Optimising a Glass Shower for a Small Bathroom

The shower enclosure takes up a large chunk of space in a bathroom, so planning its design can be tricky in a small bathroom. To help, here are some tips on how to customise it.

Evoke Spaciousness

Even though a room may be compact, it's essential that it doesn't feel that way. After all, it's easier to relax in a bathroom if you don't feel closed in. You can help create a sense of openness and space by making specific choices when it comes to the framing of your shower.

A frameless design will appear almost invisible, so the bathroom will feel like one integrated area. This will make the most of the room proportions. On the other hand, extensive framing around the screens will visually separate the enclosure. Resultingly, the bathroom will seem smaller with a chunk of space taken away.

A compromise between frameless and fully-framed models is a semi-frameless design. These enclosures have metal edging along the wall edges and at the top and bottom, but the door panels are mainly free of hardware.

Door Style

Minimising the framing is about creating the illusion of more space. But you also face practical considerations in a small bathroom with respect to the shower door. A swinging door that extends outwards over the floor can block the way of others using the bathroom. These doors also limit layout options as you need to allow for that free floor area. A better option is a sliding door that rolls neatly to the side and doesn't protrude outwards.

Glass Alternatives

While these shower screens all use glass, they can use different types. For example, you can use low-iron glass without the faint green haze of standard transparent glass. Alternatively, you can install frosted glass, which gives a shower a cloudy experience to make it more private. If your main goal is to create spaciousness, transparent screens are the best option. Low iron screens are crystal clear, so they'll disappear the most, though standard clear panels are also discreet.

If you're renovating the entire bathroom, other design choices can help to give the illusion of more expansive proportions. For example, spread light-coloured tiles across the walls and floors to minimise contrast. This will create a visual flow around the room. Mirrors also help to reflect space and give the illusion of more room. You could also let extra daylight inside through a skylight or a large, expansive frosted window. A brighter room will automatically feel bigger.