Your Start-to-Finish Guide to Choosing a 90-Degree Corner Shower
"A separate tub and shower is still the most popular bath layout,” says Better Homes and Gardens, and a right angle corner shower can be the perfect partner for your soaker tub. Homeowners today want spa-like main bathrooms that promote relaxation and renewal. Instead of a fiberglass tub insert with a shower head, many are choosing a glass shower enclosure with a separate free standing bath tub. Aesthetically, this is much more striking, and both installations are more inviting and conducive to relaxation than the traditional tub/shower combo tucked behind a curtain. Let’s explore the possibilities available for 90-degree corner shower enclosures.
1. What is a 90-degree corner shower?
In building a 90-degree corner shower, glaziers make use of two perpendicular bathroom walls. Two additional glass walls are added to meet each other and the existing walls at right angles, thus forming a square or rectangular stall. One glass wall is typically a single sheet of fixed glass, while the other includes both fixed glass and a door panel. Tempered glass is used for safety and stability along with various metal components depending on the type of enclosure you choose. In summary, a 90-degree corner shower is defined by these features:
Two sides consist of existing bathroom walls, typically tiled.
Two sides are made of tempered glass.
All angles are 90 degrees.
At least one glass door panel is included.
2. Can I choose a swinging door?
Yes! A swinging shower door is perfect for many right angle corner showers. It’s a glamorous but timeless style that gives your shower the appearance of a luxurious glass room. If this design appeals to you, first ensure that there’s plenty of clearance for the door to swing open into the bathroom. If you’re good to go in this regard, the next point to consider is hinge type.
Wall mount – These hinges are attached to the surfaces of the door panel and the wall or fixed glass next to it. They offer a classic look, don’t require a header, and are able to seal when closed.
Pivot – Pivot hinges attach the door panel to the surfaces above and below it, and the door “pivots” open and closed from this point. These can be less noticeable than other hinges, have a more contemporary style, may require the installation of a header or transom, and don’t seal.
For more details on each hinge option and recommendations for your specific situation, set up a free in-home consultation with ABC Glass & Mirror – (703)257-7150.
3. How about a rolling door?
If you prefer a more space efficient door or don’t have room for a swinging door to operate, a rolling “barn style” door is perfect. Instead of operating via hinges, these doors hang from a header and glide open and shut by means of rollers. ABC Glass & Mirror offers three single roller systems. These all have one moving door panel, a fixed glass panel beside the door, and a metal header. You can also choose our dual roller system, which is characterized by:
Two door panels that roll past one another on each side of the header.
Your choice of a metal header or a clear header made of laminated tempered glass.
When you choose a sliding door for a 90-degree corner shower, one side of the enclosure will typically consist of the “barn style” door system itself, while another is made up of fixed glass. This shower door style is at home in bathrooms of many modes and themes. Its barn door inspired operation makes it perfect for farmhouse homes, but its sleek frameless design means that it also looks awesome in a modern or spa-themed bathroom. The simple beauty of a rolling door also fits in with today’s popular minimalistic styles like Japandi and Scandinavian. (In fact, an interior barn style door with glass panel is highlighted in The Spruce’s article on Scandinavian bathroom designs!)
4. Can right angle corner showers be frameless?
Frameless corner showers are among the most popular glass enclosures today. These designs eliminate most of the metal typically associated with glass showers in the past. None of the glass edges are framed, and the glass is affixed using small metal clips, caulk joints, hinges, and/or a header. Since the aluminum frame is omitted, thick “heavy” glass is needed for the enclosure to be safe and sturdy. Advantages to frameless design include:
No unreachable nooks where mold and mildew will proliferate.
Smooth, easy to clean surfaces.
No framing to impede the view of your shower tile.
Open, airy ambiance for both shower stall and bathroom.
On-trend enclosure design that styles up the surrounding room.
If you’re trying to make a small bathroom seem bigger or to maximize a large room’s potential, a clear frameless corner shower is one of the most effective ways to do this.
5. Is semi-frameless design also available?
Frameless design is more popular, but semi-frameless right angle corner showers give you a more budget friendly option. Why? When some framing (hence semi-frameless) is used, the shower can be built from thinner, less expensive glass. Bypass shower doors are a good example, and these are defined by:
Framing around the perimeter of the enclosure.
Frameless door panels.
Dual doors that slide in metal tracks.
To incorporate these into a right angle corner shower, we would typically install the bypass door system and a fixed glass wall meeting each other and the bathroom walls at 90 degrees. We can also construct semi-frameless corner showers with swinging door panels, if you prefer this style. As with frameless corner showers, the panel dimensions, door placement, and so forth can be tailored to your needs. Semi-frameless corner showers allow you to transform your bathroom with glass but at a somewhat lower price point.
6. What about an enclosure framed with black metal?
The framed shower doors many of us grew up with have been supplanted by frameless designs, but another type of framed glass has become a very fashionable shower enclosure choice. In the 1800s, Crittall Windows of England started manufacturing steel framed windows which became widely used on both commercial and residential buildings. The style combines clear glass with black metal framing and mullions and has become widely popular in the interior décor world. A custom corner shower can be built in this Crittall style, and ABC Glass & Mirror offers two ways to achieve this look:
Gridscape shower enclosures are built from glass with black metal framing and mullions on the exterior surface. These enclosures can have a swinging door or a sliding door, and several mullion styles are offered.
Digital printing can also be used to apply ceramic frit to the exterior surface of the glass in the form of mullions. Surrounding the glass with black U-channel completes the Crittall style appearance.
Both options give you a beautiful black metal framed corner shower. Lead times are longer for these special products, but the digitally printed option takes somewhat less time than the gridscape enclosures.
