Bathroom renovations are not straight forward for a number of reasons, one being the wide range of inclusions to decide upon. Often overlooked, but integral to the design of the bathroom, is the choice of showerscreen. I'm going to show you how to choose the right showerscreen for your new bathroom. I find that this decision is often an after thought but one that is actually crucial to getting the right look. Choosing the most appropriate showerscreen means balancing broader stylistic elements with practical aspects such as size, ease of maintenance and physical design.
7 steps to follow to choose the right showerscreen
Consider the overall look of your bathroom design. Are you designing a classic style bathroom, an industrial look or a country style, relaxed room? Once you have selected all the elements, put them together in a mood board and see how the showerscreen fits in with your look. As part of this process, review the layout and consider the size of the screen.
To frame or not to frame
I find that many of my clients now are looking at either frameless or semi-frameless screens. There's an irony in that one of the prerequisites of a good showerscreen is that you don't see it! A frameless option is comprised of unobstructed thick glass secured by subtle metal clamps or a slimline aluminium frame for low visual impact. They are increasingly popular with interior designers, as they enable the eye to focus on the space's aesthetics, vignettes and material choices.
“In this case, less is truly more. Stegbar's frameless, floor to ceiling showerscreens allowed me to emphasise the bathroom's important stand out elements”, says interior designer Nina Maya of her recent home and bathroom renovations, The Glasshouse.
Alternatively, semi-framed screens can be used for a more defined, structure look. This options offers the best of both worlds. Minimally intrusive screens and a wider glass area for a more spacious feeling with reinforced structural support.
Don't feel restricted to a square edge design. If you're simply using a frameless piece of glass, this can have rounded edges. These create a subliminal softness and flowing feeling, as well as distinct, couture look. Melissa Bonney used these in her renovation of the Barefoot Bay Villa in Byron Bay. You can read the full story on that here.
This is the one thing that is often at a premium in bathrooms. A more effectively designed showerscreen can help regain room without requiring a costly remodel. While hinge and pivot shower door styles require empty space to accommodate their trajectory, sliding and stacking doors move parallel and give more room to move.
You may also want to consider where you position the door into the shower. Do you want two clear panels with a door in between or one long clear panel and a shower door at the end. If you don't want a door at all and are happy with a simple glass showerscreen, ensure that you engage an excellent tiler as it is imperative that you keep the fall of water away from the exposed opening. You may want to consider long shower grates to accommodate the extra drainage.
When purposefully selected, the hinges and handles of frameless showerscreens and the structure of partially framed screens can serve to define the overall look of the room. These are often over-looked minor details which can make a substantial difference to the overall style of the bathroom.
Black handles and hinges are timeless and can both blend into or stand out of bathroom designs depending on their usage. Stegbar's Jett hardware can complete the look of contemporary or chic industrial style bathrooms.
On the other end of the style spectrum, chrome or nickel-plated hardware can be applied to get the lighter look of a coastal style home, or could be the finishing touch required for French Provincial finesse.
Related: Bathroom Styling – My 5 top tips
Getting the practical elements right
Shower leakage may result from low volume drainage, improper tiling, faulty shower design or having kids who love to splash about. Don't underestimate the damage that water leakage can cause. I have clients who say that they don't mind mopping up excess water but this can be critical over the long term as consistent exposure moisture can cause structural discolouration, mould and rot.
You should ideally choose a showerscreen with an overlapping door and a seal on the opening edge of the door. The overlap will create a barrier while the seal helps reduce water leakage between the door and the closing panel or jamb.
Stegbar has developed overlap showerscreens with pivot doors as part of its Grange collection.
Finally, who loves cleaning showerscreens? I think the answer to that would be absolutely nobody. It is, without a doubt, one of my least enjoyable household chores. Stegbar's Nanoclean technology reduces cleaning time by up to 90% and decreases the necessity for harsh chemicals. This protective coating prevents glass corrosion, lime deposit build-up and is abrasion resistant. Something that I think is definitely worth considering.
All images are courtesy of Stegbar.
I have a FREE e-book with a step by step guide to renovating your bathroom. You can download it from my FREE Resource Library here.