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George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Table of Contents

A fixed shower screen is a single, stationary panel of glass partition, plastic or other material that is installed in a shower (on the floor) or bathtub enclosure to prevent water from splashing outside the designated wet room, shower area or bathroom. Unlike hinged or sliding shower doors, it does not move and remains in a fixed position.

Fixed shower screens, is a type of non-moving stationary enclosure known for their clean and uncluttered aesthetic, making them suitable for modern bathroom designs. They take up minimal space and are ideal for smaller bathrooms where a swinging door might not be practical. With fewer moving parts, fixed shower screens are easier to maintain compared to other types of shower enclosures.

A modern bathroom with a minimalist design featuring a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen, a wooden stool, and a wall-mounted showerhead. The walls and floor have a beige, textured finish.
A modern bathroom with a minimalist design featuring a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen, a wooden stool, and a wall-mounted showerhead. The walls and floor have a beige, textured finish.

Fixed shower screens are available in various sizes and can be installed in different configurations, such as corner or alcove installations. They are commonly made of tempered glass for durability and safety, but can also be made of acrylic or other materials. Proper sealing and installation are essential to prevent water leakage and ensure the shower screen functions effectively.

Fixed shower screens can sometimes limit accessibility for individuals with mobility issues, as they create a partial barrier to entry and exit.

Types of fixed shower screens

George Nicola from TALLBOX: Ditch the soggy shower curtain and flimsy sliding doors! A fixed shower screen is your bathroom’s unsung hero, and here’s why:

Think minimalist chic, not grandma’s shower curtain. A fixed screen brings a modern edge to your bathroom, making it look like a million dollar project (without actually spending it). Plus, that clear glass opens up the space, giving your cramped bathroom an airy makeover.

Sure, a fixed shower screen might cost a bit more upfront. But think of it as an investment in your bathroom’s future. It’s durable, stylish, and adds value to your home. Plus, it’ll save you money in the long run on curtain replacements and mold remediation.

Fixed shower screens can be categorized into three main types based on their frame construction:

Modern bathroom with a fixed shower screen, large rectangular showerhead, pink accent wall, wooden vanity with a white sink, mirror, and a blue pouf. Text on the image includes website URLs.
Modern bathroom with a fixed shower screen, large rectangular showerhead, pink accent wall, wooden vanity with a white sink, mirror, and a blue pouf.
  • As the name suggests, these screens have no metal frame around the glass edges.
  • They offer a clean, minimalist aesthetic and maximize the open feel of the shower area.
  • Typically made of thicker, tempered glass (usually 8-10mm) for strength and stability.
  • Hardware is minimal, often consisting of discreet clamps or channels to secure the glass to the wall and floor.
  • Can be more expensive than other types due to the thicker glass and specialized installation requirements.
A vertical fluted glass fixed shower screen in a modern bathroom with a small plant in the corner. Text on the glass reads "Semi-Frameless Shower Screen," "ClearHalo," and "TallboxDesign.com.
A vertical fluted glass fixed shower screen in a modern bathroom with a small plant in the corner.
  • A hybrid between framed and frameless designs.
  • Feature a metal frame around the perimeter of the shower enclosure, but not around the door or panel itself.
  • Offer a more substantial look and feel compared to frameless screens.
  • Typically use slightly thinner glass (6-8mm) than frameless screens.
  • More affordable than fully frameless options.
  • Provide a good balance of style, durability, and cost-effectiveness.
Modern bathroom with a walk-in shower featuring a black-framed, fixed shower screen and a rainfall showerhead. Large gray tiles cover the walls, and a window offers a view of greenery outside.
Modern bathroom with a walk-in shower featuring a black-framed, fixed shower screen and a rainfall showerhead. Large gray tiles cover the walls, and a window offers a view of greenery outside.
  • The most traditional type of shower enclosure.
  • Feature a metal frame around the entire perimeter of the glass panel.
  • Offer a classic, sturdy look and are available in various frame finishes to match your bathroom décor.
  • Typically use the thinnest glass (4-6mm) compared to other types.
  • Generally the most affordable option.
  • Can be less visually appealing than frameless or semi-frameless screens due to the prominent frame.

Choosing the right type:

The best type of fixed shower screen for you depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and desired level of minimalism.

