8 Expert Tips To Choose A Shower Stall & Enclosure

Are you after the most practical shower experience and, at the same time, you'd like to give your bathroom an instant makeover? Choosing a shower stall & enclosure will also allow you to make a conscious decorative statement. While a bulky bathtub can make your bathroom feel more cramped, the spacious and see-through element of shower stalls will help you make it look bigger.

However, you've probably realized that there are lots of available options to choose from, making it seemingly impossible to pick one. No worries: we've got you! Let's make sure you find the perfect shower stall & enclosure for your needs and bathroom with our easy tips.

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What Type of Shower Stall Should I Choose?

The first thing that you should figure out in order to weed out dozens of irrelevant options is whether you want a standard shower enclosure or you're secretly craving for a steam shower:

  • Shower enclosures are the most traditional and versatile option: available in a variety of designs and layouts, they're also decorative pieces and you can easily find one that matches the style of your bathroom;

  • Steam showers have a more modern feel and, while they aren't famous for their aesthetic appeal, they're the best to help you destress and make the most of your time under the shower; keep in mind that they're usually more expensive and, while they result in a positive environmental impact and lower bills when it comes to the water side of things, they will also translate into higher energy bills because of their humidifying steam generator.

Chrome Rectangle Hinged Shower Enclosure
Satin Black Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Oil Rubbed Bronze Rectangle Shower Enclosure
Rectangle Hinged Steam Shower With Base Included
Round Sliding Steam Shower With Base Included
Tempered Glass Steam Shower With Base Included

What Type of Shower Installation Is Right for My Bathroom?

Have a good look at the layout of your bathroom and consider where you could physically fit your new shower stall:

A corner installation is the most space-optimizing option as it relies on two existing walls and can help you make the most of your bathroom's corners;

  • this doesn't necessarily mean that your shower stall & enclosure will be tiny, though! You can also use it for larger shapes or different geometric designs, such as spacious neo-angle shapes;

An alcove installation relies on three of your shower stall's sides being enclosed by a wall;

  • this is a beautiful option for larger bathrooms, especially those with a longer layout;
  • at the same time, though, it can help you optimize the smallest bathrooms if the shape of their layout involves a handy nook!
Brushed Nickel Alcove Shower Enclosure Base Included
Rectangle Bypass Sliding Shower Door With Base Included
Chrome Alcove Rectangle Sliding Tub Enclosure
Clear Corner Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Satin Black Neo Angle Hinged Shower Enclosure
Corner Rectangle Hinged Shower Enclosure

What Is the Right Shape of Shower Stall & Enclosure for My Bathroom?

  • Whether with a corner or alcove installation, square showers are the most common option and ideal in smaller bathrooms;
  • Rounded models are even more space-optimizing for your corner installation, and could be a better option if you're after more harmonious shapes to match the style of your bathroom;
  • Rectangular stalls should only be considered in large bathrooms (either as a corner or alcove installation) and are particularly popular for walk-in showers; they're perfect for couples who enjoy taking showers together!
  • If you want your bathroom to have a modern look and a stylish feel, you're going to love the captivating geometric shapes of neo-angle showers! Only available as a corner installation, they will result in a more spacious enclosure that can become the main focal point in your bathroom.
Neo Angle Hinged Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Brushed Nickel Rectangle Shower Door
Glass Round Sliding Shower Enclosure
Framed Square Sliding Shower Enclosure
Frameless Round Sliding Shower Enclosure
Square Sliding Shower Enclosure With Base Included

What Is the Best Type of Shower Door?

The best type of shower door for you will mainly depend on the size and layout of your bathroom as well as your personal preference:

  • Although they can work well in larger rooms too, sliding and bi-fold doors are undoubtedly the best and most space-optimizing options for smaller bathrooms, where opening a traditional door would leave you no room to walk around it;
  • Hinged doors will allow you to make the most of the largest bathrooms, especially for the most traditional squared designs and the widest rectangular enclosures;
  • Similar to the hinged option, pivot doors are secured top to bottom, which usually offers the opportunity for a more noticeable frame and a stronger decorative element; they're also particularly popular in showers with different geometric shapes.
Pivot Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Square Pivot Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Hinged Steam Shower With Base Included
Sliding Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Bi Fold Hinged Shower Enclosure With Base Included
Clear Sliding Frameless Shower Enclosure

What Is the Best Glass for Shower Doors?

Think of your habits, needs and what feel you'd like to create in your bathroom in order to figure out whether you should opt for clear or frosted glass doors:

Clear glass doors result in an airy open design that makes your bathroom look bigger and even brighter;

  • however, they'll also require deeper and more frequent cleaning, as the water spots will be more visible, and they might not be the right option if you're after some privacy (for example, if you share your bathroom with some housemates);

Frosted glass doors are rather versatile as they're usually available in more design options, and they're a better choice if you're after some privacy; they'll also be easier to clean and maintain;

  • if you have a particularly small bathroom, though, you might want to stick to clear glass as frosted doors can make it look even more cramped and darker.

