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What different shower door openings are there?
Buying guides

What different shower door openings are there?

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 weeks ago 8 min read

To make bathroom buying more accessible, we explain all about shower door openings and how they can impact on your space.

Are you planning to renovate your bathroom or simply upgrading your shower enclosure? When it comes to shower doors, one important aspect to consider is the type of opening mechanism. From traditional hinged doors to sleek sliding options, the choice you make can significantly impact both the functionality and look of your bathroom space. In this guide, we'll explore the different shower door openings available, helping you make an informed decision for your next bathroom project.

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Hinged shower doors

Hinged shower doors are a classic choice for many bathrooms. They operate similarly to a regular door, swinging open and closed on hinges attached to one side of the door frame. These doors open outwards into the bathroom space, requiring adequate clearance to prevent obstruction.

Hinged shower doors

The Austin premium hinged shower door from Mode Bathrooms comes complete with easy-clean 8mm safety glass for peace of mind and simple maintenance

One of the advantages of hinged shower doors is their wide opening, allowing for easy access and cleaning of the shower enclosure. They also offer a seamless look, blending well with various bathroom styles. However, it's essential to ensure there's enough space in your bathroom for the door to swing open without hitting any fixtures or obstacles.

Hinged shower doors

Advantages of hinged shower doors

  • Easy access and cleaning
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Fewer moving parts compared to sliding or bifold shower doors

Disadvantages of hinged shower doors

  • Not ideal for small bathrooms as they require space to open
  • Water can drip on to flooring from the opened door
  • Part of the door space will be taken up by a supporting panel (which the hinges are attached to), so other options (like a pivot shower door) can produce wider openings

Pivot shower doors

Pivot shower doors are similar to hinged doors but with a pivot mechanism that allows them to swing inwards and outwards. Unlike hinged doors, pivot doors pivot on a central axis, which means they require less clearance space around the door frame.

Pivot shower doors

Available in widths of 760mm, 800mm and 900mm, this matt black pivot shower door from Orchard Bathrooms will add some on-trend style to your bathroom or ensuite

These doors are ideal for bathrooms with limited space or unconventional layouts. They provide a contemporary look and smooth operation, making them a popular choice for modern bathroom designs. Pivot shower doors are available in various sizes and configurations to suit different shower enclosures.

Pivot shower doors

Advantages of pivot shower doors

  • Easy access and cleaning
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Fewer moving parts compared to bifold or sliding shower doors
  • With no supporting panel, it can produce a wider opening than a hinged shower door

Disadvantages of pivot shower doors

  • Not ideal for small bathrooms as they require space to open (but less than a hinged door)
  • Water can drip on to flooring from the opened door

Sliding shower doors

Sliding shower doors are a practical solution for bathrooms with limited space or tight layouts. Instead of swinging open, these doors slide along tracks installed on the top and bottom of the door frame. This design allows for easy entry and exit without occupying additional floor space.

Sliding shower doors

One of our bestselling items, the framed sliding shower door from Orchard Bathrooms features polished aluminium profiles and 6mm British Standard safety glass

Sliding doors are perfect for small bathrooms or corner shower enclosures where a swinging door may not be feasible. They offer a sleek and minimalist appearance, enhancing the overall appearance of your ensuite or bathroom. Additionally, sliding shower doors are effortless to operate, making them an excellent choice for households with children or elderly individuals.

Sliding shower doors

Advantages of sliding shower doors

  • Easy access and cleaning
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Effortless to open

Disadvantages of sliding shower doors

  • More moving parts than other types of shower door

Bifold shower doors

Bifold shower doors (sometimes spelt “bi-fold”) feature a unique folding mechanism that allows them to open inwards, similar to a closet door. These doors consist of 2 panels connected by hinges, which fold together to create an opening.

Bifold shower doors

Make a small bathroom space work for you with the 6mm bifold shower door from Orchard Bathrooms

Bifold doors are an excellent space-saving solution for compact bathrooms or shower enclosures with limited clearance. They offer easy access to the shower area while maximising floor space in the bathroom. Bifold shower doors are available in various designs and finishes, allowing you to find the perfect match for your bathroom decor.

