Having a bathtub in your bathroom is undeniably luxurious, but it's understandable if you don't want to give up the convenience of having a shower with a glass door. Thankfully, it's possible to combine the usefulness of a glass shower door with the comfort of a full-size bathtub, and many homeowners choose to install bathtubs with glass doors in their bathrooms. Before you pick out the perfect bathtub for your home, however, it's important to learn everything you can about these types of bathtubs to make sure you pick the right glassed-in bathtub for your needs.
What Is a Bathtub with a Glass Door?
These types of bathroom fixtures have full-size tubs that you can walk into, but they also have glass doors. Most tubs simply have shower curtains, which makes tubs with glass doors relatively rare.
These doors are often equipped with long handles that you can use to keep yourself upright while you take a shower or hang towels that you can use once you're done with a shower. While there are glass doors for bathtubs with unconventional shapes, such as ovals, most of these doors are made for tubs with straight sides.
What Types of Glass Doors Are Offered for Bathtubs?
One of the primary differences between the doors for these tubs is the relative transparency of the glass that is used. Some of these doors may have fully transparent glass, which can make your bathroom look bigger when the tub doors are closed. However, transparent glass doors also show even the tiniest amounts of grime or stains.
Other doors are somewhat opaque, which provides you with privacy while you're showering or bathing. In addition, you don't have to clean opaque shower doors every time you take a shower.
In almost every case, the glass doors that are used with tubs are sliding doors. These types of doors are space-efficient, and they run on tracks that are easy to install on the rim of your tub.
Some homeowners, however, may prefer to have pivot doors on their tubs. These doors are convenient if you have a large bathroom, but they make it so that you can only enter your bathtub from one side.
Why Might You Want a Bathtub with a Glass Door?
Are you tired of always getting water on the floor when you take a shower in your tub? Over time, this water can seep into your walls and under your tub and cause rot or other types of damage, which means that shower curtains could actually damage your home over time.
If you install a glass door on your bathtub, however, you can all but eliminate any chance of getting water on the floor while you take a shower. It's still possible to track water with you when you step out of the tub, but these types of glass doors create nearly perfect seals between the area inside and outside of your shower, so unless your shower door springs a leak, the floor outside your shower should stay perfectly dry.
In addition, bathtubs with glass doors are aesthetically pleasing. Even though these types of doors are relatively inexpensive, they have an air of affluence about them, which means that they will impress your guests when they use your bathroom. Plus, since glass shower doors are either fully transparent or semi-transparent, they make your bathroom look bigger and more elegant.
You'll also enjoy the fact that glass bathtub doors require very little cleaning and maintenance. While you have to wash or replace inner shower curtains every few months because of inevitable mildewing, it shouldn't ever be necessary to replace the glass doors on your bathtub. To take care of your doors, all you usually need to do is use water and a squeegee to clean them off every week or so.
There's also an element of safety involved in picking a glass door for your bathtub; the tempered glass used for glass bathtub doors is very sturdy, which means that if you happen to fall against it, neither you nor your bathtub door should be hurt. Shower curtains, on the other hand, are flimsy, and they won't support your weight if you fall against them. To make matters worse, it's easy to entangle yourself in your shower curtain if you aren't careful.
How Do You Install a Bathtub with a Glass Door?
First, you'll need to determine whether or not your bathtub is compatible with a glass door. In most cases, it's easiest to install a glass door on a bathtub that's been installed specifically for this purpose; if your bathtub has tiled walls on three sides already, it's a perfect fit for a glass door.
Claw-footed freestanding bathtubs, however, are the worst candidates for glass doors. To install a glass door on this type of bathtub, you'd need to create an all-around glass enclosure, and the result would be a cramped and uncomfortable bathing or showering experience.
While it's certainly possible to purchase a glass door for a bathtub with curved sides, these types of doors generally cost more. In general, it's easiest to install these types of doors on bathtubs that only have one exposed flat side, but it's also possible to build glass enclosures around a rectangular tub that is exposed on more than one side.
Once you've determined that your bathtub is compatible with a glass door, it's time to prepare for the installation process. Since glass doors for bathtubs are relatively heavy and delicate, it's best to have professionals install these doors for you. In most cases, professional shower door installers will use a combination of metal fasteners and epoxy to keep your new bathtub door in place, and if you decide to do the installation yourself, you'll need to make sure that you have professional-grade materials.