Shower Enclosure Buying Guide
Choosing a Shower Enclosure
Buying a brand new shower is an exciting prospect but one of the most essential items is the shower enclosure. Before you begin your project, it’s a good idea to plan where your shower enclosure is likely to go and to get to grips with the space you’re working with.
What type do I need?
We sell several types of shower enclosures:
First of all, you’ll want to assess the type of space you are working with. Do you have an existing shower in place that you simply want to upgrade or are you looking for a design change incorporating a walk-in shower or wet room?.
What enclosure style?
You’ll need to decide what style of enclosure you’re looking for. Is it a shower bath, shower enclosure, walk-in shower enclosure or wet room? Of course, factors such as size and budget may affect your final decision but it’s good to have ideas already in mind.
Thinking about the usage of your shower enclosure may affect the type you choose to buy. For example, is this shower enclosure going to be used by the whole family or is it part of an en-suite? Knowing what you need is a great way to ensure you get the best results possible.
If you have space in a family bathroom and aren’t too fussed about a fancy bath, you may want to opt for a more luxurious option such as a walk-in shower enclosure. Alternatively, if you’re short on space, we have quadrant shower enclosures that could help you maximise your room – they also look amazing.
Walls and positioning
The layout of your bathroom may affect what work needs to be done in order for you to achieve your shower goals. Are you planning to keep your shower in its existing location? If so, the amount of work that will need to be done may be minimal as the existing pipework should already be in place.
Altering the location of your shower enclosure will incur extra building work and costs. However, the time and financial implications will be worth it if you’re looking to revolutionise your restroom. But don’t panic, there are things in place to ease the stress.
You will need to consider which way the shower enclosure doors are going to open, otherwise, it might get messy. It may seem like common sense but sometimes they’re the easiest things to miss. You don’t want to install a shower enclosure, only to find it collides with other bathroom units – nightmare! Take a little bit of time to think about the space, aesthetics and function of your shower so that your door is able to swing out into clear space.
Other positioning issues to bear in mind include the placement of alcoves, left or right handed swing on the shower door and whether you need adjustment for wonky walls. Our showers frames are adjustable with up to 15mm so that you can achieve the perfect fit.
Here at soak.com, we have numerous shower enclosure options to suit your personal tastes and requirements that will add luxury and style to your bathroom space. Each of our shower enclosures are manufactured from the finest materials, providing quality and durability.
You have two options – either a full enclosure that is made of one or more panels to create a shower space or just a single door that, along with a shower tray, can be slotted into a pre-existing space. A full enclosure creates the space to fit a shower, whereas a door can make a shower with space already available to you. Ta-dah!
Quadrant Shower Enclosures
If space is at a premium in your bathroom, a quadrant shower enclosure may be the answer. Renowned within the bathroom field as being a handy space-saver with sliding doors, this is ideal for smaller bathrooms or even an en-suite. We think it is a perfect way to transform a lifeless corner (and impress your guests).
Sliding Door Shower Enclosures
Stylish and functional in equal measures, the sliding shower door enclosure is one of the most popular on the market and it’s not hard to see why. A sliding door is a space-effective option that is also strong, sturdy and safe. The modern design will add some panache to your bathroom without being too over the top or stylised.
Bi-fold Door Shower Enclosures
If access space is a concern in your bathroom, then listen up! The bi-fold door shower enclosure is something to strongly consider. The door is split in half and condenses to ensure easy access. The bi-fold design allows for the door to collapse in on itself, preventing it from opening out into the room. It is the ideal space-saving solution for those with modestly sized bathrooms or en suites using a strong wall frame that is also hidden from view. Wall-hung toilets are also a good idea if you’re looking to save on space with a compact toilet system. We have a great range of wall-hung toilets available, which you can view here.
Pivot Door Shower Enclosures
Pivot door shower enclosures are a brilliant solution for bathrooms that have a shower enclosure situated in an alcove. You can pop a pivot door slot into a specific space as it pivots at the top and the bottom of the frame. This also allows it to open and close. As the pivoting pins are placed as close to the wall as they can, the opening area is usually quite generous which allows for a wide entrance size.
It may not be common knowledge, but glass shower screens are available in varying degrees of thickness. Thickness is the key word here – the thicker the glass, the more premium the shower will be. The standard glass thicknesses available are 4mm, 6mm and 8mm.
All soak.com frameless enclosures are provided with a glass thickness of 8mm to protect against wear and tear and ensure durability and resistance.
Frameless enclosures encourage a spacious, open and luxurious feel. You’ll almost feel as if you are stepping out of a shower that is in a designer hotel when in fact, it’s your own bathroom! Frameless shower enclosures are only available in 8mm Glass.
Thicker glass adds to the overall premium feel of your shower so if you’re going all out, it’s something to consider. Sometimes it’s the little things! 8mm Glass offers longevity, durability and it's our recommended option, especially for use in a family bathroom. Just be aware that thicker glass also means it will be heavier, so it may need additional support to make sure it’s secure.
