Shower Base Enclosures
No new bathroom is complete without a shower, and an enclosed shower with a base is a very popular way to get one. Many different styles of base, enclosure and door are available, so you can choose the type that best suits your space and style.
There are two common ways to create the base of a shower. Either the enclosure can be stood on a dedicated shower tray made from waterproof materials, or it can be placed directly onto a tile floor. Solid shower bases made from acrylic, fibreglass or similar materials present less of a construction challenge than tile. They are fully waterproof and properly shaped right out of the box, while tiles have to be carefully grouted and cambered to make sure that all of the water is directed to the drain.
The shower enclosure attaches to the base to keep water in and prevent your shower from flooding your bathroom. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and the appropriate pattern will depend on the bathroom space that it needs to fit into. Getting one that comes with a base ensures that they will actually fit together perfectly, which can be difficult with the range of shapes available. While some enclosures are fully enclosed, others back onto a suitably waterproof wall.
Framed and Frameless Enclosures
Some modern shower enclosures do away with the frame entirely. Instead, the panels are held together by much smaller metal clips. This moves the burden of structural support onto the panels, so they have to be made from thicker, stronger glass. However, many people like the more open appearance of a frameless shower. Framed showers are usually less expensive and also less likely to leak around the door as they have both a metal frame and a rubber seal instead of just the rubber seal. Some shower enclosures are semi-frameless. Semi frameless showers have metal framing around the body panels but not around the door.
Some prefabricated showers come with their own doors, but it's also common to pick one out yourself. Like enclosures, doors come in framed and frameless styles, with frameless doors being thicker and typically more expensive. Hinged shower doors are mounted on hinges as a single panel and just swing open. This may be impractical in smaller bathrooms if the door hits other bathroom fixtures.Sliding doors are also a popular option and take up less space than hinged doors. Another space-saving solution is to use a bifold door, which folds in the middle and collapses into the shower instead of out into the room. This isn't an option for frameless doors, but a great way to adapt a framed shower for a small bathroom.