sliding doors may feel a bit outdated in showers, but if your bathroom is small or there is limited space between your shower and surrounding fixtures it is a practical solution. Update the look and feel of a bathroom by choosing sliding shower doors that are clear glass and stay away from frosted options. If possible, replace sliding shower doors for pivoting or bi-fold shower doors to save space but give your shower a more modern, chic touch.

Check out this set of sliding shower doors on Amazon.


The best type of shower door should fit your shower and bathroom's aesthetic profile perfectly. Frosted framed and sliding shower doors tend to look more dated, as more home decor enthusiasts prefer frameless or semi-frameless clear shower doors. Let your bathroom's space, fixutres,  and shower details help you choose the right shower door. If you are averse to frequently cleaning your shower, a chic, frameless clear glass shower door may not be the best choice.

Select a frosted or etched door with custom designs to make your shower a work of art and visual focal piece in the bathroom. If you have limited space eschew a hinged door and opt for a bi-fold shower door, a pivoting door, or a fixed European-style partition. Most shower doors are constructed of durable, tempered glass, or may be made from acrylic or fiberglass. Depending on your budget, preferences, and space, you can choose a shower door that makes bathing feel like a spa and show off your personality.

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One comment

  1. I like that you mentioned how the best type of shower door should fit perfectly, be aesthetically compatible with your bathroom, and offer privacy if desired. We are going to renovate one of our bathrooms soon and we are thinking of having a new shower door installed in it. Shower doors seem really nice since they’re both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

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