If you have installed an over-bath shower then you will have had to make a choice as to what you are going to use to keep the shower water from splashing out onto the bathroom floor. One of the most common solutions is to fit a bath shower screen, and they come in several different types:
- straight shower screen
- bifold shower screen
- 4 fold shower screen
- 5 fold shower screen
- curved shower screens
These are the main options although there are a few other designs that are less common.
A large number of modern bath shower screens are of the “frameless” design. The lack of a frame means there is no hard edge around the glass surface. This helps in making the room feel less enclosed. Bath shower screens have a habit of making the room feel like it has been cut in half when a frame surrounds the glass.
Other over-bath shower protection options include shower curtains. But these do not look as neat and require the curtain to be washed regularly to avoid mould growth.
The following screens are available online from Amazon and Royal Bathrooms – we get a small commission on any qualifying purchases.
CLICK ANY OF THE PICTURES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Straight Bath Shower Screen
The straight shower screen is the most popular type. It consists of a flat plane of safety glass with an arched top, which is attached to a wall post via a hinge. The screen can pivot around but cannot be folded flat against the wall. This is because they are usually slightly too long and their path is usually obstructed by the bath taps.
One of the main drawbacks of this type of bath shower screen is that it does not protect a long enough section of the bath from shower spray (see photo above). This is one of the reasons some people stick with a bathroom shower curtain.
The straight-bath shower screen is basically a permanent feature in the bathroom. It can make a small bathroom feel a little claustrophobic because of this as it cuts the available space in half. Folding it in can help but as mentioned previously, they will not fold flat against the end wall. And the more that you move them the quicker the rubber seals will deteriorate. Bath shower screen seals can be purchased separately but some screens do not accept universal designs.
They are pretty effective, however, and they are usually pretty cheap.
Curved Shower Screen
One relatively recent development in bath design has been the arrival of the shower bath.
This consists of a standard bath but with a bulged area at the tap end. This provides a more generous showering area. These areas can be in the form of a curved section or they can have straight sides depending on the design.
You would normally buy the screen for this type of bath at the same time as the bath itself. And there is one very good reason for this – they are not standard-sized.
The size, shape and position of the enlarged area vary from make to make. And many baths will be “unbranded” or rebranded from far-east manufacturers. So if you need a replacement there’s a chance an off-the-shelf screen will fit your bath but it might not be perfect.
One way to check is to make a template in cardboard of your bath rim where the screen sits and take it along to a showroom to see if things line up. With straight-edged shower baths, you can just take some measurements.
4 Fold Shower Screen
The 4 fold shower screen is another popular method of over-bath shower protection. This type of screen folds in a concertina fashion. Unlike the curved shower screen, it is not permanently extended along the bath. However, folding this type of screen back on itself has two problems.
Firstly the folded screen is still quite obtrusive. And secondly, this type of screen can be difficult to move if it is fitted too tightly to the bath (but if it is fitted too loosely it does not seal properly to the bath). The panels themselves are made from framed glass or acrylic, with a rubber seal at the bottom of each section.
As the above diagrams show the 4 fold bath screen does offer a little more protection along the length of the bath than the curved shower screen, but it is still shorter than a shower curtain.
5 Fold Shower Screen
The 5 fold shower screen offers a little bit more by way of protection, as there is an extra panel included which will cover more of the bath length. You could also angle the final section inboard slightly to further increase the level of protection from deflected spray escaping the bath.
This screen is even bulkier when folded than a 4-section one. But it is probably neater overall than a one-piece screen.
Bi-fold Shower Screen
This type of folding shower screen basically does the same job as those above but cannot fold flat against the wall unless the taps are side-mounted. A bi-fold shower screen is usually left folded in half so that the screen is not fully extended when not in use.
There are also some other types of shower screens:
- telescopic shower screen – pulls out along the bath (these tend to be quite expensive)
- enclosed shower screen – fits wall to wall and turns your bath into a shower enclosure
- corner bath shower screen – some 5 fold shower screens can be used on curved bath edges (but not all)