Shower cubicles are now a common sight in houses everywhere. The creation of an en-suite bathroom reduces the demand on the main bathroom, and can provide additional privacy to family members. Shower Cubicles are also becoming a more regular fixture in the main bathroom of a house. Taking regular baths are recognised as being much more expensive than using the shower – both in terms of water consumption and the energy required to heat the bath water –in this knowledge, many are changing to shower cubicles. The removal of the bath provides additional space, and offers numerous style and design options.
This increase in popularity has also resulted in a significant increase in the variety of shower cubicle designs, providing a broad number of options for both the style and finish of the cubicle. Included in these options is a wide selection of shower cubicle door designs.
The cubicle, generally, needs to be enclosed whilst the shower is running, to save water finding its way onto the bathroom floor. The cubicle door is, therefore, worth consideration, to make sure it is the correct design for the room.
Traditionally, doors have come in two main styles, pivot and bi-fold.
Pivot doors look and act like most doors used to move between rooms. They are made of a single panel, and hinged down on side. They are the most straightforward type of door, and are relatively straightforward to install. Their popularity means that there are a huge number of shower cubicles available with this type of door, providing the broadest selection of styles. Because of their simplicity, pivot doors will often be among the cheaper designs.
However, the pivot doors have a particular disadvantage. The door will almost always open outwards, unless the shower cubicle is particularly large. This design feature means the cubicle needs to be installed in a room where there is enough space for the door to open without obstruction. This requirement can eat up a lot of room space, and is a particular issue in en suite conversions where space is often at a premium.
The traditional alternative is the bi fold. Made up of two separate panels, the door opens from the centre, with the two panels folding into the shower cubicle. This reduces the need for space as demanded by the pivot door. Thanks to this practical application, the bi-fold door is also available in a large array of styles and is straightforward to install. However, the additional folding action can cause some complications. Poor build quality can lead to bi-fold doors being more susceptible to damage, with the range of motions the door goes through when being opened and closed. In addition, the various hinges and panel create a number of small gaps – these can be difficult to keep clean.
Other door style options are available. Increasing in popularity are sliding doors which, again, save space and are made of a single panel. Once in place they are easy to keep clean, however the installation of the rollers can be very tricky, and the rollers need occasional maintenance.
Corner entry doors are also popular, and can look particularly stylish. They are made up of two sliding panels which open in the middle. As with the single panel sliding door, they can be difficult to install, but they do offer additional space-saving solutions in rooms where the shower cubicle is set back into a wall, or is surrounded by storage and other fittings.
Phil Turner recently rebuilt his bathroom and used an easy-access quadrant shower unit that he bought through QS Shower Quadrants.