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Sliding vs Hinged Shower Door

Thinking about switching from a shower curtain to a glass shower door?  There are many options that can depend on the size of your bathroom, your budget and design preferences.

Two of the most popular types of shower doors are sliding doors and hinged doors.  They’re both functional, attractive and look great in any bathroom, so how do you know which is right for you?

Today we’re going to take a closer look at the shower door options available to you and their benefits:


Sliding shower doors

A very popular choice, sliding glass shower doors (also known as bypass doors) typically feature 2-3 panels that slide across a track to open or close; modern frameless options can also be trackless.

These doors can be fixed to stand-alone showers, tubs and steam showers.  They can be useful when the shower opening is greater than 60 inches, since they are supported by their tracks.

Sliding shower doors are efficient on space and are a perfect solution for smaller bathrooms.  They are sleek, stylish and easy to operate for most people.



Hinged shower doors

Hinge shower doors almost always swing outwards to open.   They can swing open from a pivot hinge (top to bottom), or a side-mount hinge (with the hinges at the side).

Hinged glass doors are perfect for stand-alone showers. They are typically used for showers less than 60 inches wide.



Advantages and disadvantages of sliding shower doors


  • Efficient for small spaces – Sliding shower doors are compact and make excellent use of limited space.
  • Functional for towel storage – Many people find that the handles on sliding shower doors are perfect storage for hanging bathroom towels, cloths, and clothing etc.
  • Less chance of leaks – Sliding shower doors provide a good seal against leaks compared to hinged doors (which can have a gap where the hinges are) and especially against shower curtains.
  • Attractive in any bathroom – Sliding shower doors provide a seamless, open aesthetic to any bathroom.  They can provide a modern feel to a contemporary bathroom, but they can look just as fitting in a traditionally styled bathroom.
  • Easy for grabbing things you need – Sliding doors are much more convenient for grabbing things you’ve forgot to bring in the shower or tub with you.  Instead of swinging out a hinged door, you can just slide the door open a fraction and grab what you need such as towels, shampoo etc.
  • Lightweight to operate – Sliding shower doors are generally lightweight and easy to operate for most people.  They can be harder to slam shut and less likely to create a “bang”.



  • Worn rollers (cheaper models) – Some owners of sliding doors report worn and tricky to move tracks after some time.  This typically only happens with lesser-quality sliding doors and a lack of maintenance.
  • Can be more expensive – Depending on the complexity of your sliding door, it may be more expensive for your budget.
  • Can have limited openings – Standard sized sliding shower doors can provide a more limited opening for getting in and out of the enclosure.  This can however be negated with larger panels, and custom-sized glass panels.
  • Safety concerns for seniors – Sliding shower doors can offer a false sense of security for vulnerable seniors, while they can be light and easy to operate, the tracks may not provide sufficient stability for those who are unsteady on their feet.


Advantages and disadvantages of hinged shower doors


  • Clean & minimalist look – Featuring large glass panels, hinged shower doors can offer a clean and aesthetically pleasing look in any bathroom. This is especially true when you choose a frameless shower door.
  • Large opening – The opening provided by a hinged shower door can be better for seniors and those with mobility who require a large opening to enter and exit the bathroom.
  • Easier to clean – With a hinged shower door you just need to worry about cleaning the glass pane, there are no tracks that can build up with gunk like with a sliding door.
  • Attractive in any bathroom – Sliding shower doors provide a seamless, open aesthetic to any bathroom.



  • Requires more space – Bathrooms need to have enough space to facilitate the wide-opening as hinged shower doors swing round.  Sometimes a swinging door may restrict movement around your toilet, sink etc. if you have limited space.  If your bathroom is small then you may prefer a sliding shower door.
  • Possible water leaks – It’s not uncommon for owners of hinged shower doors to complain of leaks.  This can happen because the hinges that connect from the wall to the door create a small gap which can allow water to seep through.  You can seal side-mount hinges to help negate this, however pivot hinges (from the top and bottom), are still at risk.  The only solution is to direct your shower head away from the door when in use.


Choosing the right shower door for your bathroom

Still undecided about whether a sliding shower door or a hinged shower door is best for your bathroom?

Here’s a summary of some of the key points and the clear choice between the two:

You have a smaller bathroom – Consider a sliding shower door

You require a larger shower door – Consider a hinged shower door

You want low cleaning and maintenance – Consider a hinged shower door


Do you have questions about sliding shower doors or hinged shower doors? Would you like to discuss a custom-glass panelled door for your shower or bath tub?  Speak to the Connecticut shower door specialists at Eastern Glass & Shower Door: (203) 874-5754