Design Talk | How to Design the Perfect Shower Enclosure

By Bonnie Burcham | Photography by Geoffrey Hodgdon


A shower door is one of your bathroom’s most important design elements. When selecting one for your home, be careful! This is not an item to purchase on the internet. I’ve heard the stories and the last thing you need is a catastrophe. So, before you fill your cart and hit “check out” or forge ahead with your contractor, consider the following tips.

Get out, visit showrooms, and view the latest shower doors and design configurations. Open and close each door. Step inside and out. Check out the thickness of the glass. Assessing various displays will help you visualize how the enclosure would look in your home.

Assess and Measure Your Enclosure
The type of door you choose will depend largely on the shape and layout of your shower. Send a shower door professional to visit your home to get exact measurements of your shower/bath area. This is one of the most important steps to ensure that your enclosure will fit precisely.

Choose the Type of Door
With your bathroom’s configuration in mind, you can choose from a range of frameless, semi-frameless or framed doors. Doors can swing or slide open. There are enclosures that can be adapted for steam applications. Frameless enclosures have the least amount of hardware and a thicker glass for a truly luxurious enclosure. The semi-frameless is a great alternative to a frameless if you want a beautiful custom enclosure without the expense of a frameless. Finally, a fully framed shower, which is usually the least expensive, offers traditional style with full door magnets and drip rail system.

Select Glass and Hardware Finishes
Glass selections range from clear glass, which keeps the space bright and open to patterns that offer a distinct design or privacy. Choose hardware finishes to coordinate with your existing bathroom fixtures.

This is perhaps the most important part of your purchase. Some homeowners purchase expensive shower doors online or even at a “big box store” only to find they don’t quite fit or that they are too complicated to install. Shower doors are specialty items. A master craftsman will ensure the doors fit properly and you will enjoy it for many years to come.


Bonnie Burcham is Vice President of Maryland Shower Enclosures, Annapolis.

Maryland Shower Enclosures,, Annapolis, Maryland


Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 9, No. 1 2018