What's the Difference Between Shower Doors and Shower Enclosures?

While the terms “shower door” and “shower enclosure” are often used interchangeably, there are a few nuanced differences between the two. What is the difference between shower doors and shower enclosures? Which will work best for your bathroom?

Learn more from the bathroom glass and design experts at Jack’s Glass!

Shower Enclosures

The term “shower enclosure” can refer to the entire glass shower area—from the walls to the doors. Shower enclosure can also refer to shower glass that is fixed and doesn’t move (unlike doors).

Examples of fixed shower enclosures include the following options:

Glass tub enclosure

If you want to keep your bathtub, or you don’t have room in your bathroom for a standalone shower, a glass tub enclosure is an option.

Glass tub enclosures can be framed or frameless. A fixed glass panel along the edge of the tub keeps water in while allowing you to enter and exit the tub.

No door

For bathrooms with a standalone shower, you might be able to skip the door entirely! You might choose a walk-in shower with an opening in the glass walls or a single panel separating the shower from the rest of the room, rather than a sliding or pivoting door.

Shower Doors

Shower doors, unlike shower enclosures, refer exclusively to the door itself. They are movable and come in a variety of options. Depending on the layout of your bathroom and your design preferences, you might consider any of the following:

  • Pivot door: this type swings outward, essentially the glass version of a regular door
  • Sliding door: this type slides along a track
  • In-line door: this type swings outward (like a pivot door) between glass panels, giving the impression of a glass wall
  • Bi-fold door: this type folds in on itself (like a closet door)
  • Neo-angle door: this type comprises a glass door in the middle of two angled panels, ideal for shower enclosures in room corners
  • Steam door: this type goes from floor to ceiling, giving you the ability to turn your shower into a steam room

For a more in-depth look at the types of shower doors, make sure to read our previous blog post: What Are the Types of Glass Shower Doors? We also recommend reading 5 Important Design Details for Glass Shower Enclosures. In addition to the door, you’ll also need to consider things like the frame (or lack thereof), location of your shower head, the curb, and the type of glass you want.

Contact Jack’s Glass

There are so many options for shower enclosures and shower doors, it’s practically overwhelming. How do you choose the right enclosure for your bathroom? How do you make sure that you can get the bathroom of your dreams even with practical constraints, like your budget and bathroom layout?

Fortunately, Jack’s Glass is here to help. Our design experts have years of experience helping homeowners just like you design beautiful, luxurious, yet practical spaces. We can walk you through it all—from design to installation.

To learn what we can do for you, and get a free quote, contact Jack’s Glass today.