Installing the shower enclosure and the shower glass door is among the final steps when constructing a new bathroom shower. If all the preceding construction has been executed perfectly, the shower door will operate smoothly, fit precisely, and effectively contain all the water within the shower enclosure. However, an incorrect measurement during this phase can pose challenges in undoing previous work. Familiarizing yourself with typical rough-in door openings and compatible glass shower door opening sizes will facilitate a seamless and neat installation process.
Standard Shower Door Sizes
Shower door sizes can vary based on individual bathrooms and homeowners’ preferences. However, two commonly used standard shower door sizes are:
Pivot or Swinging Showers:
Pivot or swinging showers, also known as hinged shower doors, are popular for many bathroom setups due to their classic and functional design. These types of shower glass doors are mounted on hinges that allow them to swing open and closed like a regular door. Here are some additional details about pivot or swinging showers:
- Versatile Design: Pivot shower doors offer a versatile design that complements various bathroom styles, from traditional to modern. Their straightforward and sleek appearance makes them an excellent fit for any aesthetic, making them a favoured choice for homeowners and designers alike.
- Ideal for Small Spaces: Since they swing open rather than slide, pivot shower doors are an excellent option for bathrooms with limited space. This design minimizes the need for extra clearance around the shower enclosure, making it more space-efficient and practical for compact bathrooms.
- Wide Range of Sizes: Pivot shower doors come in various sizes to accommodate various shower openings. Homeowners can find pivot doors suitable for both standard and custom-sized showers, making it easier to find the perfect fit for their bathroom.
- Sealing and Water Containment: Pivot shower doors are designed to create a watertight seal when closed, preventing water from splashing outside the shower enclosure. This helps maintain a dry and safe bathroom floor while protecting adjacent fixtures and furniture from water damage.
- Reversible Installation: Many pivot shower doors are designed for reversible installation, allowing the door to swing inward or outward, depending on the bathroom layout. This flexibility is beneficial when adapting the door’s swing to the bathroom’s layout and the user’s preferences.
- Easy to Clean: With fewer tracks and seals than sliding shower doors, pivot doors are generally easier to clean and maintain. This makes them a convenient choice for those who prefer hassle-free upkeep in their bathroom.
- Enhanced Accessibility: Pivot shower doors often offer a wider entryway compared to sliding doors, making them more accessible for individuals with mobility challenges or those who require assistance while using the shower.
Typically, pivot or swinging shower door units have a width of 48 inches, with the actual walk-in door opening measuring about 26 1/2 inches wide.
Sliding showers, or bypass shower doors, are a popular and space-saving choice for modern bathrooms. These shower glass doors consist of two or more panels that slide past each other on tracks, allowing easy access to the shower enclosure.
Here are some additional details about sliding showers:
- Space-Efficient Design: Sliding shower doors are an excellent option for bathrooms with limited space. Since they don’t swing open like pivot doors, they don’t require extra clearance in front of the enclosure, making them an ideal choice for smaller bathrooms or bathrooms with tight layouts.
- Smooth and Silent Operation: Sliding shower doors operate smoothly along their tracks, providing a seamless gliding motion. High-quality sliding mechanisms ensure the doors open and close quietly, creating a serene and enjoyable showering experience.
- Wide Range of Configurations: Sliding shower doors come in various configurations, including two-panel and three-panel designs. The two-panel layout features one fixed panel and one sliding panel, while the three-panel configuration includes two sliding panels that move past a fixed center panel. These options allow homeowners to choose the best layout for their shower space.
- Contemporary Aesthetics: Sliding shower doors often feature a minimalist and modern design, adding a touch of elegance to the bathroom. The absence of visible hardware or bulky frames contributes to a clean and contemporary appearance, making sliding doors a popular choice for stylish bathroom renovations.
- Easy Accessibility: Sliding shower doors provide easy access to the shower, as the sliding motion requires minimal effort to open and close the doors. This accessibility is especially beneficial for individuals with limited mobility or those who prefer a hassle-free shower experience.
- Water Containment: Sliding shower doors are designed to create a tight seal when closed, effectively containing water within the shower enclosure. The overlapping panels ensure water is kept inside, reducing the risk of water splashing outside the shower area.
- Low Maintenance: Sliding shower doors typically have fewer seals and tracks than other door types, making them easier to clean and maintain. The straightforward design minimizes potential spots for soap scum and residue to accumulate, streamlining the cleaning process.
