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

Why you hate glass shower doors…and what you can do about it!

Opening - Why you hate glass shower doors… | Innovate Building Solutions | Glass shower doors | Bathroom design ideas | bathroom remodeling diy

If you’re someone who DOES NOT have a love affair with your shower door, you’re not alone.

Shower doors can be a royal pain in the neck. Here’s a few problems you have:

  • The glass is spotted and uncleanable.
  • Your door has tracks at the bottom which capture dirt, hair, and God-only-knows-what.
  • Your door leaves a pool of water on the bathroom floor (and your ‘wonderful’ – sarcasm intended – family never wipes up).
  • You bang your head getting in.
  • Water comes through the side of your (expensive) frameless glass doors.
  • And while the pitted bright brass finish might have looked good when The Brady Bunch was the top show on network TV, even Alice would tell you should have chucked this door, years ago!

So, if your shower door is a mess, and you’re getting ready to remodel your bathroom, now is the time to fight back and ELIMINATE EVERYTHING you hate about your existing doors.

And in this article, I’m going to arm you with the PK (Product Knowledge) and CS (that would be Common Sense) to know how to select a shower door you will NOT hate (and will save you a few bucks).

I’ll identify the 13 most hated problems with shower doors (and you’ll want to stick around for problem #13 – because it’s a factor on everyone’s mind). In addition, I’ll provide ideas to get past these challenges using better shower doors available today. Let’s roll (OK, no sliding door pun was intended there, it just came out!) and look at better shower door solutions.

Shower door problem #1 – Your shower glass is IMPOSSIBLE to clean!

If you thought nothing could penetrate the surface of a glass shower door, you need to think again.

While glass is a hard surface, it’s not impenetrable. And if you have hard water, you know I ain’t lying here! And if mildew, soap scum or hard water etch your glass shower door, you’ll have spots inside the glass which NEVER GO AWAY!

To fix this problem protect the glass BEFORE it can be etched – and never cleaned again. There’s 2 ways to do this.

The lesser cost option is to use AquaGlide XP or MicroTek. They’re ultra-protective coatings applied to the surface of the glass which repel hard water and dirt and make it simpler to clean your glass.

Problem 1 - microtek glass shower door surface protection | Innovate Building Solutions | Glass Shower Door | Surface Protection | Bathroom design ideas

Or if you really want to take a stick of dynamite to this problem use a specialty glass called ShowerGuard. This engineered glass PERMANENTLY (yes, you read that right) protects your glass from etching. And even if you get scum on the outside, it can always be cleaned up. And while it’s more expensive than the surface applied products – like AquaGlide and MicroTek, if you’ve got hard water, it’ll rid you of glass cleaning problems…forever! The only thing it won’t do is squeegee the glass for you. You’ll just have to ask your spouse/partner to do that for you…in your dreams!

Problem 1 showerguard glass shower door etching protection | Innovate Building Solutions | bathroom remodeling ideas | Shower guard | Glass door design

Shower door problem #2 – Cleaning the bottom of the metal door tracks makes you want to S-C-R-E-A-M (and these tracks are also a trip hazard)!

If you have rickety shower doors with a nasty bottom (U channel) which ‘captures’ dirt, soap scum and hair, and turns your stomach when you ‘attempt’ to clean it (and you’re tripping over it…. CONSTANTLY), these are problems you want to stop.

And with cheap, builders-grade (or home center store bought) doors, this problem is ubiquitous (which means everywhere). Yes, that’s a fancy-schmancy word I threw in to make you think I’m smart. Is it working?

However, the good news I’m here to share is if you’d like to buy another sliding (where one door slides, and one door is fixed) or bypass shower door (where both doors slide), most semi-frameless and frameless glass sliding shower doors today do not use this bottom track. This product enhancement makes shower door cleaning far simpler (and a less disgusting process).

Glass Shower Door Guide

The Ultimate Glass Door Shower Guide

A clear guide to making the best bath or shower glass shower door choice

Problem 2 no track at bottom of sliding matte black shower door | Innovate Building Solutions | Glass Door | Glass Shower Door Design

Shower door problem #3 – Your door finish looks ‘old-school.’ 

Styles have changed, and so have you.

While growing up you may have worn mini-skirts or (dare-I-say-it) leisure suits (and when I was a little kid, I can still remember my powder blue leisure suit. What was my mom thinking???). Today, you wouldn’t be caught dead sporting these styles. And the same should be true of your pitted, bright brass shower doors.

Get stylish – and low maintenance. Go with a brushed nickel shower door. Or use a bold matte black finish. They’re not shiny – and in your face. They’re sleek, subtle, AND in style.

Problem 3 matte black pivot shower door with a return | Innovate Building Solutions | matte black frameless shower Door | glass shower door

Shower door problem #4 – You can’t reach your “Davoin Shower-Handel”

OK – if this headline doesn’t make sense to you, I get it. It’s likely because haven’t watched the comedy genius of Key and Peele. And if you so, check out this video below, which includes a fictitious character with the name ‘Davoin Shower-Handel’ (and his fellow East-West All Stars). And while watching this skit will not make you smarter about glass shower doors, it’ll get you laughing – and I’d argue that’s more important than my article about shower doors. Imagine that!