4mm Shower Glass
Although this is entry level glass, it does the job – and it does it well! The price is also pretty impressive too, so you can enjoy quality on a budget.
6mm Shower Glass
6mm glass provides substantial thickness and creates a solid feel to your shower door so you feel that little bit more luxurious.
8mm Shower Glass
8mm is the thickest glass we sell. It's the ideal choice for family bathrooms, but it also adds an element of style. If you’re looking to add a hotel-inspired, high-end, luxurious feel, we would recommend this thickness. Our frameless enclosures are only available in 8mm glass.
10mm Shower Glass
The bathroom is part of our everyday routine, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious (and affordable!) Our 10mm shower enclosures are a great way to add a practical feature to your bathroom while embracing a spa-like feel. 10mm glass thickness is known to be sturdy yet sleek at the same time which is the perfect premium combination. The frameless design creates an open and airy space which is ideal for smaller areas. If your space is slightly larger, it adds to the modern and high end feel, forming a bathroom full of design and impact.
Safety comes first
Here at soak.com, your safety always comes first. That’s why all of the glass that is supplied with our shower enclosures have passed rigorous safety checks. Our glass is the highest quality tempered safety glass that has passed the EN standard. There is also a ten-year warranty with all of our products to give you added peace of mind.
Many soak.com shower enclosures are also available in ‘EasyClean’ glass. This is a specially manufactured glass that contains a micro thin coating which repels water. It protects your shower enclosure from oil, dirt, lime scale, stain and streaks. ‘EasyClean’ will help your shower keep that showroom finish by minimising cleaning and preventing against any staining that may occur over time.Many soak.com shower enclosures are also available in ‘EasyClean’ glass. This is a specially manufactured glass that contains a micro thin coating which repels water. It protects your shower enclosure from oil, dirt, lime scale, stain and streaks. ‘EasyClean’ will help your shower keep that showroom finish by minimising cleaning and preventing against any staining that may occur over time.
A walk-in shower enclosure contains a tray which helps to cut down on water spillage and keeps the water in the shower area. Installing a walk-in shower is cheaper than installing a full wet room. If you're on a tight budget you may want to consider opting for the walk-in shower instead of a wet room. A wet room eliminates the need for a raised shower tray - you simply walk straight into a fully tiled shower area.
First, you need to make sure that the shower tray you are buying fits your shower enclosure perfectly to protect against leaking between the gaps.
Ideally, you’ll want to buy the tray and shower enclosure together so that you’re prepared and ready to install. If you’re buying a tray separately, or even replacing a tray, be sure to measure the dimensions of your enclosure beforehand.
At soak.com, we offer a wide range of modern, hardwearing shower trays for your shower enclosure, whether big or small. A shower tray is an effective way to prevent water leakage, with the gradient of the tray controlling the direction of the water and ensuring it goes straight to the drain.
They’re also easy to install, which could save you time and money. Our Easy Plumb shower trays now make it easier than ever to install a shower tray at home without compromising on quality or safety.
Quadrant Shower Trays
These shower trays are built to fit a quadrant shower enclosure. This means they feature a curved design that can fit snugly into the corner of your bathroom. They are ideal if you need to maximise space as they will give you more room to manoeuvre.
Offset Quadrant Shower Trays
Offset quadrant shower trays are similar to quadrant shower trays in that they are designed to fit the corner of a bathroom. However, they are longer in shape with a rounder corner. If you have a little more room but are still looking to maximise space with a curved, contemporary design, this may be a good choice.
Rectangular Shower Trays
This is a shower tray to fit a rectangular shower enclosure. This type of shower tray will allow you room to manoeuvre and are well suited to enclosures that use sliding shower doors.
Square Shower Trays
This type of tray is popular because of their ability to fit many types of bathroom layouts. Great if you are looking to save on space.
In order to install a slim line / low profile tray, there are considerations required to ensure your space is compatible. Ideally, the shower trays should be fitted straight to the floor, preferably floorboards. Please Note: Its recommended it would be required to overboard your existing floorboards with ply board, or replace with chip board flooring. However, there are limitations which need to be considered. For example, the position of your joists. The fitter will be required to be able to create access to under the tray via the floor board to connect waste pipes and perform visual checks to prevent leaks prior to installation of your flooring.
Floor type is also a consideration. If you have a concrete floor, you'll need to cut out an area into the concreate to allow for the plumbing to sit underneath. This is where things get a little trickier!
With this in mind it's recommended that you consult your fitter prior to purchasing your tray choice to check fitting limitations and ensure your substrates are compatible.
Our ‘Easy Plumb’ bathroom shower trays create simple access thanks to it being above the floor. Easy to access, easy to fit!.
Now we’ve come this far, don’t forget the shower tray waste! A vital part of your shower, it will keep it smelling clean and looking fresh. Choose the fast flow variety to ensure water is drained away and you don't seal up your drain.
Shop our range of Shower Enclosures
Now you’ve topped up your knowledge and finished your tea and biscuits, you can start looking at what shower enclosure you want to install. We’ve already got you covered – simply pop over to our showers enclosures section and get choosing!Shop enclosures