News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

11 Dumb Mistakes You Can Avoid Buying Your Next Glass Shower Enclosure

pivoting black framed shower door | Innovate Building Solutions | #PivotingDoor #GlassDoor #FramedGlassDoor

If your existing glass shower door and enclosure is downright scary, raise your hand. Does your ‘shower system’ (and yes, I’m using the term ‘system’ lightly here) cause these problems?

  • The door bangs into the toilet or vanity.
  • Cleaning the bottom track of the door isn’t a task you’d wish on your worst enemy, but yet you’re stuck scrubbing it.
  • You’re wiping up puddles of water on the floor after every shower (and praying this water doesn’t cause a leak into your kitchen below).
  • Your shower door is soooo cheap, it wobbles to and fro.
  • You get doused with cold water every time you ‘try’ to get the shower warmed up before getting in.

The list of glass shower door and enclosure problems goes on and on and on (you get the idea).

Coming up with a list of ‘panes’ (and yes – this subtle – and bad – glass humor was intended) with your shower door and glass enclosure is simple. The key is how do you fix these problems (and dumb design and product selection mistakes).

And this is exactly what this article is about. First, I’ll bring up 11 dumb shower glass door and enclosure mistakes. Then I’ll give you practical ideas (no pie-in-the-sky, ideas only rich people can afford here) to put these pains in your rear-view mirror.

Are you ready to learn (and then solve) 11 dumb glass shower enclosure mistakes? If so – read on.

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #1 – You’re afflicted with B.D.S. (which stands for “Banging Door Syndrome”)  

You’re not sure who had the bright idea to use a pivoting door which always bangs into your vanity or toilet. All you know is ‘THIS DOOR ISN’T WORKING!’

Your pivoting door is not only nicking up the vanity, but it makes your small bathroom feel even tinier. The question is what can you do to eliminate ‘Banging Door Syndrome?’ Here’s 2 solutions:

  • Solution #1 – Use a sliding glass shower door – Sliding doors can be used even in small corner showers. They keep the door inside the shower base. No more banging doors.

sliding corner shower base and glass enclosure | Innovate Building Solutions | #slidingdoor #GlassEnclosure #Showerdoor


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  • Solution #2 – Use a smaller pivoting door – One cool (but often unknown) shower door solution is a shower screen. With a shower screen you have ‘fixed glass’ (the example shown below has 24” of fixed glass) and a small ‘pivoting door’ which is 15” wide. This reduces how far the pivoting door extends into the bathroom. It reduces the chances of being afflicted with ‘Banging Door Syndrome.’

pictured glass shower shield with a round top | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassDoor #ShowerDoor #GlassEnclosure #WalkInShower

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #2 – You own a cheap ‘builders-grade’ shower door which ‘wobbles to and ‘fro’

The builder had to ‘cheap-out’ somewhere. And one common place they do it is with the shower doors. They’ll use the thinnest glass (often 3/16” or ¼”) inside a framed enclosure. While these doors are cheap (and wobbly) they do keep the price of the home down, down, down.

black framed walk in shower shield | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassDoor #ShowerDoor #WalkInSHower

While this framed shower door was (barely) OK when you first bought the home, it’s now so wobbly – it screams ‘bottom of the barrel.’ So, what can you do to ‘kick it up a notch’ without breaking the bank? Here’s 3 ideas.

  • Idea 1 – Use a frameless glass shower shieldShower shields give you an open design – and are amazingly cost effective. Most shields will be ¼” to 3/8” thick. Expect to pay between $700 and $1,700 for this.

shower shield with a fixed and pivoting glass | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassDoor #ShowerDoor #ShowerSheild

  • Idea 2 – Use a semi-frameless glass shower enclosure – Let’s say you have a 60” tub/shower alcove shower you’re converting into a shower. When you use a semi-frameless system (where the glass is thicker and doesn’t have a frame, but there is framing around the opening) you’ll find it’s stylish, thicker than your old door and not super-expensive (expect to pay between $800 to $2,000).