- Customizable Options: Manufacturers offer various customization options for sliding shower doors, including different glass types, finishes, and hardware styles. This lets homeowners personalize their shower enclosures to match their preferred aesthetics and overall bathroom design.
The width of sliding shower door units is usually 60 inches, while the actual walk-in door opening ranges from approximately 22 inches wide to 25-3/8 inches wide.
Measurement for a Glass Shower Door
When measuring a shower or a shower/bathtub combination, follow these steps for accurate dimensions:
- Width Measurement: Use a tape measure or a laser measuring device to measure the width from one side to the other. Take two measurements: one at the top and one at the bottom. Since walls and alcove enclosures can distort over time or may not be perfectly square from the beginning, having two measurements is crucial. Choose the larger of the two measurements and round it up to 1/8 inch.
- Height Measurement: Measure the height from the side of the bathtub/shower or the curb in the case of showers. Similar to the width, take two measurements: one on the left and one on the right. Select the larger of the two height measurements and round it up to 1/8 of an inch.
While installing the shower doors and frames, they may have some flexibility to accommodate slightly uneven walls. However, striving for accurate measurements is essential to ensure a proper fit during installation.
Sliding Door or Bypass Shower Door Dimensions
In alcove shower/bathtub setups, the common width for the enclosure is 60 inches, while the bypass or sliding doors typically have a width of around 58 inches. When framing the alcove, it’s important not to add extra space; it must precisely measure 60 inches.
There are two types of installations for alcove showers: direct-to-stud and those between wall coverings. A pre-fabricated unit with coordinated surround walls is screwed directly to the uncovered wall studs in the direct-to-stud installation.
The three walls of the nook are framed, but there is no installation of water-resistant wallboard or cement board on the studs.
As a result, the shower/tub itself is slightly less than 60 inches, usually around 59 7/8 inches, varying slightly between different manufacturers. On the other hand, some alcove installations feature wall coverings like drywall or cement board on the studs.
A metal frame is present on both sides of the shower door, and there is a need for a small space on each side of the shower door, which collectively reduces the total width of the shower door in these 60-inch alcove applications to 58 inches.
Regarding sliding shower doors, their widths range from 45 to 47 inches for standard sizes, while wider sliding shower doors can measure between 57 inches to 59 inches in width. Most shower doors have a standard height of 79 inches.
Frameless Glass Shower Door Opening Sizes
Frameless shower enclosures have gained popularity due to their ability to flood the shower stall with an abundance of light and their ability to create a seamless appearance without the visual interruption of shower frames.
One significant advantage of frameless showers is their flexibility in sizing. Theoretically, you can have a frameless shower of any desired size, as glass can be custom-ordered to fit specific dimensions, or smaller glass panels can be combined to create the selected enclosure. However, most frameless shower installations in residential settings adhere to exact standard dimensions for practicality and ease of installation.
Pivot (Swinging) Shower Door Sizes:
- Width: 39 1/8-inch to 44-inch
- Height: 27 5/16-inch to 31 1/8-inch
- Width: 43 1/8-inch to 48-inch
- Height: Standard sizes
Sliding Shower Door Sizes:
- Width: 56 5/8-inch to 59 5/8-inch
- Height: 44 5/8-inch to 47 5/8-inch
Return Side Panel Sizes:
- Width: 34-inch to 35-inch
- Height: Standard sizes
- Width: 29-inch to 30-inch
- Height: 31-inch to 32-inch
In frameless shower doors, it is common to find one or even two additional glass panels on the sides, known as side lights. These side lights serve a specific purpose, with the hinge-side light enabling the door to pivot smoothly while still creating a watertight seal against the shower wall.
When tiling a frameless shower enclosure, it is crucial to ensure accurate dimensions for the cement backer board and the tile or stone used. All shower hardware, including hinges, brackets, and strike jambs, should be excluded from the measurement since they are factored into the door opening technical information.
The only dimension that can still be adjusted slightly is the thickness of the thin-set, but its impact is relatively minor. Although this set may appear thick initially when applied with a trowel, it compresses to approximately 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch after combing with the trowel and pressing the tile into place. Therefore, precision in measuring the backer board and tile is essential for a flawless and properly fitted frameless shower enclosure.