Bifold shower doors

Advantages of bifold shower doors

  • Perfect for small bathrooms as doors fold inwards
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Effortless to open

Disadvantages of bifold shower doors

  • More moving parts than hinged or pivot shower doors
  • Opening isn’t quite as large as a hinged or pivot shower door

Frameless shower doors

Frameless shower doors have gained popularity in recent years for their sleek and contemporary appearance. Unlike traditional framed doors, frameless shower doors are constructed from thick tempered glass panels without any metal framing around the edges.

Frameless shower doors

Featuring a Victorian style stainless steel handle and concealed hinges, the Beaumont hinged shower door from The Bath Co. is perfect for traditional and contemporary bathrooms alike

These doors create a seamless and open look, making the bathroom feel more spacious and airy. Frameless shower doors are available with all of the above door opening mechanisms (hinged, pivot or sliding), offering versatility to suit different bathroom layouts and design preferences. While frameless doors may require professional installation due to their weight and complexity, they offer unmatched elegance and style to any bathroom space.

Frameless shower doors

Advantages of frameless shower doors

  • Produces a sleek, designer look

Disadvantages of frameless shower doors

  • Needs more care when in use to avoid chipping glass edges

Doorless (walk in) shower enclosures

For fully unobstructed access, walk in shower enclosures are a popular choice in modern bathrooms. Consisting of a glass screen (or a combination of glass screens), which can be framed or frameless, the defining feature of a walk-in shower is its accessibility and ease of entry.

Unlike standard shower enclosures with doors, walk in showers offer a seamless transition into the showering space, making them ideal for individuals with mobility challenges or those who simply prefer a more open and inviting shower experience.

Walk in shower enclosures

For an on-trend bathroom, look no further than this black framed glass panel and shower tray combination from Mode Bathrooms

You could even go one step further and create an open plan wet room. With the shower tray sitting beneath a fully tiled and waterproofed floor, the room itself is designed to contain splashes and divert water into the waste. So, depending on the size and layout, you could, potentially, do without a shower screen. However, many wet rooms still contain glass screens, to keep fixtures like the toilet dry and ready to use.

Walk in shower enclosures

Advantages of walk in shower enclosures

  • Opens up your bathroom space
  • Easy, unhindered access, especially for those with mobility issues
  • Desirable, designer style

Disadvantages of walk in shower enclosures

  • May not be suitable for small bathrooms where fixtures and furniture need protection from splashes

For more information, why not read our article Walk in showers v wet rooms: Which is right for you?


Choosing the right shower door opening is essential for creating a functional and visually appealing bathroom environment. Whether you opt for a traditional hinged door, a space-saving sliding option or a luxurious frameless design, consider your bathroom layout, space constraints and style preferences to make the perfect choice. With the variety of options available, you're sure to find a shower door opening that enhances the beauty and functionality of your bathroom for years to come.

Shop shower doors and enclosures

At Victoria Plum, discover one of the widest choices of high quality shower doors and enclosures in the UK. Whatever style, size or design you need, you’re bound to find the perfect product at an unbeatable price. To begin browsing, simply click below.

Shop shower enclosures

More ideas and advice on this subject

To help you make all the right choices for your bathroom, you’ll find plenty of expert advice and fresh inspiration, right here at Victoria Plum.

If you need more help when picking out the perfect setting for your shower, read our shower enclosure buying guide, where we explain all the basics you need to know. We even have a guide to fitting a shower enclosure, should you wish to understand how a plumber approaches this task. And, once you’ve received your product, we demonstrate how to inspect your new shower enclosure, to ensure it’s in tip-top condition.

If it’s inspiration you seek, we have plenty of fresh ideas. Check out our article about on-trend black framed shower screens, and discover the perfect shower cubicle and shower combinations for your bathroom. And, finally, if a wet room is your dream, take a look at our walk in shower and wet room ideas.

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 weeks ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

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