in line semi frameless matte black sliding shower door system | Innovate Building Solutions | #SemiFrameless #GlassDoor #FramlessDoor

  • Idea 3 – Use a completely frameless shower enclosureThese are the thickest and most stylish systems. You can get frameless shower glass system in custom sizes but be warned the sky’s the limit with the cost of these systems. For a standard sized frameless shower enclosure (like the one below) you’ll pay between $1,100 and $2,900.

frameless glass shower with thick glass and a roller system | Innovate Building Solutions | #FrameGlassDoor #GlassDoor #ShowerDoor

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #3 – You buy the boring ‘Wonderbread’ shower door and enclosure everyone else has

Some people like to blend in with the crowd, other do not. If you’re one who likes to show your ‘personopoly’ (OK – that was one of my Dad’s words for your ‘personal-monopoly,’ or unique personal style), I can feel you dog (OK – not literally).

I don’t like a generic bathroom. I’m cool with people with BIG personalities. I like to ‘put my stamp’ on things (as you can tell with my ‘sometimes’ wacky writing).

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If you don’t want the same clear glass shower door everyone else has, I get you. But you may be wondering what fun and unique options you could use? Here’s 3 cool concepts:

    • Cool concept #1 – The varied glass block shower wallWhen most people think of glass blocks, they imagine one wavy block stacked on top another. Can you say boring? How about mixing up sizes, patterns and even colors to create a ‘stained glass look’ in your bohemian rhapsody shower?

multi pattern glass block shower wall | Innovate Building Solutions | #glassblock #showerwall #Glassblockdesign


      • Cool concept #2 – Fun framed glass – How about a shower with a framed matte black design or one with colored glass reminiscent of Piet Mondrian?


      • Cool concept #3 – Colored glass –Why does your glass shower enclosure need to be clear glass? The answer is it doesn’t. Add color. Dare to stand out.

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #4 – You’re subjected to the ‘cold shoulder’ 

Is your shower valve located where you have to angle the shower head, stretch out your arm and ‘try’ to turn on the water to get it warm without getting doused with ice-cold water? Do you get the ‘cold shoulder’ every morning?

If you know this drill, you know how much you hate it. This ‘cold shoulder’ routine is the result of a stupid shower door and enclosure selection. Not enough thought was given to how the water would get turned on, so you wouldn’t get ‘turned-off’ using your shower. Fortunately, this problem can (literally) be side-stepped if you’re more thoughtful in your initial design. Here’s 2 changes you can make:

      • Change #1 – Move the shower valve – if you want (or need) your fixed glass enclosure to be tied into the shower head wall you can solve your ‘cold shoulder’ problem by putting the valve where it’s easiest to reach BEFORE getting in the shower.


      • Change #2 – Use a pivoting door or shower screen – If you have the room to pivot the door outwards (into the bathroom) so you can turn on the water WITHOUT getting in, you’ll be able to warm things up without getting blasted with cold water.

pivoting curved shower screen or shield | Innovate Building Solutions | #CurvedGlassBlock #ShowerScreen #PivotingGlassDoor

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #5 – As the ‘unofficially elected’ housekeeping staff, know if you don’t take control over the shower enclosure selection, you’ll be on the wrong side of the scrub brush…. AGAIN!  

So, you’ve been cleaning the bottom track of your framed shower door for Y-E-A-R-S and you’ve ‘had it up to here’ (as Mom used to say). You know framed doors are….


However, if you let your spouse (the cheapskate) pick the door again you’ll end up on the wrong side of the scrub brush for another ‘umpteen’ years cleaning the nastiness out of the bottom of your cheap framed shower door, again.

DO NOT LET others choose your glass enclosure (especially if you’re the unlucky one who is stuck cleaning up). Eliminate framed doors like the plague or the Coronavirus. No one deserves the ‘tasty-task’ of cleaning gunk (yes- that’s the technical term) from the bottom of a framed shower glass.

Take charge of the shower door and glass selection. Go frameless…or go to your neighbor’s house or the health club the next time you want to shower, so you don’t have to clean yours.

