Shower enclosures now come in a vast array of styles and sizes. The shower enclosure has become the focal point for most bathrooms. This is due in part to the time saved by taking a shower over having a bath, but also because consumers have become mindful of the water saving benefits fitting a shower enclosure can have, over a traditional bath tub.
How do you choose the right shower enclosure for you? Well, size and shape are two of the most important factors to consider. If you intend to be showering every day rather than taking a bath then you will soon get fed up of say a small 760 x 760 square shower enclosure. This size has its uses in confined spaces, but if you can stretch to an enclosure of at least 800 x 800 or 900 x 900 then you will have far more space for movement. This is very important as generally most people will keep a new shower enclosure for around 10 years - that's 3,650 showers taken if you shower every day. The average shower time is 10 minutes, so you will spend approximately 25 entire days of your life in that shower enclosure over its lifetime - so it's best not to get something too small!
If the shower is going into a corner situation, then there are various options:
Square enclosures can have one fixed side known as the side panel, and one opening side called the shower door. The shower door can be pivoting, bi-folding, sliding and even opening inwards in its design. Square shower enclosures are the most straight forward design and usually the cheapest to buy. Popular sizes are between 760 x 760mm up to 1000 x 1000mm
Very similar to the square enclosure, these also comprise two sides and a choice of opening door mechanism. However, the allow a greater choice of sizes from 900 x 800mm up to 1800 x 900mm and virtually all sizes in between.
Quadrants have become very popular due to the stylish curved looks and generous showering space. There are equal quadrants i.e. 800 x 800mm, 900 x 900mm, and also offset quadrants with popular sizes from 900 x 800mm to 1200 x 900mm. Offset quadrants allow more room than an equal quadrant with one side longer than the other. Quadrant shower enclosures can have either sliding doors or pivoting out doors.
Walk In Showers
Walk in shower enclosures are becoming ever more popular as a bath replacement. They are usually between 1200mm and 1700mm in length and around 800mm in depth. The walk in shower gives a large showering area, and does away with the need for a shower door by having a permanent opening or gap between the front and side glass panels. Walk In showers are very stylish and luxurious looking. However, bear in mind that with a permanent opening it can let heat out if your bathroom is not kept very warm!
Where you have just a single wall with which to place your enclosure, you have a couple of standard options available to you:
Three Sided Shower Enclosures
As the name suggests this enclosure comprises three sides. Usually (but not always) they have two fixed side panels coming away from the wall with a door on the front side creating a rectangular shape. The opening door again can be almost any design such as sliding, bi fold or pivoting. A good example of this is style of enclosure is the Aquadart Inline Three Sided shower enclosure.
U Shape or D Shape Enclosures
The U or D shape enclosure is a variation of the three sided enclosure above, but with a curved, inclusive shape - hence the name. Made up of curved side panels and usually curved sliding doors at the front, these enclosures are particularly practical. However, the size is usually restricted to around 1000 x 1000mm at most.
So as you can see, the shape and size of your new shower enclosure is well worth taking your time to decide on. As previously mentioned you can face years of regret if you choose one just a little too small, or can be a very costly mistake if you have to replace it yet again with a larger one! As a rule, if you can stretch to the next available size up or pinch just a little more floor space from your bathroom then you will have a more enjoyable showering experience for many years to come.