Choosing the Right Shower Door for Your Bathroom: Hinge, Bypass, or Pivot?

Choosing the Right Shower Door for Your Bathroom: Hinge, Bypass, or Pivot?

When it comes to upgrading your bathroom, choosing the right shower door is a crucial decision. The market offers a variety of options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Hinge, bypass, and pivot shower doors are popular choices, and selecting the right one depends on factors such as your bathroom layout, style preferences, and even safety concerns, especially for those looking to age in place. In this guide, we will explore the pros and cons of each type to help you make an informed decision.

Hinge Door

Hinge Shower Doors: Classic Elegance with Some Considerations

Hinge shower doors are known for their classic and elegant appearance. They typically consist of a single glass panel that swings open and closed on hinges attached to a wall. One of the primary advantages of hinge doors is the wide range of design options available. Homeowners can choose from various frameless or semi-frameless designs, giving a sleek and modern look to their bathroom.


  • Aesthetically pleasing with a timeless design.
  • Durable and long-lasting when properly maintained.
  • Easy to clean and maintain due to fewer moving parts.
  • Can add additional fixed glass panels for custom shower designs


  • Requires adequate space for the door swing, which might not be suitable for smaller bathrooms.
  • Potential safety concerns, especially for individuals with mobility issues, as the swinging door can be a hazard.
  • Not as airtight as other options, which may result in some water leakage.
Bypass Door

Bypass Shower Doors: Space-Saving and Practical ​

Bypass shower doors, also known as sliding doors, consist of two or more panels that slide past each other on tracks. This design is an excellent space-saving solution, making it ideal for smaller bathrooms or those with limited space for a door swing. Bypass doors are often chosen for their practicality and ease of use.


  • Space-efficient, making them suitable for smaller bathrooms.
  • Smooth sliding mechanism is easy to operate.
  • Versatile design options, including framed, and semi-frameless.


  • Tracks can accumulate soap scum and dirt, requiring regular cleaning.
  • Requires a perimeter metal frame to support the door panels
  • Requires a least a 48” opening width to accommodate easy access
Pivot door

Pivot Shower Doors: Contemporary Style with Accessibility Considerations

Pivot shower doors have a single panel that rotates on a pivot hinge, typically located at the top and bottom of the door. This design offers a contemporary and streamlined appearance, often favored for its minimalist aesthetic. Pivot doors can be a practical choice for individuals with mobility concerns, providing larger size doors and more door location options.


  • Contemporary and stylish, adding a modern touch to the bathroom.
  • Suitable for smaller bathrooms as they have more door location options than hinge doors.
  • Accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges.


  • Pivot doors may not be as airtight as some other options, potentially leading to minor water splashes.
  • Installation can be more complex compared to other types, requiring precise measurements.

Age-in-Place and Safety Considerations

For those planning to age in place or considering the needs of elderly family members, safety is a top priority. Pivot doors may be more suitable in this context due to their accessibility features. Hinge doors, with their swinging motion, might pose challenges for individuals with limited mobility.

Consider installing grab bars and non-slip flooring regardless of the shower door type chosen. These modifications can enhance overall safety and make the bathroom more accessible for everyone.

In the quest for the perfect shower door, homeowners must balance aesthetics, functionality, and safety. Hinge, bypass, and pivot shower doors each offer unique advantages, and the right choice depends on your specific preferences and bathroom layout. When making your decision, consider factors such as space availability, cleaning and maintenance requirements, and the potential impact on safety, especially for those planning to age in place. With careful consideration, you can transform your bathroom into a stylish and functional space that meets your needs and enhances your daily routine.

If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom to create a spa-like experience in the comfort and privacy of your own home, Godby Hearth & Home has everything needed to create a luxurious shower door experience. Visit us at one of our two locations – our Rockville Road showroom or our Carmel Interactive Studio – or give us a call to learn more about our custom shower doors and glass enclosures.

Whether you like to keep things classic and simple with clear shower glass or desire more privacy with one of our many color and pattern options, we can create the custom shower enclosure you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to request your FREE quote and take advantage of our special offer with 10% off your product purchase or project through 3/31/24!