The Ultimate Shower Screen Buying Guide

The Ultimate Shower Screen Buying Guide

Choosing a shower is an integral part of any bathroom design. Not only does it have to fix the space you have to work with, but it has to be functional and complement the overall bathroom design. Finding one shower screen that does all three of these things is key to not only having a great shower space but a well-designed bathroom.

Shower screens come in many shapes and forms, and knowing how to go about selecting a shower screen will make a significant difference to the outcome of your bathroom. Given that bathrooms are renovated perhaps once or twice in the lifetime of a home, this is something you don’t want to get wrong. Doing so will either cost you a lot of many to correct or leave you with a shower (and even bathroom) that you don’t like.

Today we look at how to choose the perfect shower screen for your bathroom with this comprehensive shower screen buying guide.

Table of Contents:

Bathroom Size

Presuming you’re doing a full bathroom renovation or building a new home, you first need to know what you’re working with before you can even begin to look at shower screens. What size room do you have?

Start by taking measurements of the entire bathroom, from wall to wall, to draw out a floor plan. Place all other items on the floor plan to see how much space you have leftover for your shower. Include necessary products such as a toilet and vanity, and if you have space, a bath. Doing this will also help you determine where to position the shower – and more importantly, what size shower you can have. At the very least, you will need a 900mm x 900mm space allowance. The more space you have to work with, the better, more luxurious shower space you can create.

Look at the space and determine the most practical location for the shower. Consider how the shower door will operate. i.e., will it hit anything if it opens outwards? Will you need a sliding shower screen door, or can you get away with having no door (a shower walk-in shower enclosure using a shower panel rather than a shower screen)?

If you have a small bathroom, now’s the time to weigh in the pros and cons of a combined shower/bath to see if a bath is a preferable option. Today, contemporary glass bath screens, such as the range we offer here at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, make bath screens a popular and attractive choice. Not like yesteryear, where you only had daggy shower curtains as an option.

If you’re not moving any plumbing, then you will already know where the shower is positioned, and you will probably have to work with the same space. However, it may now be worthwhile looking to see if you can better utilise the space, i.e. by having a smaller vanity to maximise shower space. If you can get 900mm x 1200mm, it will be well worth it.

Types of Shower Screens

There are many types of shower screens to choose from, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one to fit your allocated shower space or bathroom design. Common types of shower screens include fully-framed shower screens, frameless shower screens, and semi-frameless shower screens, each with various styles and configuration options such as corner entry showers, quadrant entry, sliding doors, bi-fold doors, and pivot doors, which I will touch on later in this article.

You also have shower panels and bath screens, again, with various styles and configuration options.

Fully-Framed Shower Screens

As the name suggests, fully-framed shower screens are fully-framed, usually with a robust aluminium frame. The frame is used to protect the glass and aid installation. They are available in a range of configurations and door options and are suitable for bathrooms of all sizes.

Fully-framed shower screens are generally considered as the old-fashion choice of shower screen, primarily because they were the original option before frameless and semi-frameless showers were developed. However, there is nothing wrong with choosing a fully-framed shower. In fact, fully-framed shower screens offer significant benefits; the frame that surrounds the glass provides sturdiness and the highest level of robustness of all showers. The down-side is that they will inhibit your bathroom design and won’t blend as seamlessly as other types of showers.

The Brighton Shower is an excellent example of a fully-framed shower screen. It starts at $545.00 for a 900mm x 900mm enclosure.

Frameless Shower Screens

Shower

If fully-framed shower screens are the old-fashion shower screen choice, then frameless shower screens are the modern option. With no frame at all, frameless shower screens are an excellent choice for those looking for a minimalistic solution. Their sleek design allows them to blend seamlessly into a bathroom’s design, allowing it to shine without unnecessary distractions.

Like fully-framed shower screens, frameless shower screens are available in a range of configurations and door options. As there is no frame support, they rely on brackets and/or channels to fix the glass into position. They are durable and made with thickened glass; however, they are susceptible to chipping without the frames support.

The Frameless Shower Set is an excellent example of a frameless shower screen. At just $795.00 for a 900mm x 900mm enclosure, it offers stylistic elegance at an affordable price.

Semi-Frameless Shower Screens

semi-farmless shower

Semi-frameless shower screens sit between fully-framed shower screens and frameless shower screens. They feature minimal frames to aid installation and stability without being as noticeable as their fully-framed counterparts. Rather than being entirely frames, only the outer edges are framed. This helps to create a more sleek design, which will enhance light and maximise space.

Today, semi-frameless shower screens are the most common in production. They are available in just about any size and configuration to suit all needs. They offer the best of both worlds; higher durability and contemporary designs.

The Slider Door shower set is a prime example of a semi-frameless shower screen. It presents excellent value for money at just $875.00 for a 1000mm x 700mm enclosure.

Shower Panels

shower panel

Growing in popularity over the past 5-10 years are shower panels, the modern shower screen alternative. Contemporary bathrooms all forego traditional shower screens, albeit frameless or semi-frameless, for an even more minimalistic option presented by shower panels.

Commonly only featuring a single panel, shower panels are the best option for those seeking minimalistic design. They rely on brackets and/or channels to fix the glass into position and may come with return panel and bracing arm options.

