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Choosing the Best Type of Shower Door for Your Home

Updating your shower door not only adds value to your home but can freshen and revitalize this frequently used space. Yet, with so many options, how can you determine the best type of shower door for your needs? We’ll review the pros and cons of such popular styles as swinging, sliding, and custom shower doors to help inform your decision.

What Is the Best Type of Shower Door? Here’s How to Decide

Different styles can have advantages and disadvantages that are specific to your bathroom layout. Knowing what these are in advance can help determine the best type of shower door for your home. But before we discuss how different types of shower doors compare, we’ll first address how they measure up to a standard shower curtain.

Shower Curtains vs. Glass Doors

Shower curtains vs glass doors can have some advantages. A shower curtain can easily hide your tub or shower. They also come in a variety of styles and colors that can add a decorative flair for a relatively low cost.

However, glass shower doors have several advantages that can add up to less maintenance and more savings over time:

  • Glass doors effectively contain water inside the tub or shower while a curtain can leak water if left outside the tub.
  • A well-maintained glass door can last for years with simple cleaning techniques. Shower curtains require frequent changes due to wear and tear and mold buildup, increasing their cost over time.
  • Glass shower doors can open up the room while a shower curtain can close it off, making a small bathroom feel crowded.

Swinging Shower Door Enclosures

Swinging doors are one of the more popular shower door glass options for stand-alone showers. Consisting of a hinged door that swings outward, they’re also available with pivot hinges that allow it to swing inward and outward. The pros and cons of swinging shower doors include:


  • Provides a large opening to safely accommodate children, the elderly, and those with mobility concerns.
  • Offers easy cleaning without tracks that collect mold and mildew.
  • Creates a clean and minimalist look.


  • The swinging door requires a larger space that smaller bathrooms can’t accommodate.
  • The small space between hinges can create water leaks.

best type of shower door

Sliding Shower Doors

Different types of shower doors also include sliding options. Sliding doors, also referred to as bypass shower doors, are a common choice for bathtub-shower combinations. They typically consist of 2-3 glass panels that slide horizontally on metal tracks to open and close. Here are some sliding shower door pros and cons:


  • Large glass panels offer a sleek appearance while metal hardware can be matched to bathroom fixtures.
  • Can accommodate a convenient handle to hold towels, washcloths, or clothing.
  • Offers a compact choice for smaller spaces.


  • Limited entry space can pose difficulties for small children, the elderly, and those with mobility concerns.
  • Cleaning doors from the inside can be difficult while the metal tracks can collect dirt and mildew.
  • Tracks require frequent maintenance to avoid rusting.

different types of shower doors

Custom Shower Doors

Also referred to as Euro-style doors, custom shower doors can offer the ultimate in modern style. This design is composed of frameless glass with a metal header at the top and a door that opens both in and out. This header bears the weight of the glass panels without relying on a metal frame, offering a sleek appearance. Here are the pros and cons of glass shower doors that are custom in design:


  • The best type of shower door for oversize showers, highlighting their size without a cumbersome metal frame.
  • Minimal hardware makes for easy cleaning with a squeegee and offers less opportunity for mold buildup.
  • Multiple glass and hardware choices add to customizable options.


  • A higher price tag compared to other shower door designs.
  • Leaks can occur if glass panels are perfectly measured, cut, and sealed.
  • Improper installation can result in glass cracks and breakage.

The glass shower door installers at Glass West can help you choose the best shower door for your home. Call us today to answer any questions.

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