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #6 – You’re constantly banging your elbows

Small bathrooms are a pain. Small bathrooms are the home for small showers. Small showers are the source of ‘banged up’ elbows from phone-booth sized (if you’re old enough to know what a phone booth is) showers. You may be wondering if there’s a way to ‘grow’ your shower space without blowing a hole into your master bedroom or adjoining closet.

Well – the short answer is there is a way to ‘grow space’ – and you won’t even have to eliminate your toilet or vanity. And, here’s one simple tip to make this happen.


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Use a bowed or curved shower glass system. With a bowed sliding glass door you’ll have more room in the center (36” in the case of the one shown below), but still will be able to work with your limitations in the side walls (which often can be as small as 30” to 32” deep. What’s cool is this system is available for 48” wide and 60” wide spaces (which are uber-common in production homes).

curved bowed glass sliding door and base system | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassDoor #BowedGlassdoor #GlassShower

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #7 – You spent a fortune on a custom shower enclosure when you could have had a stylish design at a fraction of the cost

So, were you ‘blessed’ (sarcasm intended) with a custom sized opening for your shower? You’ve thought why did the last owners make the shower opening 63” when a standard 60” size would have been just fine and waaaay cheaper if you needed a replacement glass enclosure?

Well – now you’re ‘stuck’ finding a cost-effective solution for your custom-sized shower. And you already know a custom sized glass door won’t come cheap. So, what can you do to save a few bucks?

Here’s what I’d recommend. Don’t fill the entire opening. Instead use a shower screen or walk in shower enclosure. Walk-ins are very popular, and they get rid of the cost of shower doors and custom glass systems.

walk in shower to convert a custom to a standard glass system | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassDoor #ShowerDoor #WalkInShower

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #8 – Your glass builds up scum

There’s nothing more frustrating than glass you can’t keep clean. You wonder if the glass manufacturer secretly put Velcro in the glass to attract soap scum or if this glass was designed by a squeegee manufacturer who was looking for smart ideas to grow sales. But this sticky-scum-filled glass doesn’t need to be your problem. There’s a simple solution.

Look for glass which includes glass surface protection. It’ll make cleaning much easier (now, you’ll only need a solution for nasty water spots…. but you’ll get this answer in mistake #9 below).

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #9 – You use clear glass which (literally) opens you up to all sorts of problems.

The clear glass enclosure and fancy tile shower looked so lovely in the model home. Then your everyday reality reared its ugly head.

      • Your little kids barge in while you were enjoying a peaceful shower. They start peppering you with questions and requests. You’re desperately seeking a few ME time!


      • Your spouse chimes in and tells you how you don’t look as ‘fit and trim’ as you used to in your ‘birthday suit’ (AS IF – they would win any ‘hot bod’ contests themselves, you bark back!).


      • Your O.C.D. kicks into high gear every time you see those water spots.

A clear glass enclosure can look cool. However, they aren’t so cool when you’re desperately seeking P-R-I-V-A-C-Y and M-O-D-E-S-T-Y and unblemished C-L-A-R-I-T-Y.

guy with a lack of privacy in a shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #PrivacyGlass #GlassShower #NoPrivacy

While clear glass is certainly popular, it’s not your only glass option. Check out rain glass, textured glass, obscure glass or a glass block shower. It’s not always best to be a ‘open book’ – especially when it comes to showering.

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #10 – Don’t assume you have to live cleaning up puddles outside your small corner shower

As if your small bathroom wasn’t a big enough pain squeezing around, but your NEO angle corner shower adds to your frustration. With it’s angled pivoting door, you get stuck cleaning up everyone’s pools of water they allow to drop on the floor. You’ve asked yourself a thousand times….

Can’t these idiots (yes – you know it’s not nice to refer to your family this way) simply put a towel on the ground when getting out of the shower to catch water dripping off the door?


