Most Common Types of Shower Enclosure Available
Frameless Shower Enclosure
Showers are an essential part of modern society and can really wake you up on a cold winter morning! There are many shower enclosures available on the market and some are easier to install than others.
To fit a frameless shower enclosure is slightly harder than other models but the final streamline appearance is worth the extra effort. Firstly the glass panels must be suspended from brackets fixed to a solid wall, not a stud partition.
The shower tray is the foundation of the enclosure and it is imperative that it is installed correctly. Using a spirit level, ensure that the tray is perfectly level. If it is not, then problems will occur throughout the rest of the installation (for more information see our shower tray project).
Adjustable legs will help to align the tray; even if the floor is uneven.
A silicone sealer needs to be applied all the way around the join where the tiles meet the tray. This must be sealed first to ensure there is no chance of water getting out and leaking down behind and underneath the tray and ultimately through the ceiling.
Finally fit the enclosure to the tiled surface and not on to a plastered wall. After installing the enclosure it is essential to use silicone sealer around the outside of the enclosure to avoid leaking.
If you are embarking on a complete makeover then alongside a new shower enclosure you may also be fitting a new shower. This is the last job to be done once the enclosure has been fitted. For more information on fitting showers and the different types of shower available see our concealed showers project, our electric showers project and also our power showers project. Contemporary showerheads can be easily changed to update the look.
Framed Shower Enclosures
Framed shower enclosures are easier to fit and ensure a water tight seal. These shower enclosures are from Cipini at Brighter Bathrooms.
As you may have guessed from the name they are supported by an enclosed frame that the glass panels fit into and the frame is then subsequently fixed to the surrounding wall surfaces.
Again you have to ensure that the wall surfaces are sturdy and solid and capable of supporting the weight of the frame and glass panels but unlike the above frameless design a fair amount of the weight of the glass panels is distributed to the supporting frame, but despite this your fixing surfaces should be up to the task!
NB: These instructions are intended to be used as a guideline for shower enclosure installation; each enclosure may require a variation of the method.
Other Types of Enclosure Available
Walk in shower enclosures: are increasingly popular as it gives the appearance of a ‘wet room’ but are more practical as all the water is enclosed. The shower tray sits close to the ground to give a seamless appearance as can be seen in the image to the right.
Shower doors: If you are fortunate enough to have a space available e.g. a large alcove or niche that can be converted into a shower area shower doors come in very handy as all you have to do then is convert the space available using the most suitable method e.g. tiling and then fit a shower door to the door space but one very important thing to remember is that the door has to fit the assigned space perfectly or you will be forever mopping up and fixing leaks!
Shower heads: If you are looking to do a bit of a bathroom revamp but your budget is rather limited then along side a change in shower panel a change in shower head can also produce a dramatic change in the overall appearance of your bathroom.
There is a huge range of designs and styles available on the market today so there are plenty to choose from. One thing you should be aware of is that some shower heads are for specific types of shower so make sure you check that the new head will be compatible with your shower. Some examples of designs can be seen below.
Why not check out our video section on showers and watch the two part film on installing a bath tub shower screen.