Ok, now back to the topic at hand.

One of the problems with glass shower doors is they can ‘block’ you from reaching the shower handles from OUTSIDE the shower. And when you have to walk in the shower to turn on the water, you get drenched with cold water in the process. Then a few choice 4-letters words spew out of your mouth. This problem can happen with a sliding glass shower door (where one door is fixed and the shower handle is behind it), or fixed shower glass (which doesn’t open at all).

So, you may be asking what can you do to fix a shower handle which is in a bad location?

Here’s 3 ideas:

  • Idea #1 – Move the shower handle so it’s close to the opening and not under the shower head.


  • Idea #2 – Use a bypass (2 door) glass sliding doors. In many cases (even when there’s a toilet next to the shower), you can reach over the toilet (with a bypass door), then turn on the water so you don’t get doused in cold water.

Problem 4 idea 2 brushed nicke bypass shower door | Innovate Building Solutions | Glass shower door | Shower design ideas

  • Idea #3 – Use a pivoting glass door. If there’s not something (like a toilet or vanity) in the way, a full-size pivoting door (and the max size of these swinging doors is 36” wide) will allow you to get to the handles WITHOUT stepping in.

Shower door problem #5 – It’s hard for you – or a family member – to get in.

If your sliding glass shower door opening requires you to get in sideways or doesn’t work AT ALL for a family member who use a wheelchair or walker, you need a new system.

And ways to increase the size of your shower opening (without getting rid of the shower glass) are the following:


Glass Shower Door Guide

The Ultimate Glass Door Shower Guide

A clear guide to making the best bath or shower glass shower door choice

Shower door problem #6 – It shows off your ‘hot bod.’

So, you don’t like it when your little kids barge in your bathroom. And your physique IS NOT as hot as when you were cheerleading or on the high school football team, you’re not alone.

Problem 6 overweight guy in shower need privacy glass shower door | Innovate Building Solutions | Glass shower door | bathroom remodeling

And while clear glass shower doors are less expensive, and can show off your new tile or grout free shower wall panel job – they leave your ‘bod’ for all to see.

And if you’d like a little privacy – thank you very much – you won’t get it with stock shower doors (which use clear glass). This is one reason, you’ll want a high privacy glass shower door with obscure glass.

Shower door problem #7 – Your sliding glass shower door is (literally) a head-banging experience.

If you’ve ever had someone ask you (while gritting your teeth), “how’s the weather up there,” because you’re tall, doesn’t it want to make you wring their little necks? And because you’re tall another annoyance you may have is banging your head on your sliding glass shower door.

And while there are things to like about sliding glass doors (they keep water off the bathroom floor for one of them), the fact they have a rail (or bar) at the top – isn’t one of them. And if you own a thinner, cheaper sliding glass shower door (which usually has less than 6’ of clearance under the door), this doesn’t leave much room for the tall people in the fam to get in. So, how can you improve this?

Well – one way is to get a taller sliding glass shower door. A 79” or 86” high sliding door system can do the trick. However, remember a 79” glass sliding door system has LESS THAN 79” to get in since you’ll need to subtract the height of the rail from the top.

Another option is to use a pivoting or walk in glass shower door (which has no bar at the top).

Don’t get wacked in the head ever again by the bar at the top of your sliding glass shower doors.

Shower door problem #8 – You can’t bathe a family member who needs assistance behind your full glass shower door. 

While there’s no one who wants help showering – unfortunately there are situations where a caregiver is needed. And it’s not great if your caregiver has to get into the shower (and get a full shower themselves) in the process. And if you have a full-sized glass shower door, this is pretty much how it’ll have to go down for the caregiver.

However, the way around this problem is to use caregiver shower doors. These ‘half-high’ glass shower doors keep water inside but help the caregiver to not have to (basically) get showered themselves in the process.

Problem 8 caregiver doors to not get wet | innovate building solutions | bathroom remodeling ideas | half glass shower doors

Another way to get around this problem is to use a curved shower rod, and/or a weighted shower curtain, and no glass door at all.

Shower door problem #9 – Water comes flowing out of your (expensive) frameless glass shower door – as if there’s no glass at all there. 

You just loved the style of your frameless glass shower door. However, you loved it more BEFORE you started using it and ‘discovered’ the gaps between the clips holding up the glass and the wall allowed water to gush out the side.

This problem doesn’t have to be your problem with a luxury glass shower door.

Instead use a metal spacer at the side of the glass to provide a tight seal -and still use the thick, higher-end glass doors.

Glass Shower Door Guide

The Ultimate Glass Door Shower Guide

A clear guide to making the best bath or shower glass shower door choice

Shower door problem #10 – You’re worried about an exploding glass shower door. 

