The shower enclosure is the glass "box" that sits on top of the shower tray to form the cubicle. Depending on the model, they are made up of one or more fixed glass panels together with a glass door.
The following diagrams explain how the most common types of shower door operate - the red areas show the door and its opening action, while the blue area indicates the fixed panel.
The most common type of enclosure uses the pivot door. Because of its popularity this type of door is also the cheapest.
This type of enclosure door opens outwards into the bathroom so it is vital that there are no protrusions, such as a wash hand basin, that could cause damage or prevent it from opening fully. Because the door pivots slightly inboard of the corner the door does not open out as far as would be the case with a hinged door.
Depending on the manufacturer, pivot doors can be used with a fixed side panel (illustrated), two fixed side panels or wall to wall in a recess.
Hinged shower doors are not as common as pivot doors in the UK, and tend to be used by manufacturers at the upper end of the shower enclosure market.
This type of enclosure door opens outwards into the bathroom so it is vital that there are no protrusions, such as a wash hand basin, that could cause damage or prevent it from opening fully.
The quadrant shower enclosure is ideal for incorporating in any bathroom design as it offers a quite large showering area without being too imposing, the curved design having no definite corner.
Many corner shower cubicles are available with frameless doors making them feel even more open. The majority of this style of enclosure use a sliding mechanism for the doors (as illustrated) and can therefore be sited near other bathroom items such as basins or toilets without having to worry about the shower doors opening into the room.
Corner entry doors are used when space either side of the cubicle is limited.
The shower doors slide back from the corner on rollers contained inside the frame. The four panels that make up the enclosure tend to be framed so they do not feel as open as some of the frameless shower doors that are available. This type of enclosure cannot be used in a recess.
Inswing doors offer the same large glass area as a pivot door but they do not open into the room, which is useful if space is limited.
The opening mechanism is slightly more complicated than a pivot door and as a consequence they tend to be a bit more expensive. They are suitable for use in a recess.
Bi-fold shower doors do not open into the room and so are suitable for use where space is limited. The mechanism is slightly less complicated than the in-swing door and as a consequence tend to be a little cheaper.
Bi-fold doors can be used in a shower enclosure (as illustrated) or in a recess.
The slider enclosure , is a straightforward sliding door that is usually only available on larger shower cubicles. Typically these doors tend to be designed for shower trays 1200mm in length, but there a few that will fit slightly smaller cubicles.
This type of shower door is suitable for use with an enclosure or can be used in a recess.
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