  • If you prioritize a clean, modern look and are willing to invest in thicker glass and specialized installation, a frameless screen is a great option.
  • If you want a more substantial look without breaking the bank, a semi-frameless screen offers a good balance of style and affordability.
  • If you’re on a tight budget or prefer a more traditional look, a framed screen can be a practical choice.
Comparison table of fixed shower screens, shower curtains, and sliding doors across various features such as design, space, water containment, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, aesthetics, and installation. Fixed shower screens offer superior water containment and sleek aesthetics.
Comparison table of fixed shower screens, shower curtains, and sliding doors across various features such as design, space, water containment, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, aesthetics, and installation. Fixed shower screens offer superior water containment and sleek aesthetics.

Common materials used in shower screens

Fixed shower screens are typically made from two main materials:

Tempered Glass:

The most popular and widely used material for fixed shower screens. Known for its durability, strength, and resistance to scratches and shattering.

Treated with a special heating and cooling process to enhance its safety and strength.
Available in various thicknesses (typically 8-10mm for frameless screens, 6-8mm for semi-frameless, and 4-6mm for framed).

Can be clear, frosted, or textured for different levels of privacy. Relatively easy to clean and maintain with regular wiping and occasional descaling.
Generally more expensive than acrylic

Acrylic:

A lightweight and more affordable alternative to tempered glass.
Available in various colors and patterns, offering more design flexibility.
Can be molded into different shapes and sizes, making it suitable for custom installations. Less prone to shattering than glass, making it a safer option for households with children.
More susceptible to scratches and discoloration over time. Requires more frequent cleaning and special care to prevent damage.

Other Materials:

Polystyrene: A budget-friendly option that is lightweight and easy to install, but less durable than glass or acrylic.
Laminated Glass: Consists of two layers of glass with a plastic interlayer for added safety and soundproofing. More expensive than standard tempered glass.

How to choose the material for your fixed shower screen?

The ideal material for your fixed shower screen depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and desired level of durability and maintenance.

  1. If you prioritize durability, a sleek look, and are willing to invest a bit more, tempered glass is an excellent choice.
  2. If you’re looking for a more affordable option with greater design flexibility and less risk of shattering, acrylic could be a good fit.
  3. If you’re on a tight budget or need a lightweight option for DIY installation, polystyrene might be worth considering.
  4. If you want the highest level of safety and soundproofing, laminated glass is a premium option.

Benefits of Fixed Shower Screens

Fixed shower screens offer numerous benefits that make them a popular choice for modern bathrooms, and their main avantage is the minimalist design.

Comparison chart of fixed shower screens, frameless, semi-frameless, and framed shower enclosures listing their pros and cons.
Comparison chart of fixed shower screens, frameless, semi-frameless, and framed shower enclosures listing their pros and cons.

Modern, Sleek Appearance:

Minimalist design: Fixed shower screens are characterized by their clean lines and frameless or semi-frameless designs, creating a seamless and minimalist aesthetic that complements contemporary bathroom styles.

Enhanced visual appeal: The transparency of the glass allows light to flow freely, making the bathroom appear brighter, more spacious, and visually appealing.
Customizable options: Fixed shower screens are available in various sizes, shapes, and glass finishes, allowing for customization to match individual preferences and bathroom décor.

Improved Water Containment:

Effective barrier: Fixed shower screens create a solid barrier that prevents water from splashing outside the shower area, keeping the bathroom floor dry and reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Reduced moisture: By containing water within the shower enclosure, fixed screens help to minimize moisture buildup, preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
Versatility: Fixed screens can be installed in various configurations (corner, alcove, walk-in) to fit different bathroom layouts and shower sizes.

Easy Cleaning and Maintenance:

No tracks or crevices: Unlike sliding doors or shower curtains, fixed screens have no tracks, hinges, or folds where dirt, grime, and soap scum can accumulate.
Simple cleaning routine: The smooth glass surface can be easily wiped down with a squeegee or cloth after each shower, minimizing the need for harsh cleaning products.
Hygienic: The absence of hidden areas makes fixed screens more hygienic and easier to keep clean, promoting a healthier bathroom environment.

Potential to Increase Bathroom Space:

Space-saving design: Fixed shower screens take up less space than traditional shower doors, as they don’t require clearance for swinging or sliding open.
Open feel: The transparency of the glass creates an illusion of more space, making even small bathrooms feel more open and airy.
Walk-in showers: Fixed screens are ideal for creating walk-in showers especially in small bathrooms, or en-suites and more open space luxurious bathroom setups, it offers space-efficient option for a shower area.

Longevity and Durability:

High-quality materials: Fixed shower screens are typically made of tempered glass, which is known for its strength, durability, and resistance to scratches and shattering.
Corrosion-resistant hardware: The hardware used in fixed screens is often made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials, ensuring longevity and minimal maintenance.
Long-lasting investment: With proper care and maintenance, fixed shower screens can last for many years, making them a worthwhile investment for your bathroom.