You’ve seen the pictures on the Internet. Exploding glass shower doors ARE NOT pretty, but they are pretty dangerous. You DO NOT want this to happen to you.

And the good news is you don’t need to be the victim of an exploding glass shower door. Look for a security glass shower door which has film to protect your family if the door were to explode. Check out this video to learn more.

Shower door problem #11 – You ‘inherit’ pools of water from the pivoting door every time a family member (who doesn’t clean up after themselves) takes a shower.  

Aah the pools of water on the bathroom floor ‘courtesy’ of your pivoting shower door. You’ve told your spouse, teenager, partner – whatever, to no avail to put a towel down and/or to clean the water off the floor when they’re done. But do they do it???


And if you’ve given up trying to change their behavior, but at the same token you don’t want to fight this problem anymore, how can you do it?

The way to solve the problem (when possible) is to change the style of the door. Instead of using a pivoting glass shower door – go to a sliding door which doesn’t open out. This will solve the problem and stop you from running around the house with a wet towel trying to get ‘revenge’ on your bathroom ‘perp’ (as they say on episodes of Law and Order).

Shower door problem #12 – The towel bars on the shower door are short and flimsy.

Here’s one thing you can count on, the cheaper the shower door, the cheaper the towel bars are on the door.

If you want sturdier (and wider) towel bars, ‘pony up’ more money for a thicker glass shower door.

And if you’re looking for a glass shower door towel bar to provide stability for a family member with mobility challenges – this is NOT a smart strategy. Instead add grab bars as you enter/leave the shower (and inside the shower). A glass shower door towel bar IS NOT a grab bar.

Problem 12 grab bars with glass doors blue herringbone wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | Grab bars | Bathroom remodeling

Shower door problem #13 – Glass shower doors cost too much.

Since a glass shower door is one of the last items to be installed in a bath remodel, (they’re put in after your shower base and shower wall surrounds), if you wait to buy it at the end of the project, you could find you’re struggling to find a shower door which won’t cause you to dip into the kids’ college fund. So, if you haven’t started this project yet – and want to be thoughtful about costs, you may be wondering how can you keep glass shower door costs down. Well – here’s a few ideas.

  • Idea #1 – Don’t buy the glass shower door a la carte. A way to save on a glass shower door is to buy it as a part of a shower replacement kit (which also includes the shower pan and shower wall surrounds). Shower kits save money because you’ll get a ‘package deal’ and can save on shipping and delivery costs.


  • Idea #2 – Go ‘semi-frameless’ vs. full frameless – Thicker (3/8” and ½”) glass shower doors are expensive. To save a few bucks – without going ‘home center store’ cheap – use a semi-frameless glass door (which has a door without a frame, but the sides have frames). These doors will generally be ¼”, 5/16”, or 3/8” thick – and aren’t as customized as frameless systems. However, they’re simpler to install if your opening isn’t square and plumb.


  • Idea #3 – Turn your custom glass door into a standard size – If you have a larger opening (let’s say its 66” wide), this will require a custom (‘er code word for more expensive) glass shower door. However, if you frame the last 6” of the wall and downsize to 60” wide – you’ll be able to buy a 60” wide stock sized glass shower door – and save a few bucks.


  • Idea #4 – Don’t use a bench seat. Use a fold down or corner shower seat – When you need your glass shower enclosure is designed around a bench seat it’ll require custom measuring and cutting. If you replace the bench seat with a fold down or corner shower seat, you won’t need custom glass designed around the seat, which saves money.

Problem 13 idea 4 fold down seat with a frosted sliding door | Innovate Building Solutions | Corner Seat | Bathroom Remodeling ideas | bathroom design ideas

  • Idea #5 – Use a shorter, thinner glass shower door – This is one case where size/thickness matters. And thinner, shorter doors are less expensive.


  • Idea #6 – Buy a shower curtain with a tension rod now, then buy the door later – If you simply cannot afford a glass shower door now – but would like one in the future, then install a shower curtain with a tension rod. With this approach you can remove the tension rod (and not need to cover over old screw holes) and put in the glass shower door when you’ve got the money.

OK, do you have this glass shower door problem licked, or would you like more help with selections and pricing?

I know there’s more to glass shower doors than meets the eye.  There’s not only the type of door (sliding, bypass, pivoting, walk in), and the styles of glass (obscure, clear, colors), but most importantly it’s how the door is going to ‘work’ in the context of your bathroom (and how much of a pain it’ll be to maintain).

Glass Shower Door Guide

The Ultimate Glass Door Shower Guide

A clear guide to making the best bath or shower glass shower door choice

If you need help with the selection and wholesale direct pricing of a glass shower door call the Design Specialists at Innovate Building Solutions at 877-668-5888. Click for a Free Estimate.

Thanks for reading and putting up with my wackiness (and the Davoin Shower-Handel video– and if you find this skit amazingly funny, let me know).


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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