Buyers Guide to Pivot Shower Doors

Pivot shower doors are ideal for corner showers and frameless showers because of their versatile and simple design. Pivot shower doors give you the option to have a shower door that swings both into and away from the shower.

How Does a Pivot Shower Door Work?

Pivot shower doors work by taking pivotal hinges and attaching them to the top and bottom panels of the shower door. This allows the shower door to open and close on a pivot, rather than a traditional swinging hinge.

Pivotal shower doors are ideal for corner showers because they can fit many shower door openings without adding any additional panels. Corner showers typically open from the angled side of the shower. Therefore, the easiest and most functional door for this type of shower is a pivot shower door.

The Pivot Shower Door Buying Guide

When buying a pivot shower door, there are a few decisions you need to make.

What kind of glass do you prefer? How thick will the glass need to be? Will you choose a nickel, bronze, brass, or chrome finish? Will your shower have a frame, or will it be frameless?

Let’s break these questions down into the categories in which they belong; that way, you can easily decide which pivot shower door is right for you.

Frame or No Frame?

There are pros and cons to both framed showers and frameless showers.

A framed shower means that an aluminum frame is installed to the shower to keep the shower door securely in place, as well as contain as much water as possible within the shower. A framed shower is also drastically cheaper than a frameless shower door.

A frameless shower means that the shower door is attached to pivot hinges on the top and bottom panels of the shower; however, there are no side jambs within the shower walls for the shower door to attach to. This means there is no airtight seal that will keep the water from staying within the shower. This is one of the disadvantages of having a frameless shower.

Alternatively, a frameless shower provides a more luxurious look, feel, and experience, which makes the frameless shower concept a desirable one. Unlike a framed shower, the frameless shower is substantially more expensive than the framed option.

Choose Your Glass: Thickness, Design, and Tempered/Laminated

When choosing a pivot shower door, you need to consider the type of glass that the door will be made out of.

First, you should consider the thickness.

Glass doors come in four different measurements of thickness: ¼”, ½,” ⅜,” and 5/16”. Framed showers do not require as thick of glass as a frameless shower requires. This is because the frame of the shower provides ample support to hold a thinner pane of glass than a frameless shower requires.

If you are using a framed shower, you can choose a thinner pane of glass, such as ¼” or 5/16”.

If you are using a frameless shower, you should choose a thick glass of ⅜” or greater.

Once you have decided on the thickness of the glass, you should think about the design. There are many designs of glass you can choose from.

Clear glass provides a modern, clean, and luxurious look to any bathroom. The downside to clear glass is the lack of privacy, as clear glass provides no distortion or privacy within the shower.

A frosted glass shower door gives you both privacy as well as a beautiful design.

Your other option is to choose a shower door with an artistic image on it. This will give you both a private setting as well as an upscale and luxurious aspect.

The last feature you need to consider is tempered or laminated glass. Tempered glass is commonly used for glass surfaces that may experience drastic temperature and tension changes. If broken, tempered glass will shatter into millions of tiny pieces that will likely have no sharp edges. This is the safety feature of tempered glass, which is what makes it a desirable option for many household products, including shower doors.

Laminated glass may be chosen for a shower door due to the concept that, if broken, the pieces of glass will stay adhered to one of the laminated sides of the glass. While the concept sounds safe, there is always a chance the glass will not stay stuck to the laminated sides, causing large and sharp pieces of glass to fall onto the floor.

Choose a Finish for the Hinges and Handle

The last decision you will need to make when buying a pivot shower door is the type of finish you want the hinges and handle to have.

Pivot shower doors are typically available in four different finishes: bronze, chrome, brass, and nickel.

This decision is one you should make based on how you want the shower to look and has relatively nothing to do with functionality, safety, or overall design.

The hinges and handle of the shower door will match one another. Still, more importantly, they should match the remaining handles of cabinets, doorknobs, or other accessories that are located within the bathroom.

For example, if you have bronze doorknobs, handles, and toilet paper holders, you should choose a shower door with bronze hinges and handles as well. You would not want to choose a shower door that has a finish that does not match the remainder of the handles, doorknobs, or accessories that are already in place in the bathroom.


Buying a pivot shower door does not have to be an overwhelming process if you break it down into three compartmentalized categories: frame, glass, and finish.

Once you decide what to choose in each of these three areas, you will be able to narrow your options down to finding the perfect pivot shower door for your bathroom.

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