How to measure and size a fixed shower screen?

Accurate measuring and sizing are crucial for ensuring a proper fit and optimal function of your fixed shower screen. Here’s a breakdown of the process and key considerations:

How to measure your shower space:

Width: Measure the width of the shower opening at the bottom (near the shower base or floor), middle, and top. Take measurements from the finished wall surfaces, not from any existing fixtures. If there’s a variation between the three measurements, use the smallest one to ensure the screen fits snugly.

Height: Measure the height from the finished shower base or floor to the ceiling. If you plan to install a support bar or header, measure the height to where the bottom of the bar will be placed.

Wall angles: Use a level to check if the walls are plumb (perfectly vertical). If not, measure the out-of-plumb amount at the top and bottom of the shower opening. This is crucial for frameless installations, as the glass needs to be custom-cut to fit the angle.

Shower base type: Note whether you have a shower base with a curb (a raised edge) or a curbless (level entry) shower. This will determine the type of shower screen seal needed to prevent water leakage.

Standard sizes available:

Fixed shower screens come in standard sizes, typically ranging from:

Width: 700mm (27.5 in) to 1200mm (47.2 in)
Height: 1800mm (70.8 in) to 2000mm (78.7 in)

However, these sizes can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific model or it if it’s a custom can be at any size.

Custom sizing options:

If your shower space has unusual dimensions or you have specific design requirements, custom sizing is often available. Many manufacturers offer made-to-measure fixed shower screens that can be tailored to your exact specifications. This is especially important for frameless designs, as the glass needs to fit perfectly for optimal stability and water tightness.

Considerations for unusual bathroom layouts:

Sloped ceilings: If your shower area has a sloped ceiling, you’ll need to measure the height at both the highest and lowest points to ensure the screen fits properly.
Angled walls: Walls that are not perfectly perpendicular can pose challenges for fixed shower screen installation. You might need to consider custom-cut glass or alternative enclosure options.
Nooks and alcoves: For shower spaces tucked into nooks or alcoves, you may need to opt for a custom-sized screen or consider a different configuration, such as a corner or neo-angle enclosure.
Obstructions: If there are any obstructions within the shower area (e.g., pipes, shelves), take their dimensions into account when measuring and choosing a screen.

What Design Options do exist for shower fixed shower screens?

Fixed shower screens offer a wide array of design options to enhance the aesthetics of your bathroom and create a personalized showering experience.

Let’s explore some of the choices available:

 The most popular choice, offering a clean, minimalist look and allowing maximum light transmission.

A minimalist bathroom features a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and wall-mounted showerhead, an oval mirror above a stone sink, a towel hanging on a hook, and a round woven rug on the floor.
A minimalist bathroom features a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and wall-mounted showerhead, an oval mirror above a stone sink, a towel hanging on a hook, and a round woven rug on the floor.

Provides privacy while still allowing light to filter through. Available in various levels of opacity, from subtle to completely opaque.

A modern bathroom with a minimalist design featuring a stone basin, wall-mounted faucet, and a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and frosted glass partition. A woven basket sits on the wooden floor.
A modern bathroom with a minimalist design featuring a stone basin, wall-mounted faucet, and a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and frosted glass partition. A woven basket sits on the wooden floor.

Adds a touch of color and style to your bathroom. Popular options include bronze, grey, and blue tints.

A minimalist bathroom featuring a large rain shower with a fixed shower screen, a rectangular stone sink, a round mirror, a wall-mounted pendant light, a wooden stool with a vase, and a hanging towel.
A minimalist bathroom featuring a large rain shower with a fixed shower screen, a rectangular stone sink, a round mirror, a wall-mounted pendant light, a wooden stool with a vase, and a hanging towel.

Creates visual interest with patterns like rain, waves, or geometric designs. Can also provide varying degrees of privacy.

Modern bathroom with a rustic touch featuring a wooden sink counter, a fixed shower screen with plant designs on frosted glass, beige concrete walls, and a wooden towel stand.
Modern bathroom with a rustic touch featuring a wooden sink counter, a fixed shower screen with plant designs on frosted glass, beige concrete walls, and a wooden towel stand.

Frame Finishes:

Chrome: A classic, versatile choice that complements most bathroom styles. Available in polished or brushed finishes.

Brushed nickel: A warm, contemporary finish that complements brushed nickel fixtures and hardware.

Matte black: A bold, modern option that adds a touch of drama and sophistication. Pairs well with black or white fixtures.