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But here’s a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not idea for you. You can actually have a shower which doesn’t result in ‘free’ puddles of water on the bathroom floor. Check out this rounded corner showers with sliding glass. It’s sleek and eliminates water on the floor.

arced shower base and glass with sliding glass doors | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassShowerDoor #GlassDoor #CurvedGlassDoor

Dumb Shower Enclosure Mistake #11 – Your opening is too small for the ‘big boys and girls’ in your home

You’ve heard the ‘big boys and girls’ in your home complain about squeezing through (and banging into) your tightly spaced sliding glass doors. While you don’t even dare touch the conversation about their need to shed a few pounds, what you can agree on is the size of the opening to get into the shower isn’t exactly spacious. So, what can you do to gain opening space without needing a larger shower?

A smart way to do this is to use a walk-in shower or a shower shield. You can ‘grow’ your shower opening, without ‘growing’ your space.

walk in shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #Walkinshower #Shower #GlassDoor #Glass

How can me and my team help you next?  

How many of the dumb glass shower door and enclosure mistakes above is your current ‘shower system’ guilty of today? If you struggle choosing the perfect glass enclosure and don’t want to assume the double-difficult task of making sure the glass you like will work with your top choice of shower pan, I totally get it.

If so – give us a call or ask your questions in the comment section below. Me and my team would love to help you conquer your glass shower door woes.

Call 877-668-5888 (for nationwide wholesale supply of grout free wall panels, shower pans and glass enclosures). If you’re looking for a local installing dealer of laminated wall panels or glass shower enclosures our contractor network can help. For a local shower design and installation call 216-658-1280 in Cleveland or 614-252-3242 in Columbus for shower and bathroom supplies.

If you’re a remodeler or builder and want practical advice on remodeling products, industry trends, marketing and sales tips to grow your business (and cut day to day hassles), read my newest blog – Innovate Builders Blog. It is packed with ideas you can use now. Click here to Sign Up for the Innovate Builders Blog.

If you’re in the building business, click here if you’d like to learn how to become a shower wall panel dealer call and ask for Mike at 888-467-7488.

If you want more advice (or like wacky humor) follow me on LinkedIn @MikeFotiLinkedIn or on Twitter @Mike_Foti or my companies @InnovateBuild or @InnovateHomeOrg.

Thanks for reading,



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

Comments (14)

  • I’m about to get Barn Door style sliding glass shower door. Is it dangerous to have ladder type handle inside shower? What do you think is best inside handle

  • This was a great read!! Thank you for your post I shared it with someone who just bought a home and the home builder stated that shower doors are after market and optional!

  • We have a surround shower in our house. We want to put in a single sliding shower and frame. When measuring the length of shower, the top is 54” and bottom is 53 1/4. What can I do before installing frame. Don’t want to tear out the surround. Please help

  • Tiffaney – it should be possible to add a swinging (also called pivoting) glass shower door to your existing walk in glass shower. I’d invite a local glass shop out to your home to look and make recommendations – Mike

  • I have a completely tiled shower with a glass wall and the opening to the shower is open without a door. This shower was installed by my husband before I came into the picture. I freeze when I take a shower and suggested that we put up an ugly shower liner just to keep some of the heat in the shower enclosure, but he absolutely refuses to do that. I got to looking online and see there are bifold doors and doors that can swing into the shower. My question is this… is there a door that I can “add to” the existing glass shower panel already installed? opposite the glass panel is a wall that the door could be secured to, but all the doors I found online showed another piece on the other side (opposite to where the hinges would be mounted to). Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

  • Maurice – please give our office a call – we’ll need to get more information from you to make sure we’re quoting the correct things. You can reach us at 877-668-5888 – Thanks – Mike

  • Michael – I think it will be best for you to call us and then send pictures so we can see what you have. When you said you have a 60″ wide shower – I thought that was the total size of the opening for the glass, but maybe that’s what I would call the ‘depth.’ If you only have 33″ for the glass it will be too small for a sliding door system and you’ll need to use a swing out pivot door. Feel free to call us at 877-668-5888 – Mike

  • I have a 60″ wide shower with a swing-out door. Would like to replace it with a sliding shower door, but this is a senior living building and the current opening is 33″ with a roll-in minimal sill. How do I maximize the roll-in width with a sliding door – it’ll end up at 29″ at best as I figure.


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