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How to Compare a Bath Tub Shower Door, Bath Screen or Shower Curtain

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Frameless bath screen and tub shield door

Frameless bath screen and tub shield door

If you’re struggling to figure out an attractive, cost effective and functional way to enclose and keep water inside a tub shower space you’re not alone. This article will outline the advantages and disadvantages of 3 options – (1) a bath tub shower door, (2) a bath screen (also called a tub shield) pivoting door and (3) a shower curtain.

Option 1 – Bathtub Shower Door – These doors are made in many finishes in framed and frameless designs and slide inside tracks which sit on the tub rail.

 

Advantages

 

  • Since the bypass bathtub doors overlap they do a good job keeping the water in
  • Are safer because they provide greater structural stability than shower curtains
  • Easy to clean
  • Provide more light into the tub area than a fabric or vinyl curtain system

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Bottom rails of the tub doors can collect mold and soap scum and are hard to clean
  • Can create a closed in feeling – not the best for someone who suffers with claustrophobia
  • Ability to get in and accessibility are low since tub doors only provide 50% opening space
  • More expensive than shower curtains

 

 

Option 2 – Bath screen pivoting door – These doors (which are also called tub shields) swing into the tub space to create a walk in type design and are available in frameless and semi-frameless type designs.

 

Advantages

 

  • Have a more open feel than a typical sliding shower door with a larger opening for improved accessibility.
  • Easy to clean because there is no bottom track to collect mold or soap scum
  • Doors swing 90 degrees to the inside to minimize water getting out
  • Clean, contemporary European design
  • Are a safe option since they provide the maximum light into the tub/shower area
  • Long lasting

 

Disadvantages

 

  • More expensive than shower curtains
  • Leaves an open space at the end of the tub (although the swinging doors keep water into the space)

 

 

Option 3 – Shower curtains – Curtains are available in many colors, styles and textures in both straight and curved designs.

 

Advantages

 

  • Least expensive option to keep water inside a tub/shower area.
  • Curtains provide the widest possible opening to get into the tub.
  • Very easy to replace vs. shower doors and tub shields.
  • Can be purchased with a curved shower rod which increases the space inside the bathtub.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Provides no structure to grab onto in the case of a fall.
  • Maintenance can be difficult and mold and mildew can grow pretty easily.
  • Flimsy nature of the material can cause a good amount of water to get out of the tub and damage the surrounding bathroom floor and trim.
  • Vinyl curtains can be a health problem and cause headaches from the release of volatile organic compounds

 

Which of these 3 options do you think is best? Please comment below.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for more information or an estimate to install a bath tub shower door, bath screen or curved shower rod call or visit The Bath Doctor of Cleveland and Columbus, Cleveland Design & Remodeling (216-658-1270) and Innovate Building Solutions for nationwide supply (877-668-5888).

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Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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