Other finishes: Depending on the manufacturer, you may also find options like brushed brass, oil-rubbed bronze, or custom colors.

A modern bathroom with a large textured glass shower enclosed by a fixed shower screen, featuring a wood bench and minimalistic decor. Gray tiled walls and floor.
A modern bathroom with a large textured glass shower enclosed by a fixed shower screen, featuring a wood bench and minimalistic decor. Gray tiled walls and floor.

Hardware Options:

Hinges: Only necessary for fixed panels that are part of a larger enclosure with a door. Available in various styles and finishes to match the frame.
Handles: Essential for opening and closing the shower door, if applicable. Choose handles that are comfortable to grip and complement the overall design.
Support bars: Used to provide additional stability for larger or heavier glass panels. Can be a stylish design element in themselves.
Towel bars or hooks: Can be integrated into the shower screen frame or installed separately for convenience.
Other accessories: Some manufacturers offer additional hardware options like shelves, soap dishes, or robe hooks.

There are four main types for incorporating patterns or etched designs on glass.

Sandblasting: A technique that creates a frosted or etched design on the glass surface. Can be used to add privacy, decorative patterns, or even custom logos.
Acid etching: A similar technique to sandblasting, but with a different chemical process. Offers a smoother, more refined finish.
Digital printing: Allows for intricate and colorful designs to be printed directly onto the glass.
Textured glass: Manufacturers offer various pre-textured glass options, such as rain, waves, or geometric patterns.

Cost Factors for fixed glass shower

The cost of a fixed shower screen can vary widely; on average, expect to pay between $350 and $520 for standard-size clear glass.

Price ranges for different types and sizes:

  • Framed: Typically the most affordable option, starting around $200-$400 for standard sizes.
  • Semi-frameless: Mid-range option, usually costing between $400-$800 for standard sizes.
  • Frameless: The most expensive option due to thicker glass and specialized hardware, typically ranging from $800-$1500 or more for standard sizes.

Custom sizes and designs can significantly increase the price, sometimes doubling or tripling the cost of a standard-sized screen.

For instance, a custom-made curved shower screen made from thick (over 12mm), low-iron tempered glass with an intricate sandblasted design can easily reach $5,000 or more. Low-iron tempered glass is a special type of glass prized for its exceptional clarity, minimizing the greenish tint inherent in most clear glass. This creates a more transparent and luxurious look, but comes at a premium price.

A modern bathroom with a curved, frosted glass shower enclosure featuring a fixed shower screen, beige walls, and minimalistic fixtures. The space is well-lit by natural light from a large window.
A modern bathroom with a curved, frosted glass shower enclosure featuring a fixed shower screen, beige walls, and minimalistic fixtures. The space is well-lit by natural light from a large window.

What changes the price of shower screens?

Material:
Tempered glass is generally more expensive than acrylic or polystyrene.
Thicker glass (e.g., 10mm) is pricier than thinner glass (e.g., 4mm).
Specialty glass finishes like frosted, tinted, or textured can add to the cost.
Size: Larger screens naturally require more material and labor, making them more expensive.
Customization: Custom sizes, shapes, and design elements like etched patterns or unique hardware will increase the price.
Brand and quality: Reputable brands and higher quality materials and hardware will generally command higher prices.

What you need to know before installing fixed glass shower

Installing a fixed shower screen requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure a successful and leak-free outcome.

Here’s what you need to consider before embarking on the installation process:

Installation Costs

Professional installation: As discussed earlier, professional installation typically costs between $300-$800, depending on the complexity of the job and your location.
DIY installation: While this can save you money upfront, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially for frameless or complex installations. Be sure to factor in the cost of tools and materials if you choose to DIY.

A minimalist bathroom featuring a fixed shower screen, a wooden vanity with a black basin, a wall-mounted faucet, a hanging towel, and toiletries on wall shelves.
A minimalist bathroom featuring a fixed shower screen, a wooden vanity with a black basin, a wall-mounted faucet, a hanging towel, and toiletries on wall shelves.

Professional vs. DIY Installation:

Professional Installation:
Recommended for: Frameless and semi-frameless shower screens, complex installations (e.g., angled walls, custom sizes), or if you lack experience with home improvement projects.
Benefits: Ensures proper installation, adherence to building codes, and minimizes the risk of leaks or damage.
Cost: More expensive than DIY, but can save you time and potential headaches. Based on national averages, expect to pay somewhere in the range of $300 to $800 for professional installation of a fixed shower screen. Frameless screens can be on the higher end of this range, while framed screens might be closer to the lower end.

