Shower screens are great not only for adding style to your bathroom space, but also for keeping water away from the rest of the bathroom floor. They come in many shapes, sizes, models and designs. As such, you need to be deliberate about your choice of screen in order to make the greatest use of it. The following are some questions to ask yourself before you go shopping.
1. How much space does my bathroom have?
If your bathroom is small, it's best to go with frameless clear glass which allows you to have a screen without making the room feel even more cramped. In fact, clear glass gives an illusion of space, and the frameless assembly will not take up too much space. If your bathroom is roomy, you have more options, such as frosted or tinted glass or framed/semi-framed screens.
Before installing a shower screen, ensure that you measure your wall and floor screen area, and then you can work with your contractor to see which shape and design would best utilise the space you have.
2. Should the door swing in or out or slide?
First, you can't have sliding doors with frameless shower screens. They are great if you have very limited space to work with both inside and out of the shower space. For swing doors, the direction of swing depends on the placement of the main bathroom elements: the loo, shower and vanity/sink, as well as your selection of bathroom fixtures.
For safety reasons, most contractors will advise that the shower door swing outwards, but if your bathroom is already constructed and this is practically limiting, it can be made to swing inward. Note that inward-swinging doors usually can't have vinyl on the vertical seams as this may make the door bind. Vinyl seams help to prevent water leakage, so if an outward-swinging door is impractical, consider using sliding doors or bi-fold doors.
3. What type of frame do you want?
The type of framing you can use will depend on you budget as well as your design/décor pattern:
Fully framed screens have a frame installed around all the separate glass panels. Traditional/classic design works well with this type, and it's also the most cost-effective.
Semi-frameless screens have a frame only around the outside portion of the screen. It's much cleaner and more stylish than the former, and it's less costly than a fully frameless screen.
Frame-less shower screens have no frames; the glass panels are held together using clamps, channels or fixings. It's ideal for a minimalist look, and it's the easiest to clean and maintain. It's also the most expensive of the above since the glass panels have to be much thicker to stand on their own.