They are ideal for creating wet rooms and walk-in enclosures and can propel any bathroom into a luxurious retreat.

Nice is an excellent example of a shower panel. It comes with a return panel and a bracing arm option and starts at just $740.00 for a 900mm panel with a 200mm return.

Bath Screens

bath screens

If you have limited space in your bathroom, you may consider opting for a bath screen rather than a shower screen. Bath screens provide the convincing of having a combined bath and shower and offer a modern alternative to yesteryear’s daggy bath curtains.

Bath screens come in a range of styles and designs, which are modern and minimalistic. They are easy to install and ideal for families. They come in a range of configurations, including additional fixed panels and swing panels, making them all the more functional.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a large range of bath panels starting at just $195 for the Waterford Swing Bathscreen.

Click here to view our entire range.

Shower Screen Designs

As mentioned earlier, shower screens are available in various styles and configurations to provide improved functionality and aesthetics. Common shower screen door options include corner entry, quadrant entry,  sliding doors, bi-fold doors, and pivot doors.

  • Corner entry: Corner entry showers feature two doors that slide open from the shower’s central point. This type of door is ideal for small bathrooms that don’t have the space required for a traditional shower door to open outward. Click here for an example.
  • Quadrant entry: Quadrant entry showers are similar to corner entry showers – they open from the centre, and the doors slide behind the shower panels. However, unlike corner entry showers, they are curved. They present an elegant design and are great space savers. Click here for an example.
  • Sliding doors: Sliding door showers are another option for those not wanting a traditional shower door that swings outward. Instead, the door slides back over the accompanying panel to gain access. As such, sliding door showers need to be longer than standard showers, taking up more space. Click here for an example.
  • Bi-fold doors: Bi-fold door shows are yet another space-saving option which don’t open outward. The bi-fold door folds inward to maximise bathroom space. This is a popular option for small bathrooms as they offer small enclosure sizes (700mm x 900mm). Click here for an example.
  • Pivot doors: Pivot door showers are more traditional, opening outward. They offer easy access and come in a range of sizes, from small to large, but may not be best suited to small bathrooms where space is limited. Click here for an example.

Budget

The 2018 Housing Industry Association (HIA) released the kitchens and bathroom renovation report found the average cost of a bathroom renovation in Australia was $17,522 and $16,430 for bathrooms in new home builds. Houzz’s Overview of Home Renovation in 2019 and 2020 report concluded similar figures for bathroom renovations, though it was a little lower. Their survey found the medium price for bathroom renovations in 2018 to be $13,000. Still, bathrooms are not cheap – especially if you want to achieve a luxury finish.

Your choice of shower screen will play a role in the design and overall look of your bathroom, but your budget may narrow down the selection.

Traditional showers screens such as this Brighton shower screen are a budget option for those looking for a cost-effective shower solution, starting at around $550.00. Another budget option is a shower panel, which requires no side panel or door. Shower panels are among the cheapest options starting at just $345.00. But the cheapest option isn’t a shower screen or shower panel, rather a bath screen. Combining the shower and bath to function either as a bath or shower is both space-saving and cost-effective.

For something mid-range, consider better quality standard showers, such as those in our Lakes Bathrooms range, which create AllClear coating and a Lifetime warranty. There are various models to consider to suit all bathroom designs, including showers with corner entry, quadrant entry, sliding doors, bi-fold doors, and pivot doors. Prices for such shower screens range from $750 to $1000, depending on size. You should also consider Lakes Bathrooms’ shower panels for a high-quality mid-range shower solution. With panels starting at a low $540.00, you’ll be able to get the luxury look without splurging.

If your goal is to create a luxury bathroom and budget is less of an issue, turn your attention directly to the shower panels, such as the contemporary options in the Lakes Bathrooms, to which there are many. As mentioned above, Lakes Bathroom’s shower panels start at a low $540.00 and range above $1300.00 depending on the design and size.

Maintenance

One of the most difficult areas of a home to keep clean is the shower screen. Water, soap scum, and limestone will inevitably build up over the cause of standard use, causing the glass to become cloudy and stained. It’s impossible to remove once and for good once the glass is effected.

So, what are the options?

You can squeegee down the glass after every use to remove liquids, or you can invest in a shower that uses state-of-the-art self-cleaning technology. The shower screens, shower panels, and bath screens in the Lakes Bathrooms range each feature an AllClear coating that repels water, soap scum, and limestone. Meaning, you never have to worry about cleaning your shower glass again!

Conclusion

If you’re shopping around for shower screens in Perth, then you have many options. You also have many decisions to make!

Before you can begin looking at possible options, you first need to know how much room you have to work with for your shower. This can only be done once you have worked out your floor plan.

Once you have your floor plan and know how much space you can allow for your shower, you must consider the type of shower screen you after, either fully-frameless, semi-frames, or frameless. Perhaps you don’t want a shower screen at all – a shower panel or bath screen may be more suitable. However, if you do choose a traditional shower screen, you then have to consider the design, such as the type of door and how it will impact your space.

Lastly, give thought to your budget and how much maintenance will be required for each option.

Whatever you choose, you will find the perfect shower screen, shower panel or bath screen at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, and for an unbeatable price.

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