February 18, 2021

Ask the Expert

Choosing the best glass shower screen for the bath

With the installation of a glass shower screen over the bath it is immediately converted into a practical and splash-free shower. Investing in a good quality glass screen adds a clean, bright and functional feature to bathroom décor that will last for years.

Being able to convert a single bathroom fitting into two with a simple glass screen makes sense. For most residential bathrooms saving space is an important consideration so adding a glass shower screen for the bath means combining showering and bathing in one fitting.

Whether it be sliding, hinged, folding or fixed the glass shower screen for the bath can make a positive contribution to the shower experience and bathroom décor. We look at the different types of glass shower screen and provide advice on choosing the best one for your bathroom.

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The glass shower screen for the bath

Avoiding a shower curtain by installing a glass screen has many advantages, the most obvious of which is cleaning.

The glass shower screen for the bath is much easier to maintain and depending on the type of screen, to clean. There are three main considerations regarding the choice of shower screen for baths, the opening system, the frame and the material, i.e. glass or acrylic.

Frames can be metal or plastic but for certain types of shower screen, the frame can be dispensed with altogether. The frameless approach does require either a hinge or a silicone seal, however.

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Shower enclosure equipped with offset profiles and articulated bearings. 6 mm high-safety tempered glass.

 

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Glass vs acrylic

Tempered glass is recommended for all types of shower screens. 

Tempered also known as safety glass is treated by heat or chemicals to increase its strength. On impact tempered glass shatters into small granular pieces without presenting a safety risk.

Like normal glass it is easy to clean and gleams when properly maintained, adding extra hygienic quality to the bathroom. The glass can be frosted or clear depending on the desired effect. The acrylic shower screen is lighter and less expensive however doesn’t wear as well as glass and can be easily scratched.

A question of height

Like the shower cubicle, the shower screen for the bath does not reach the ceiling height typically. The standard height for the shower screen for the bath is between 140 and 150 cm in height which added to the bath depth measures approx. 200cm.

This ensures that there is no water spray from the showerhead when showering. It also helps to maximise the perception of space in the bathroom as the ceiling is left untouched.

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The fixed shower screen for the bath

For larger bathrooms and more generous baths, the fixed shower screen is a good option. The screen is either held within a frame or fixed directly on the bath shelf.

Simple and stylish the important consideration is to have enough space to manoeuvre in and out of the bath. Fixed shower screens are easier to maintain because it has fewer crevices where dirt and mould can gather.

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The folding shower screen for the bath

For a more space-saving shower screen option choose a folding screen. Folding shower screens can have several leaves, collapsing into a narrower space over the bath shelf when closed. 

Held within a frame (there are frameless models) the folding screen is supported at the top and bottom by a rail. The weight is held at the bottom while the top rail is mostly as a guide to keep the screen in position.

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The hinged shower screen for the bath

Like the folding screen but with a single leaf the important consideration is the dimension of the swing. The single leaf can swing either over the bath or outside the bath but must be unhindered when opened outwards. The hinged screen will have a silicone profile at its base to create a waterproof seal when in the closed position.

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The sliding shower screen for the bath

The sliding shower screen is a good space-saving option for the bath. Usually, two leaves slide over one another ensuring that the entire bath length can be enclosed if required. A bottom rail will be necessary to keep the sliding shower screen in position and its width will need to be capable of accommodating two thicknesses of glass.

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Composite shower screen options

By combining a fixed glass screen and a folding or sliding shower screen a bath and shower built into an alcove can become a bathroom feature. A space within a space which unlike the shower cubicle has a marked presence in the bathroom because of its larger overall volume.

Match the frame with the bath board or contrast one with the other in order to highlight the clear or frosted glass. And most importantly remember that the wall finish over the bath must reach the height of the glass shower screen for the bath. This will avoid water damage and looks great too.

The curved shower screen for the bath

A quadrant shaped corner bath will require a special shower screen, one with curved glass. Just like the rectangular bath the screen can be fixed or sliding. Curved tempered glass is expensive but looks stunning when installed, for the optimum effect a frameless screen is recommended.

FAQs regarding shower screen cleaning

Although there are many commercial cleaning products for glass it’s hard to beat nature. For a simple weekly clean just squeeze a lemon onto a damp sponge and wipe the shower screen down. Or dilute with water and spray onto the glass, leave for a minute or two and then wipe off.

Distilled white vinegar will do the trick. Mix half and half solution of water and vinegar and apply to the screen using a spray gun. Use a non abrasive cleaning pad and rub vigorously, once the limescale is removed finish with a dry cloth for an extra sparkle.

Make sure to have a microfibre cloth, a sponge, a squeegee, a refillable spray gun and a clean dry cloth to hand when cleaning your glass shower screen to ensure optimum results. Tip: Use a squeegee after every shower to prevent limescale build-up.

Firstly find out whether the wall supporting the shower screen is a masonry wall or timber stud partition Then make sure there are no electrical conduits or pipes where the screen is to be fixed to the wall. Mark the vertical line for the U channel that will hold the screen 40mm from the edge of the bath. Remove any beading or sealant so the channel sits flush with the bath. Using a spirit level position the channel and mark the fixings with a pencil. Then using masking tape to help avoid slippage drill the holes in the tiles. Place silicone on the back of the channel, fix in place with the proprietary wall plugs and screws. Seal the bottom of the channel to the bath edge. Then attach the rubber seal to the bottom of the glass screen and insert into the U channel.

Ensure that the screen is supported off the bath, once in place then drill through the holes in the channel to fix the screen in place. Screw the screen to the channel using a screw driver and add the cover plates to the top of the channel and over the screws. The following tools will be required: drill, tile drill bit, wall plugs, measuring tape, screwdriver, pencil, sealant, masking tape, and spirit level.

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