Sliding vs. Hinged Shower Doors: Making the Right Choice for Your Space

Bathroom renovations have been a delightful journey in my 15-year career, and shower doors have always held a unique spot in the transformation. Think about it: You begin each morning, and often end each day, in the shower. Your choice of shower door, sliding or hinged shower doors, can greatly influence your bathroom experience. If you’re someone aiming to upgrade that experience, you’re in the right place!

The Tale of Two Doors

Ah, the perennial debate: sliding or hinged? The age-old question of which door type reigns supreme in the bathroom kingdom is not a simple one to answer. However, I find that diving deep into their characteristics, benefits, and some first-hand experiences can provide a clearer picture.

Sliding Shower Doors

Commonly known as bypass doors, Sliding Shower Doors are a godsend for urban apartments and spaces that demand efficient use of every inch. They glide effortlessly on tracks located at the top and bottom of the enclosure.


  • Space-Savers: For bathrooms where every square inch counts, sliding doors are a no-brainer. They don’t intrude into your bathroom space.
  • Modern Aesthetics: If you’re gunning for a modern, minimalist vibe, these doors are your best pals. Their sleek design and the absence of swing space give the room a neat appearance.
  • Seal: One thing that homeowners sometimes overlook is the potential water escape from the shower. Thankfully, sliding doors, especially from reputable brands, are designed with tight seals to keep the water where it belongs.

During a renovation project in a cozy loft downtown, I met a client who was particularly fond of vintage furniture. While her taste in decor was old-school, she had a modern lifestyle, living in a tight space but wanting to maximize function. 

She was torn between maintaining her aesthetic and the practicality of her bathroom space. We found the middle ground with a framed sliding shower door. It married modern functionality with a nod to her vintage tastes, showcasing that sliding doors could indeed be versatile!


However, there are a few considerations to remember:

  • Maintenance: The tracks need a regular cleaning routine. Over time, soap scum and water residues can build up.
  • Size Restrictions: They’re ideal for standard bathtub-sized spaces but might not be the best choice for larger expanses.
  • Lesser Open Space: When fully opened, sliding doors only provide half the full width of the shower entrance.

Sliding shower doors are an excellent choice for those who prioritize space-saving and a modern aesthetic. Remember, it’s not just about looks; it’s about blending functionality with style, something the sliding door does exceptionally well in the right environment. Whether you’re renovating a penthouse or a studio, the sliding door could be the piece de resistance of your bathroom makeover.

Hinged Shower Doors

While the sliding shower doors excel in compact spaces and a modern aesthetic, the grandeur of Hinged Shower Doors cannot be understated. These doors function just like the regular doors in your home, swinging in or out based on the hinge placement.

  • Luxurious Appearance: These doors are what you’ll often find in high-end hotels and lavish homes. Their substantial feel and motion add a touch of sophistication that’s hard to rival.
  • Easy Access: A significant advantage is the full access they offer. Without the restriction of tracks or the need to slide panels, you get an unobstructed entry and exit—perfect for those who might need a little extra space or simply enjoy a grander entrance to their shower.
  • Versatility: Their design ensures compatibility with various setups. Whether you’ve got an alcove shower or a corner one, hinged doors fit like a glove.

Years back, while working on a suburban project, I had a client with an enormous master bathroom—think of it as a mini ballroom! She adored the concept of ‘openness’ and ‘freedom of space’. It’s needless to say that a hinged door was our go-to choice. 

The door’s wide swing, paired with a clear glass, was a sight to behold. Her frequent guests couldn’t help but toss compliments!


Like everything, hinged doors do come with their set of considerations:

  • Space Check: Ensure you have enough room for the door to swing open without hitting any other bathroom fixtures or furnishings.
  • Privacy: Because many hinged doors are broader and more prominent, ensure you’ve considered the level of privacy you desire.
  • Cost: Hinged doors, especially frameless ones, might come at a steeper price due to the thickness of the glass and robust hinges required.

Hinge maintenance, occasional cleaning

In wrapping up, if your bathroom space allows it, and you’re seeking an upgrade that oozes luxury, hinged shower doors might be your best bet. They transform an everyday routine into an elegant ritual. Just ensure you’ve ticked off the practical boxes before diving in, and soon you’ll be showering in style.

What To Consider When Making A Choice

Decisions, decisions! Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Space: Assess the space you’re working with. Remember, sliding doors are ideal for tighter spaces, while hinged doors require room for the swing arc.
  2. Aesthetics: What mood are you trying to set? For a modern look, sliding doors might be your pick. For a classic, elegant aura, hinged doors take the crown.
  3. Usability: If you have mobility issues or prefer wider access, hinged doors offer easy entry and exit.
  4. Maintenance: Sliding doors have tracks that might require periodic cleaning to avoid mold build-up, whereas hinged doors generally have fewer parts to clean.

A Few More Tips Before We Wrap Up

  • Future Plans: If you’re planning to age in your current home, consider accessibility. Hinged doors are often more compatible with grab bars and benches.
  • Budget: While prices can vary based on design and brand, hinged doors, with their thick glass and heavy-duty hinges, might be pricier.
  • Installation: Always consider professional installation for best results. Remember, a door that isn’t correctly installed can lead to leaks or accidents.

Elevate Your Bathroom

ANZZI offers a fabulous array of both sliding and hinged shower doors. With impeccable quality and chic designs, you’re sure to find a fit for your bathroom.

With a commitment to offering unmatched quality and elegance, every product stands as a testament to excellent craftsmanship. Dive into their collection and transform your bathroom into a haven.

Bathroom renovations, especially concerning shower doors, might seem overwhelming. But with the right information and a touch of guidance, you’re on your way to an upgraded shower experience. So, sliding or hinged? Whichever you choose, let it reflect your style and needs. Happy renovating!