Which bathtub sliding door is best?
Sliding doors improve the look of your bathtub and make getting in and out easy whether you are bathing or showering. Sliding doors keep water where it belongs better than shower curtains. They are easier to clean and less likely to collect mold. Unlike full-length sliding doors for showers, sliding doors for bathtubs are made so the frame sits atop the side of the tub.
The type of frame, glass and hardware all factor in the price of bathtub sliding doors. If you are looking for a sleek and modern frameless bathtub sliding door for your bathroom makeover, consider the DreamLine Mirage-X 56-60-Inch Frameless Sliding Tub Door.
What to know before you buy a bathtub sliding door
Bathtub sliding doors are almost all glass, so choosing the right glass for your needs and preferences is an important first step.
Safety glass is essential in bathtub doors. You have two choices of what happens if your bathtub sliding door ever breaks.
- Tempered glass is the most common type and is the same material found in car windows. It is stronger and more durable than the window glass found in homes. When broken, safety glass does not fracture into pieces with sharp edges. Instead, it breaks into small pebble-like pieces that do not cause cuts or injuries.
- Laminated glass has two outer layers of thin glass sandwiched around a plastic inner layer. In the case of breakage, the plastic holds both outer glass sheets in place and no pieces fall to the floor.
Most of the glass in bathtub sliding doors is between ⅛ and ½ inch thick. Thicker glass is used in frameless bathtub sliding doors to provide greater structural support. However, the thinner glass that is used in budget bathtub sliding doors is not as safe and is more likely to break.
There are four common styles of glass, each admitting a different type and amount of light.
- Clear glass is the most common choice. It is the least expensive and the hardest to keep clean.
- Patterned glass has designs etched on the surface and is favored by many who want to add a decorator’s touch.
- Textured glass is translucent and offers more privacy by blurring what is seen from both inside and out while still admitting all the light.
- Frosted glass is a privacy glass with an etched or sandblasted finish that obscures the view in both directions.
To learn even more about bathtub sliding doors, take a look at the full bathtub sliding door buying guide from BestReviews.com.
What to look for in a quality bathtub sliding door
Bathtub sliding doors are made in full-framed, frameless and semi-frameless styles.
- Full-framed doors: These doors are the least expensive of the three, contain the most metal and provide the tightest water seal. The metal runs along the top, bottom and sides of the glass panels.
- Frameless sliding doors: The most elegant and the most expensive are the frameless sliding doors. The only metal is at the hinge points and the handles. Frameless sliding doors are found in minimalist bathrooms.
- Semi-frameless tub doors: These have metal along the top edge of the glass panels but not the sides.
All three door frame types have some metal parts, like hinges and handles, and some have full or partial frames. These metal surfaces are usually finished in chrome because chrome is the most common surface found in the bathtub fixtures, faucets and controls in most homes. However, better finishes like stainless steel, polished brass and brushed nickel allow people to give custom looks to their sliding glass doors.
Water-resistant coatings applied by the manufacturer are a good feature to have if you want to save cleaning time. They prevent the buildup of mold and soap scum and make the glass easier to clean.
How much you can expect to spend on a bathtub sliding door
Midrange bathtub sliding doors cost between $250-$350. Here you will expect to find better glass and better finishes. Bathtub sliding doors under $250 will be made of lower-quality materials. Above $350, you will find smooth-operating, frameless bathtub sliding doors with the best glass panels and best coatings.
Bathtub sliding door FAQ
Can I install my bathtub sliding door myself?
A. You will be dealing with glass and metal in a tiled environment that is made to be wet. Unless you are an avid DIYer with a workshop full of tools, you are better off leaving it to professionals so you don’t get leaks.
What is the best number of shower doors to have?
A. The choice is yours. Some like a large single movable door. Others like having two or three doors that slide in either direction because different people can use it in different ways.
What’s the best bathtub sliding door to buy?
Top bathtub sliding door
What you need to know: The frameless design of this tub door is very sleek and modern and ideal for custom baths.
What you’ll love: A single large door slides open for easy access to the bathtub. The L-bar provides a streamlined look and structural support. The proprietary ClearMax coating is water-resistant and protects against the buildup of lime and scale. The aluminum frame is anodized to resist corrosion.
What you should consider: This product is pricey, and the installation is challenging.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bathtub sliding door for the money
What you need to know: The unique dual sliding door design opens at the center.
What you’ll love: This sliding tub door looks great with any bathroom decor. This product has smaller handles than most sliding bathtub doors. The ANSI-certified tempered glass repels water and resists water spotting. The aluminum frame has a chrome finish.
What you should consider: It has only a 4-inch width adjustment.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Choose the glass style, handle and track that you like best.
What you’ll love: This 1-2-3 shower door is a beautiful product that fits many different installations with its 8-inch range of adjustment. The large handles are conveniently placed and easy to use, and this product’s certified safety glass is coated to resist water spots.
What you should consider: This unit needs a perfectly level bathtub area.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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