According to the National Institute on Aging, nearly 80% of falls happen in the bathroom. As an aging-in-place contractor, I can vouch for the importance of bathroom safety and the peace of mind a redesign can bring for you and your loved ones.
Converting your current tub/shower combo into a zero-threshold shower is one of the most effective changes you can make in your bathroom to eliminate falls. I’ve covered how to do this in my article, Converting a Tub to a Zero-Threshold Shower. One of the key steps, of course, is getting new shower doors after you’ve finished the conversion!
To change out those shower doors you will need to make a few decisions before placing your order. First, measure your new shower’s opening to determine what size doors you will need. Standard measurements for a tub/shower combo are 60” and a stand-alone shower is 48”. Delta shower tracks can be cut to match your shower opening, which is one of the reasons I like Delta’s shower door products. Bear in mind, however, that the glass panels cannot be cut. This means ordering the correct size door is key.
Once you measure the size of the doors, the next important feature is style! Safety can still be stylish. Match the trim colors to the current fixtures in your bathroom for a cohesive look. A chrome finish provides a contemporary look and makes the room brighter, while a brushed nickel finish offers a classic style and a warmer room. For a bolder look that’s bound to make your shower the centerpiece of the bathroom, consider a rubbed bronze finish. There are also different finishes to the glass itself: crystal clear, frosted, and what Delta calls “transition glass” so you can have the best of both!
Delta Shower Semi-Frameless Traditional Sliding Shower Doors
Delta’s dual sliding doors make your shower more accessible for turning on your water or restocking shower supplies. Most shower doors on the market have one sliding panel and one stationary panel, which can make reaching the entire shower more difficult. In a bathroom, difficulty translates to danger and danger translates to injury.
Delta’s semi-frameless Traditional Sliding Shower Doors are made of ANSI-certified tempered glass for both safety and strength and are also treated with Spot Guard, making them easy to clean and resistant to hard-water spots.
One of the most important decisions to make when choosing one of Delta’s shower door sets is whether you want a trinsic or classic/traditional style. The trinsic style is essentially two handles—one on the outside and one on the inside. The classic style is a single handle on the outside with knobs on the inside that allow you to effortlessly slide the door one way or the other.
While there are many options to choose from, I’ve narrowed them down to 3 finish combinations that will deliver both safety and style.
This contemporary head-turner will brighten any bathroom remodel. The clear glass keeps the shower area bright and full of light compared to using a curtain or opaque glass. The exterior trinsic towel bar/handle is perfect for keeping your dry towel at arm’s reach. The interior trinsic handle is perfect for hanging washcloths or luffas and can also be used to steady yourself as you are exiting. The high quality, elegant finish, and clean look of this product have made it a favorite for my customers, and the doors and frame are a breeze to install.
This is an extremely popular door set, because of its modern look. The chrome is beautifully polished and resistant to spotting, while the frame has an exposed roller design at the top that gives the entire unit a somewhat industrialized look. While it does come with your choice of frosted glass, a textured glass Delta calls “rain,” or a transition pattern that features stripes of clear and frosted glass, I personally like the transition glass panels. This pattern threads the needle between maintaining plenty of interior brightness, but also adding a little privacy. Light shines through the clear stripes, so older eyes can see, while the frosted stripes provide a bit of modesty.
A couple important notes about these doors, however. First, Delta provides a water diverter for the bottom of this door set as some customers have complained about water splashing outside of the shower doors. The diverter takes care of this problem, but it is admittedly a design flaw. Second, it’s vitally important you properly measure and square the wall mounts that come with this set to prevent gaps. This isn’t something you’re going to want to “eyeball.”
This shower door set offers all the perks of the bronze version, but with a shorter-width frame. Fitting widths between 43 3/8” and 47 3/8”, this custom frame is perfect for smaller, standalone showers. The textured glass surface offers plenty of privacy and has the feel of a spa. Like the other trinsic door set mentioned above, the door handles on the inside are great for keeping your balance; the glass doors are sturdy and can help prevent falls.
One of the nicer features of all these delta doors is their full-frame glide. Neither door is stationary, so each door can slide all the way from one jamb to the other without catching.
Make sure you have another able-bodied person helping you when you install these doors. Regardless of which type of finish you choose, each door features 1/4” tempered glass, making them quite heavy. Also, be sure to use a level before installation to determine whether your walls are plumb. The straightness of your walls can impact the fit of the doors and the tracks.
**Pro Tip:** You might want to consult a professional if you plan to install these in showers with ceramic wall tile. Drilling into ceramic tile isn’t for the faint of heart, and a measuring mistake can leave you with unsightly holes that are tough to hide.
If you are taking the time to replace your shower doors, think about the other shower accessories too. Head over to my list of favorite Delta handheld showerheads to complete your renovation. Delta shower doors will not only upgrade the look and feel of your bathroom but also contribute to the safety of your loved one.
If you decide to tackle this installation project yourself, be sure to reach out and let me know how it went. Good luck!
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