It might seem easy to overlook the shower enclosure when it comes to redesigning your bathroom, but in fact, the look and feel of your shower will have a huge impact on how the rest of the room looks. Beyond the function of making the space dual purpose – it makes it much easier to keep the main bathroom dry and clean – the enclosure will affect the overall look of the finished room considerably.
Before you start
Consider the practicalities before you set out. Where will you put it? Think about where the existing plumbing is. It’s not impossible to move it, but it could be costly. Test the tray for leaks, and test it for corrosion. Many materials are simply not suitable for use in bathrooms, and many more need specific materials to be used in maintenance, so be sure to check whether the cleaning materials you propose to use are suitable for use with your enclosure.
UK regulations insist that shower enclosures are made of at least 4mm glass, which must be toughened for safety. Many screens go beyond that, most are 6mm+, and even up to 12mm. How thick you choose the enclosure will depend on the type of shower you have, and of course, your budget. A wet room will need at least 8mm, a shower cubicle around 6mm minimum. Look out for CE marks.
12mm shower glass panels are super-sturdy and available from bathroom specialists like Marvin & Pinch https://marvinandpinch.co.uk/products/12mm-clear-toughened-shower-screen-wetroom-panel-glass?variant=50220687892.
Size and shape
There are ‘standard’ shapes and sizes, though you will always be able to get bespoke enclosures, too. Choose a strong, quality handle from a quality metal, ideally steel or brass. Check for a watertight seal and a smooth mechanism.
Quadrant shower doors allow a bigger space to get in and out thanks to the door facing diagonally into the bathroom, which can be a space-saver. Sliding doors can also save space but don’t allow as much space for access. When space is really short, bi-fold doors might be a good option because they don’t need to open outwards.
For more ideas on making sure you choose the right shower enclosure for you and your family, read the suggestions at Home Building.
Once the installation is complete, you can really make your bathroom your own and start to add accessories.