Shower curtains don’t have the best reputation. Perhaps it’s because they can easily look cheap or flimsy. Perhaps it’s because they so quickly get speckled with black spots of mould even when they come complete with a ‘mould resistant coating’.
Perhaps it’s because one of the cinema’s iconic murder scenes features a shower curtain as practically a third character (or is it just us that gets a Psycho-inspired shudder every time we hear the rattle of a shower curtain rail?)
And yet, for many people, a shower curtain is still the standard. Don’t they realise there’s another way? That’s why we’ve put together this FAQ guide for glass shower screens, to help you see the light on what your above bath options are, how to install them, look after them and why you should be looking beyond curtains to keep your bathroom dry.
What is a shower screen?
A shower screen is a glass panel which sits above your bath or from the floor to keep any excess shower spray from escaping. They fix to the wall (or tiles) usually using hinges, and they’re far more robust, easy-to-clean, and more aesthetically appealing than the flimsy plastic curtain alternative.
You can get three main types of shower screen for baths. The most common type is a single panel, which moves in one solid piece when it’s opened and hinges straight onto a wall bracket. The second option is a double panel, which has one smaller panel that is fixed in place, and a second panel that hinges open.
The final option is a foldable shower door, which can be folded completely out of the way to sit flush against the wall.
Are frameless shower doors safe?
Another option you can choose is a frameless shower door.
A firm favourite in wetrooms, a frameless option creates a modern minimalist look, can be easier to clean with less nooks and crannies to scrub. As they are made from tempered glass, a frameless shower screen is also every bit as safe as a framed option, though it will usually be slightly thicker to ensure maximum strength and safety.
What kind of glass is used for shower doors?
As we mentioned above, the majority of shower doors are made from tempered glass.
This is glass that has been heated, then rapidly cooled, a process which can leave it up to 5x stronger than untreated glass. Another benefit of tempered glass (also known as safety glass) if it is broken, it shatters into tiny crumb-like fragments rather than sharp-edged shards.
Do shower screens open in or out?
It is a requirement that shower screens are able to swing outwards on their hinges. This is in case someone has an accident or fall in the shower – to allow ease of access. It is also possible to buy screens with hinges that allow them to swing both outwards and inwards. This gives you the option of swinging your screen in to let it drip dry over the bath.
How big should a shower screen be?
There is no set size for shower screens. It is completely dependent on the size of your bath. Most screens will be around 1400mm-1500mm high but a wide range of widths are available and it is a case of tailoring one to your own bathroom.
As well as the size of the bath, you should also consider how strong your shower is. If you have a particularly strong shower, you will need a wider screen to prevent a lot of water spraying out.
What is the best glass thickness for a shower door?
The glass used for shower doors is usually between 3mm and 8mm thick. The exact thickness you need will depend on the size of the door, whether it is framed, semi-framed, or frameless and the style of your bath.
How do you measure a shower screen?
When you’re measuring for a shower screen, you need to measure the height you need as well as the width. Ideally you need the screen to stand higher than your shower head fitting, just to minimise how much water is able to escape over the side.
You also need to consider the size of your bathroom. You need the door to be able to swing outwards, so consider the width of your bathroom and where the rest of your suite is. You don’t want to install a screen that will bang against the wall, or your sink basin, every time you swing it open – this could damage the screen or whatever it’s hitting!
How do you install a glass shower screen?
Different manufacturers will provide different instructions for installing a shower screen, so we can’t really provide a generic overview. The hardest part of the process is usually installing the bracket that holds the door on the wall.
If you’re attaching it straight to the wall, this shouldn’t be particularly difficult, just make sure you read the instructions before you start to make sure you have everything you need. But, if you’re fixing a shower screen to tiles, you may want to consider finding a professional to do it. Tiles are a lot more fragile and may be difficult to replace if they get broken.
Are glass shower doors hard to keep clean?
The key to keeping glass shower screens clean, is to do it regularly. Rinse any suds off every time you shower, then once a week give them a ‘deep clean’ with a dedicated cleaner. Additionally, invest in a squeegee to sluice off any excess water, and you should find cleaning your screen is a doodle.
Why is my shower screen leaking?
The most common cause for a shower screen leaking, is the seal that sits between the bath and the screen starts to age. Luckily, it is pretty easy to replace shower screen seals, and you shouldn’t need to change the screen as well.
Glass shower screens make an excellent alternative to shower curtains that are easy to maintain and a lot more attractive. If you’re redesigning your bathroom and looking to banish a disappointing curtain from lowering the whole tone of your room, take a look at our shower screens and doors, and don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have anymore questions.