Choosing the right shower enclosure

Wednesday 30 May 2018
Choosing the right shower enclosure

At first glance, selecting one seems a fairly straightforward proposition, but there are a few important factors to consider before making your final decision.

Consider your needs

Before turning to the brochures and catalogues it's important to think about the basic requirements and essentials that you'll need from your enclosure. This of course, starts with who'll be using it. Is it an enclosure for an en-suite or is it one for the family bathroom? Will it be used by everyone in the household or just a few? Are you after something simple or are you looking for a bit of style?

Taking the time to think about what you need will put you in good stead to make the best decision for yourself and your bathroom.

Get the right size and shape

It sounds like a simple and obvious step to include but you’d be surprised how many people get this part wrong. Shower enclosures, as you’ll discover, come in a wide range of shapes in sizes. There are compact square enclosures, larger rectangular enclosures and curved enclosures. Whilst its often easy to assume an enclosure will fit looking at the measurements, other factors will mean this isn’t always the case.

For instance, not only will you have to measure the space you have in your bathroom by length, width and height, but you’ll also have to take into account the width of the shower door if you choose a hinged option. There’s nothing more aggravating than installing an enclosure and opening the door to find it hits the toilet.

Even when the enclosure does fit, you have to consider whether it’s big enough for the individuals who’ll be using it. For a couple as an en-suite, you may feel a more compact enclosure will be appropriate. For the family bathroom with high-use, a larger enclosure may be best, giving you potentially more room for things like moulded walls and trays.

Another important factor to consider is how the shower fits and looks in the space you intend it to be. You may be able to squeeze in a larger shower enclosure by measurement, but it might dominate a smaller-sized bathroom more than you might initially think. On the flip-side to this, a small enclosure in a large bathroom may appear inadequate.

The shape of an enclosure is another choice you’ll have to make. There are compact square enclosures that save space and offer nice symmetry. Rectangular enclosures suit those who require and have a bit more space at their disposal. Last but not least, there are curved enclosures that take the corner off a square or rectangular design. This saves on space and adds a different type of sleek aesthetic if that is more to your tastes.

Choosing the door style

As briefly mentioned, there are a number of door styles to choose from when considering your shower enclosure. The former traditional door is the hinged option that can usually be fitted to swing left or right depending on your own preferences. It’s a no-fuss option that’ll suit most basic showering needs, easy for all members of the family.

Increasingly popular now, especially with curved enclosures, are sliding doors with spring loaded double rollers and magnetic seals. These are also extremely easy to use and often provide a bit more room for shower entry/exit as there’s no swinging door to negotiate. Sliding doors also accommodate smaller bathrooms that may not have the space required for a hinged option.

Mounded walls and other accessories

There are a number of features and accessories that can make a significant difference to the usability and longevity of your shower enclosure.

One of these features is the moulded wall, specifically designed for your bathroom amenities. This is often especially useful for enclosures used by the whole family with a variety of body wash and shampoo products being used. For smaller enclosures used by an individual or couple, a soap tray on the shower arm may suffice, but you should be sure of what you want because not all enclosures come with the moulded way as a feature.

Other features you’ll come across will be related to the maintenance and upkeep of your shower, and how easy it is to clean.

The glass in an enclosure comes in a variety of forms and to make life a bit easier, it helps if it’s received some sort of coating like a ClearShield that will make it resistant to staining and discolouration.

If your enclosure has seals, you’ll also want to make sure these are easily detachable for cleaning to prevent the build-up of mould. The same goes for your rollers if you opt for an enclosure with sliding doors.   

You’ll also want to ensure that the glass itself complies with safety glass standards and that the whole enclosure comes with a reasonable guarantee making it a purchase you can make with peace of mind.

Conclusion

By understanding these fundamentals you’ll be well-placed to talk with bathroom specialists and choose the best shower enclosure that suits your needs. The adage here is very true. The more you know, the better off you’ll be for it.