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Glass Shower Trends – Which Looks Are Hot Today?

Clear glass is queen, and matte black, brushed nickel, satin brass, and polished chrome are favorite shower hardware finishes in our Northern Virginia region. I recently asked shower door professionals in a Facebook group which finishes are trending in their areas. With input from various countries and states, the answers could provide clues to emerging trends for the coming year. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look how to incorporate current styles into your space AND consider what the future may hold.


Clear Glass – An Enduring Favorite

The popularity of clear glass seems unlikely to wane any time soon. When you remodel or create a bathroom, lots of time goes into the overall shower design, the choice of tile, the color of the grout, etc., so most prefer NOT to hide the results behind obscure glass. A transparent enclosure offers a few additional benefits:


  • More spacious ambiance for the shower stall and the room as a whole.

  • Brighter, more well-lit shower area.

  • Smooth surface that is easier to wash than textured glass.


Another consideration is the versatility of clear glass. Unlike glass with a unique pattern or color, simple clear glass matches most bathroom styles and themes.


Matte Black Metal in the Bathroom and Beyond


My Facebook conversation confirmed that the popularity of matte black metal extends to other parts of the US, which is not surprising. In fact, a few minutes spent browsing home décor posts will reveal that the combo of clear glass and black metal is being installed throughout the house. On a shower enclosure, there are various ways to use this duo. A few examples:


  • Black framed clear shower screen.

  • Crittall style shower glass.

  • Black hardware on a frameless or semi-frameless shower enclosure.


Matte black is also easy to add to a bathroom even when you’re not re-doing the shower. Thanks to its trendiness, you can find matte black light fixtures, trash cans, toothbrush holders, and so on. As a neutral, black can be introduced into a space even if other metallic finishes are already in use.

Sliding Shower Doors Have Enduring Appeal

Sliding shower doors – bypass and frameless barn style systems – offer space efficiency that’s hard to beat. Taking up even less space than a shower curtain, these enclosures are perfect when the shower is close to another fixture or bathroom floor space is tight in general. Framed and semi-frameless bypass units have been around for many decades. In the not too distant past, frameless rolling shower doors were an innovation, but now leading shower hardware manufacturers offer a variety of frameless sliders. Due to their sleek appearance, these shower doors are also seen in large en suite and primary bathrooms.


Brushed Bronze Is on the Rise


Many shower door pros also highlighted brushed bronze as an up and coming finish that’s giving matte black a run for its money. Bronze is a rich, warm metallic that makes a fashion statement, and brushed bronze will camouflage water spots and smudges in a way that a polished finish cannot. I expect to see brushed bronze used with a variety of bathroom styles, including modern farmhouse, cottagecore, and vintage. If you want to mix metals, brushed bronze and matte black make a beautiful team. (Plus you’d be picking what are arguably two of the most stylish finishes in bathroom design today!)

A Trend to Approach with Caution

Sticking with the gold family of finishes, some designers are loving on unlacquered brass – polished brass with no protective coating to keep it shiny and prevent it from darkening. With time and use, the unfinished brass will develop a patina. As it goes through various stages, the look of this “living finish” does not appeal to all. Opinions are divided on the patina, and even more so on how it looks while getting there. Check out some pictures of unlacquered brass at different stages in this home décor blog post. Unfinished brass has some possible pitfalls:


  • It’s a specialty product with a special price tag.

  • You might get tired of waiting for the patina to develop.

  • You may feel that it looks old and smudgy.


As an alternative, consider choosing the Antique Brass finish (scroll down here to see a sample). Hardware in this finish comes with a uniform aged look AND a protective coating, so you can enjoy the Old World look from Day 1.


Pro Tips on Trends

In conclusion, it’s important to keep these and all trends in perspective:


  • No matter how trendy something is, don’t spend money on it if you don’t like it.

  • If you’re concerned about resale appeal or want a look that will wear well with time, find trends that are also classics. Examples include neutral tones like black, natural materials like wood and stone, and versatile products like clear glass.

  • If you want to embrace a daring trend or fad, do so by way of inexpensive and easily replaceable items. For large fixtures and expensive installation, choose something more tried and true.


Shower design questions? Feel free to give the ABC Glass & Mirror team a call at (703) 257-7150.

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