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Choosing the Right Shower screen

Shower screens prevent water from going all over the bathroom. More aesthetic than a shower curtain, shower screens must be adapted the type of shower you want to install and of course your overall bathroom layout. Some shower screens are fixed directly to the shower base while others are designed to be fixed to a tiled floor.  In order to choose the right shower screen there are a few points to consider. Let’s take a look.

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  • How to Choose the Ideal Shower Screen?

    When browsing for a shower screen, you will need to consider the various opening systems, configurations, evacuation types and other markets and options. When we say “market” we mean the type of project you’re working on; it could be a shower screen for a hotel room, a healthcare facility or one’s own home. These are the three cases we will highlight in this guide. There are five main opening systems, and we will discuss each individually. We will also lead you through the different material options in our four-point guide.

    • Opening System
    • Configuration
    • Material options
    • Markets
  • What should I know about the “swing”-style opening system?

    Swing shower screen by SAMO

    One of the most important points to consider when choosing a swinging shower screen is whether to install it so that it swings inward or outward. 

    • PRO: Easy to clean
    • CON: Requires additional space for opening
  • What should I know about the “sliding”-style opening system?

    Sliding shower screens are particularly useful in smaller bathrooms, where space can get rather complicated. This type of opening system requires more hardware to install than the swing screen because it has a sliding track. The sliding screen may also need more maintenance because its track can trap water and become moldy. It’s important to clean the track, where dirt can gather, after each use.

    • PRO: Fitting for small bathrooms
    • CON: Sliding track requires regular cleaning

      Sliding shower screen by GLASS 1989

  • What should I know about the “fixed”-style opening system?

    Fixed shower screen by GLASS 1989

    Fixed shower screen by GLASS 1989

    A fixed shower screen does not move; technically, it does not open because the panel is fixed. This means that one side of the shower acts as the opening, while the fixed screen and the other two walls block water from exiting. It is possible for water to escape, though, because one side is left open. It also does not retain the heat as well as a sliding or swinging screen. 

     

    • PRO: Fitting for small bathrooms
    • PRO: Easy to clean
    • CON: Water and heat may escape
  • What should I know about the “folding”-style opening system?

    Folding shower screen BY Inda

    Folding shower screen by Inda

    The folding shower screen mirrors the movement of an accordion, except that there can be as few as two folds. The fixed section of the screen is silicone-sealed which ensures a watertight barrier, avoiding leaks. This type of opening system can be considered a convenience by some and an inconvenience by others; the folds open inward, reducing the shower space for a smooth exit, while conserving the bathroom area for a spacious landing. 

    • PRO: Does not require additional bathroom space to open
    • CON: Opens inwardly, reducing shower space
  • What are the different configurations?

    There are a number of configurations to consider depending on where the shower is placed in the bathroom. The configurations include: corner, alcove, standard—including square and rectangular—, curved and semicircular. Any of the openings can work fine for these configurations. It will mostly depend on your preference and the size of the bathroom.

    • Corner: Showers located in the corner will have an opening at the fourth angle, the one that does not touch a wall.
    • Alcove: The shower is fit snugly into a space pre-designed into the structure of the bathroom. Three sides of the shower are, in fact, walls so only one side of the alcove shower can host a screen.
    • Standard: Showers are available in a number of standard dimensions, which will help you find screens to fit easily.
    • Curved: This configuration is also ideal for corners. The screen is mounted on either side of the shower and curves outward.
  • What are the material options?

    One of the most prominent materials used to fabricate shower screens is glass, followed by acrylic, a durable material that is easy to maintain and requires few repairs. Fiberglass is a low-cost material but needs replacing quicker than other materials. As for glass, there are five main subtypes used to produce shower screens. These are standard clear glass, starphire glass, acid-etched glass, sandblasted glass and textured glass. Professionals, bound by law requirements, typically use tempered glass for shower screens. If the screen breaks, the glass crumbles into dull cubes. Regular glass breaks into jagged particles. It is common for shower screen manufacturers to use tempered glass from SECURIT. Each country has its own Building Code with specific requirements.

    • Standard clear glass: It is toughened or tempered glass that lets light through which optimizes space. Standard clear glass used for shower screens is glazed, toughened and laminated, with a thickness of 4 or 6 mm. Iron particles found in standard clear glass create a green or blue tint.
    • Starphire glass: Most of the iron particles are removed in order to create a more clear glass.
    • Acid-etched glass: This is not a clear glass. It creates more privacy; although the silhouettes of those in the shower can still be seen from outside the shower. It can be patterned in customized designs for creativity. It requires low maintenance and has a low risk of exhibiting fingerprint marks.
    • Sandblasted glass: It has a frosted look and can be made with the level of opaqueness of your choice.
    • Textured glass: It is glass that has textured designs for decorative purposes.
  • How do I choose a shower screen for my home?

    Choosing a shower screen for your own home is rather simple. It will mostly depend on the size of your bathroom and where your shower is placed. We usually decide where to place the shower and then select the screen, not the other way around. See which configuration works best for your situation; for example, if the shower is in the corner, you might want to consider a curved configuration. The size of your bathroom will guide you to choose the right opening system. Be sure of your measurements. If you’re concerned about finding a screen made from the right material for you and your home, talk to a professional.

  • How do I choose a shower screen for hotel rooms?

    If you’re working on a hotel project and have decided to place a shower in any of the bathrooms, keep in mind that transparent bathrooms offer more light and make a room feel more spacious. You’ll want to design the layout in a way that gains space and, for this, you can also play around with different materials. Switchable glass can bounce between transparent and private.

  • How do I choose a shower screen for healthcare facilities?

    If you’re working on a healthcare facility project, you will need to plan for a number of situations. Certain showers may require enough space to fit a chair and a care attendant, so the screen will need to offer a large enough opening. This will be the case for patients in wheelchairs. You might consider avoiding fold and swing screens because patients will need more space to enter and exit the shower; also, the movement required to open fold and swing screens might increase a patient’s stress level. This could cause safety issues. Whichever shower screen you choose, it will need to provide safe access to showering for elderly and disabled patients.

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