Shower screen size and type of glass: Larger screens (over 48 inches wide or 72 inches tall) and thicker tempered glass (over 10mm) will generally cost more to install due to the increased weight and handling difficulty. For example, a large frameless shower screen with 12mm tempered glass might cost more to install than a smaller framed screen with standard 8mm tempered glass.

Plumber rates: Some professional installations might require adjustments to plumbing, which will incur additional costs depending on the plumber’s rates. To get a more accurate estimate for your project, consider requesting a 3D rendering of the bathroom from your designer, plumber, or contractor. This will allow you to visualize the final product and ensure that all potential plumbing modifications are accounted for in the installation quote.

Keep in mind that this is a ballpark figure, and it’s always best to get quotes from several local contractors to get the most accurate pricing for your specific project.

DIY Installation:
Recommended for: Framed shower screens, simple installations (e.g., straight walls, standard sizes), and if you’re confident in your DIY skills.
Benefits: More affordable than professional installation, provides a sense of accomplishment.
Cost: Less expensive, but requires more time and effort on your part.
Risks: Improper installation can lead to leaks, damage, or safety hazards.

Timeframe for Installation Process:

Professional installation: Typically takes a few hours to a full day, depending on the complexity of the installation and the type of shower screen.
DIY installation: Can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on your experience level and the type of screen.

A minimalist bathroom with concrete walls and flooring, featuring a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and rain showerhead, a concrete vanity with a mounted sink, a mirror, a basket, and dried plants for decor.
A minimalist bathroom with concrete walls and flooring, featuring a walk-in shower with a fixed shower screen and rain showerhead, a concrete vanity with a mounted sink, a mirror, a basket, and dried plants for decor.

Tools and Skills Required for fixed shower glass screen:

Basic tools: Drill, level, measuring tape, screwdriver, hammer, silicone sealant, caulk gun.
Additional tools for frameless or semi-frameless screens: Glass suction cups, specialized clamps or channels.
Skills: Basic carpentry skills, ability to follow instructions carefully, understanding of plumbing and waterproofing principles.

Common Installation Challenges:

Ensuring proper leveling and alignment: The screen must be perfectly level and plumb to prevent leaks and ensure stability.
Waterproofing: Proper sealing around the edges of the screen and at any wall or floor junctions is crucial to prevent water leakage.
Handling heavy glass panels: Frameless and semi-frameless screens can be heavy and require careful handling to avoid damage or injury.
Working in tight spaces: Shower enclosures can be cramped, making it difficult to maneuver and install the screen.

Do fixed shower screens add value to a house?

A well-designed and installed shower screen can enhance your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal and functionality, potentially increasing the resale value of your home.

High-quality fixed shower screens, especially those made of tempered glass, are durable and can last for many years with proper care, saving you money in the long run on replacements or repairs.

Fixed screens are easier to clean and maintain than shower curtains or doors with moving parts, reducing your cleaning time and effort.

A minimalist bathroom with green-hued concrete walls and floor. The space features a modern glass-enclosed shower with a black rain showerhead, a concrete sink, and shelves with toiletries. A fixed shower screen adds to the sleek design.
A minimalist bathroom with green-hued concrete walls and floor. The space features a modern glass-enclosed shower with a black rain showerhead, a concrete sink, and shelves with toiletries. A fixed shower screen adds to the sleek design.

While the upfront cost of a fixed shower screen might seem higher than other options, the long-term benefits and value it adds to your home make it a worthwhile investment. By considering your budget, needs, and aesthetic preferences, you can choose a fixed shower screen that meets your requirements and enhances your bathroom for years to come.

Comparing Fixed Screens vs Others

Fixed shower screens offer a sleek, modern aesthetic and effective water containment. They are a good choice for those who prioritize a minimalist look and easy cleaning. However, they can be more expensive and less accessible than shower curtains, and may require professional installation for optimal results. Choosing the right type of fixed screen depends on your budget, style preferences, and specific needs.

Comparison table listing features of fixed shower screens and shower curtains, covering design, space, water containment with a focus on fixed shower screen benefits, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, and aesthetics.
Comparison table listing features of fixed shower screens and shower curtains, covering design, space, water containment with a focus on fixed shower screen benefits, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, and aesthetics.
Comparison chart showing features of fixed shower screens and sliding doors. Categories include design, space, water containment, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, and aesthetics. See how the fixed shower screen measures up in terms of water containment and ease of cleaning.
Comparison chart showing features of fixed shower screens and sliding doors. Categories include design, space, water containment, cleaning, accessibility, durability, cost, and aesthetics. See how the fixed shower screen measures up in terms of water containment and ease of cleaning.