There are also some less popular but beautiful options that could work better with the style of your bathroom:

Tinted glass can easily match the room's palette and add a stylistic touch while maintaining the perks of see-through models; however, these doors aren't the most durable, as they can often result in scratches or lose their brightness;

Textured and patterned glass can achieve a similar effect as frosted models but in a more personalized way; if you have rather simple monochrome fixtures, patterned glass can spruce up the look of your bathroom or even match an existing design; if you already have a couple of different patterns, though, you might want to avoid it, as they could clash and make the room look inconsistent.

Tinted Glass Steam Shower With Base Included
Transition Pattern Sliding Bathtub Door
Frosted Glass Rectangle Sliding Shower Enclosure
Frosted Glass Square Hinged Shower Enclosure
Clear Glass Shower Enclosure With Fixed Panel
Clear Glass Single Sliding Frameless Shower Enclosure

What Type of Frame Is Right for My Shower Stall & Enclosure?

  • Framed shower stalls are the most popular and traditional design; budget-friendly and easier to install, they're available in lots of styles, making it easy to match the other fixtures in your bathroom;

  • Frameless options result in a cleaner and more minimal appearance, making your bathroom look bigger and stylish; while they're easier to clean and maintain, keep in mind that they're usually more expensive, involve a more complicated installation and could be susceptible to leaking accidents;

  • Semi-frameless showers are an ideal compromise if you're torn between the two and would like to combine their minimalistic approach and a decorative element.

Rectangle Pivot Semi Frameless Shower Enclosure
Semi Frameless Rectangle Sliding Tub Enclosure
Frameless Rectangle Sliding Shower Enclosure
Brushed Nickel Clear Glass Frameless Shower Door
Corner Framed Rectangle Sliding Shower Enclosure
Framed Rectangle Walk In Shower Kit

Is It Better to Choose a Full Shower Enclosure or a Walk-In Shower?

Depending on your budget, needs and look of your bathroom, you also need to choose between a traditional fully enclosed shower stall or a walk-in shower:

Full shower enclosures are the best all-in-one solution: as well as the door and glass structure, they usually include shower panels to protect your walls from water and moisture, and a bottom tray to keep your floor tiles safe;

Walk-in showers are stylish options that make your bathroom look more spacious: while maintaining the door and glass structure, they rely on your existing tiles when it comes to both horizontal and vertical surfaces;

  • it only makes sense to have a walk-in shower if your bathroom involves durable tiles (such as ceramic or stone) that wouldn't result in wet accidents, or if you're happy to invest in having it retiled before buying the enclosure needed to create a walk-in shower;
  • these showers are also a more accessible option for those suffering from mobility issues.

What Features Should I Look for When Choosing a Shower Stall & Enclosure?

Now that we've gone over all the most important things to consider when choosing shower stalls & enclosures, you can start thinking of handy details and extra features:

  • Consider showers with an included seat if you or someone in your household have mobility issues;
  • To avoid going out of the shower all wet and cold, you could look for showers with a towel bar; however, we only recommend this feature if you're planning on going for a rather large model, as smaller enclosures will sadly result in damp or wet towels;
  • While most shower stalls & enclosures come with a drain and wall panels, you might want to look for models with a shower ceiling if your bathroom walls aren't covered in waterproof tiles or are particularly prone to mold;
  • Do you need a shower faucet or have you already got one that you'd like to keep? Most all-in-one shower stalls include it, but you might be able to find an option without it if you're going for a walk-in option.
Shower Enclosure With Back Wall Panel Included
Frameless Rectangle Sliding Shower Enclosure With Fixed Panel
Framed Neo Angle Pivot Shower Enclosure
Rectangle Hinged Steam Shower With Aromatherapy
Sliding Steam Shower With Body Jets
Stainless Steel Rectangle Sliding Shower Enclosure

Quick Tips

Given the size and importance of this long-term investment, we thought we'd recap the most useful expert tips to keep in mind when choosing shower stalls & enclosures:

  • Traditional shower enclosures are the most versatile option, but, if you're after an even more relaxing experience, you might want to opt for a modern steam shower

  • A corner installation is a great space-optimizing option for smaller bathrooms, whereas an alcove shower (relying on three walls) would be better suited for spacious, longer rooms or to make the most of tiny nooks

  • Square and rounded shapes are the most space-optimizing, whereas rectangular models work better in larger bathrooms or as walk-in showers, and neo-angle options can result in a stylish, decorative look

  • If you have a large bathroom, any type of door will do, and you can easily experiment with hinged or pivot doors; however, if you have less room to play with, stick to sliding or bi-fold models

  • If you want to achieve an even airier feel and don't mind cleaning your shower more often, go for a clear glass door; frosted glass, however, would be a wiser choice if you're sharing it with some housemates or are looking for a shower that's easy to maintain

  • Cheaper framed stalls are a versatile option that's easier to install; if you're after a more stylish and minimal design that makes your bathroom look bigger, opt for a frameless model; semi-frameless showers are a fantastic compromise if you're torn between the two

  • If your bathroom already has high-quality tiles or you don't mind investing in them, you could achieve an even more luxurious and spacious feel by opting for a walk-in shower enclosure

  • Always double-check what is and isn't included when choosing a shower stall & enclosure: as well as perks such as seats or towel bars, some models include handy features like shower panels, ceilings and a faucet.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.