Choosing a shower screen may seem straightforward, but with so many options available, how do you determine what's right for your needs? This comprehensive buying guide will walk you through the steps to find a shower screen perfect for your space and lifestyle.
Assess Your Available Space and Entryway
The first consideration is evaluating your available space to determine what will fit comfortably. Sliding shower screens are ideal for small, confined areas as they don't require much space to open and close. Pivot or curved screens are better for medium-sized showers. If you have an easy entrance without doors in the way, a corner entry or walk-in screen may be perfect. Make sure to account for any door swing directions to avoid blocking access.
Maybe you are interested in Sliding vs Pivot shower screen.
Consider How You Use Your Shower
How you use your shower will impact the ideal screen type. If you still use a bathtub, a sliding screen or corner entry screen makes it easy to get in and out. For dedicated showers, especially those used by children or pets, a more tightly sealed pivot or frameless screen is good. Walk-in screens provide easy access for those with mobility issues or disabilities. Bifold screens are great for dividing up space while still allowing an open feel.
Set a Budget
Shower screens range widely in price depending on the size, material, and features. Frameless glass screens tend to cost the most at $500 to $1500 for a standard unit. Aluminum or steel-framed screens typically range from $200 to $1000. Basic screens with a metal frame and obscure glass on the lower end of the budget spectrum whereas ornate pivot screens with all clear, tempered safety glass and premium coatings will be significantly more. Set a budget before shopping to avoid going over what you can afford.
Choose a Style
Consider your existing bathroom decor and what overall style you want to achieve. Minimal frameless glass screens have a modern, sleek look but limited privacy. Metal-framed screens with patterned or textured glass provide more privacy but may appear more dated. Screens with stone or tile details along the bottom edge can make a bold style statement. Chrome or brushed nickel hardware and hinges blend well in most settings whereas matte black accents are contemporary. An ornate bronze or pewter frame and hinges complement a traditional bath.If would like to choose a perfect style,could read Shower Screen Styles for Every Bathroom decoration: How to Choose?
Extra Features to Consider
Determine if any additional features are important like built-in shelving for product storage, a grab bar or seat ledge, or a watertight threshold to contain water better.
Some screens like pivot doors provide easy in and out access which may be useful for some. Double sliding doors allow you to open up one side or the other for more flexibility. Consider the opening mechanism and whether sliding, pivoting, folding, or swinging doors will suit your preferences and maximise your space.
Installation and Maintenance Tips
Once you've selected a shower screen, proper installation is important to prevent leaks and ensure it lasts. Have a professional installer handle the job to guarantee it's done right. They can make sure the screen is securely fitted to studs in the walls and a watertight seal is created. For frameless screens in particular, secure installation is a must for safety and longevity.
To keep your shower screen clean and working well, wipe down the glass after each use with a squeegee and periodically with glass cleaner. Lubricate any moving parts like wheels, pivots or hinges regularly to prevent sticking and squeaking. For hard water areas, treat the glass periodically with a limescale remover to prevent water spot buildup. Avoid harsh chemicals which can damage the glass coating or metal surfaces.
With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality shower screen should last 15-20 years or more. Watch for any signs of leakages, wear or corrosion and address issues immediately to maximise the lifespan of your screen.
Help you get more maintenance tips: How to Keep Your Shower Screen Sparkling: Top Tips for Cleaning and Maintenance
Shopping for Shower Screens
When ready to shop, check with local bathroom showrooms and hardware stores for options. They often have displays where you can view actual shower screen units to get a better sense of the quality, features and overall aesthetics compared to pictures alone. Reputable brands that specialize in glass and bathware products will generally produce screens that last longer and have good warranties and after-sales support.
Look for high quality 6mm to 8mm tempered safety glass panels and sturdy aluminum or stainless steel frames that can withstand exposure to moisture. Chromium or nickel-plated hardware will resist corrosion and staining. Test any pivot or sliding mechanisms to ensure smooth, easy operation.
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Consider Delivery and Returns
Most stores offer delivery and installation services for shower screens to minimize headaches. Look for those with guaranteed return policies in case you're unsatisfied with a product after purchasing and especially after installation.
Many offer free return shipping on lesser quality products. It may be worthwhile to spend slightly more with a store that provides good customer and post-sales support.
Choosing a suitable shower screen to revamp your shower comes down to assessing your needs and priorities. Evaluate your available space, budget, usage requirements and desired style before shopping. Do some research on different screen types and the pros and cons of each to determine what will suit you best. Look for high quality, durable shower screens from reputable brands and stores to ensure maximum quality, lifespan and customer service. With the right choice, a new shower screen can significantly improve how you experience your shower and bathroom overall. Take your time exploring the options to find one perfect for your needs.