7. Are there various options for the glass?
Your choice of glass style is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in customizing your right angle corner shower. The type of glass determines not only the look of the shower but whether the tile remains visible and how much light passes between the shower stall and the bathroom. Some products come with a specific type of glass, but you can typically pick from:
The last three styles – acid-etched, patterned, and tinted – are considered privacy glass because they obscure vision. The desire for a more private shower stall is probably the main reason for picking one of these, but they can also be chosen for their impact on the look of the shower enclosure. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of privacy glass.
Pro: Vison-obscuring glass makes highly used bathrooms more functional. A more private shower is often desirable for a guest bathroom or one shared by siblings.
Pro: Many styles of privacy glass are manufactured making it easy to tailor the enclosure to your design preferences. Acid-etched glass is “frosted” either across the entire surface or to form a design; patterned glass is available with many different textured patterns; and tinted glass from ABC can be bronze or gray.
Pro: If the inside of a particular shower tends to be messy, privacy glass keeps the disarray out of sight.
Con: On the other hand, if you’ve invested in new shower tile, you might not like hiding it behind privacy glass.
Con: Tinted glass has a smooth surface, but the textured surface of acid-etched and patterned glass is trickier to keep clean.
Con: Visually separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom makes both feel smaller than if you used clear glass.
With these considerations in mind, it’s not surprising that clear glass is more often chosen, especially for main bathrooms. Homeowners like how it shows off the tilework, is easy to wipe clean, creates a sense of spaciousness, and lets light freely flow between the shower and bathroom. The bottom line is, clear glass is typically the best choice, unless a private shower area is needed or your interior décor plan calls for another specific type of glass.
8. Can the metal components by customized?
Be intentional in choosing the shower hardware as well. The decisions you’ll have to make will depend on the door style and level of framing you choose, and some products come with a specific set of options. However, here are some examples that apply to many of the right angle corner showers installed by ABC Glass & Mirror.
Hinge and clip style – square or beveled edges
Handle style – a number of simple and fancy designs
Hardware finish – popular finishes liked brushed nickel and matte black, as well as up to 22 other options
Framing – assorted thicknesses and finishes
The choice of hardware is informed by your decorating goals for the bathroom. Often, the shower enclosure hardware is picked to match the room’s faucet, door knob, towel bars, etc. However, this coordination is not absolutely necessary. For instance, a shower enclosure with black metal framing will look awesome even if the other bathroom hardware is chrome or brushed nickel. In fact, Kris Jarret of Driven by Décor prefers mixing metals and offers tips for successfully doing so. Just remember that the metal on your corner shower has a role to play in your bathroom design, whether that’s tying it in with the rest of the room or contributing to your curated mixture of metals.
9. Does a 90-degree corner shower have a transom?
Some of these corner showers include transoms, while others do not. Here are some FAQs to help you determine if one is desirable for your bathroom.
What is a transom?
A transom is panel – in this case made of glass – installed above a door.
Are transoms fixed or movable?
Both fixed and moving transoms are used on 90-degree glass corner showers.
When and why are fixed transoms used?
If you want to use pivot hinges, you’ll need surfaces below and above the door where the hinges can be attached. If the door doesn’t reach up to the ceiling, something will need to be installed above it. A metal header is one option, but some prefer to minimize metal by having a fixed glass transom installed instead.
When and why are operable transoms used?
An operable transom is needed if the enclosure is for a steam shower. A transom that opens and closes is what allows you to release steam as desired and determine the humidity within the shower.
10. What keeps a glass corner shower looking nice longer?
Besides designing the layout of your shower and picking the perfect glass and metal, there’s one more important step to take: ordering protected glass. When normal tempered glass is used for a shower enclosure, it’s difficult to keep it from being stained or corroded. Why? For one thing, the surface of glass is not really as smooth as it looks. It’s actually covered with infinitesimally small pores, which don’t affect its appearance but provide pockets for soap scum and mineral deposits to build up. We’re all familiar with the hazards of soap scum for shower doors, but tap water itself contains elements that can damage glass over time. Finally, water can react with the sodium occurring in glass to permanently etch the surface with whitish discoloration that can’t be cleaned away.
There are ways to combat these things, such as drying the shower stall after each use so that water doesn’t have as much time to do damage. However, nothing addresses these risks like permanently protected glass. Unlike after-market spray-on or roll-on coatings that need to be re-applied, this glass option has permanent protection applied to its surface before it’s ever installed in your bathroom. This safeguards it against corrosive and staining elements and repels soap and water spots. Benefits of permanently coated glass include:
The glass maintains its sparkling appearance longer.
The glass cleans easily through normal methods and products.
In some cases, the need to dry the shower after each use is eliminated.
You’ll spend more on protected glass, but it’s a way of safeguarding the investment you’ve made in your glass shower enclosure AND making your life easier.
11. How can I have a right angle corner shower installed?
Residents of Northern Virginia and the surrounding areas are invited to contact ABC Glass & Mirror to learn more about custom 90-degree corner shower enclosures and other glass shower options. Our goal is to offer a convenient and hassle-free process that ends with professional installation of a beautiful glass shower enclosure.
Set up a free in-home consultation.
Meet with our estimator to explore options, get questions answered, and view samples.
Receive an emailed price quote.
Place your order.
Relax as a trained crew constructs the corner shower enclosure.
Enjoy your gorgeous glass shower for years to come!
We can also help with other remodeling needs in the bathroom and beyond. Our other popular products include mirrors, glass shelves, cabinet glass, glass partitions, and back-painted glass. Glass has a lot to offer as we work to boost the visual appeal, convenience, and cleanliness of our homes. Its beauty uplifts the room where it’s installed; it can be used to make multi-functional space, to add storage options, and more; and glass is easy to clean and sanitize. Discover what custom glass and mirror has to offer YOUR home by giving us a call at (703)257-7150!