Help us keep the water in the tub
October 4, 2012 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Need your experiences with bathtub door/screen that doesn't cover the width of the tub.

We're remodeling our bathroom, and I'm considering installing this type (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3) of partial glass door/screen instead of sliding glass shower doors or a shower curtain. I'd like to hear from anyone who has this type of door/screen, in particular whether it is effective in keeping the water in the tub and off the floor. The tub walls are tile to the ceiling, and the floor is tile, so a little water isn't a disaster. Also, we are two adults who don't get too crazy in the shower.
posted by Joleta to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
I don't have one of these doors, so I can't give specific advice, but one thing to think about is where you stand in the shower relative to the water. I've noticed that I tend to stand farther back in the tub so in your first example, I'd be standing right where the door ends. Chances are the water would splash off of me and past the door.

Your preferences may vary based on how far out your water sprays from the wall. But it's something to consider as well I'd think. Otherwise, I think those look pretty cool!
posted by MultiFaceted at 7:21 PM on October 4, 2012

How high is your water pressure? I often only pull our curtain across partway (to give myself more space to move around in our narrow tub) but the main reason this works is that our water pressure is pitiful, so the water doesn't fly fast enough to escape the tub.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:27 PM on October 4, 2012

I intend to get one of those when I remodel, so I will be curious to hear about everyone else's experiences. I absolutely love it when I find this setup in hotels, though the effectiveness varies based on how long the glass extends. For the most part if you're not a thrasher in the shower, it should be able to keep your water in the tub.
posted by roomwithaview at 7:27 PM on October 4, 2012

This is somewhat standard in Scandinavian countries and some other Northern European countries. I don't understand why, though – it's awful and fails miserably at its intended purpose (unless you just want to keep that one tiny corner of your bathroom dry). Perhaps I don't know how to use it correctly, but even after six months of living with this thing and using it daily, the bathroom was always a mess after a shower. I'm 5' tall and I couldn't keep the bathroom dry, much less my 6'2" tall husband. Avoid, especially if you've never used one.

It was especially bad when I was visiting friends with the same type of enclosure and hardwood floors in the bathroom. I got an extended briefing – complete with lots of expletives regarding said enclosure – on how exactly to wipe the hardwood floors after each shower so they don't get ruined.
posted by halogen at 7:30 PM on October 4, 2012

It makes it really difficult to turn on the water without getting soaked yourself. Which is a hassle if you don't have instant hot water.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:35 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've used them in hotels and not had any problems. To me, the nice thing would be that if you have a tub, you can then sit on at least part of the tub and soak your feet or shave your legs or whatever and not have to worry about a shower-door track.

The negative has been that if they swing out, they sometimes don't swing out far enough to make entering or exiting the shower comfortable, or else they get in the way of other parts of the bathroom.
posted by jaguar at 7:35 PM on October 4, 2012

Do Not Do This. We had one and water always got out the open side. After a couple months we finally ripped it out and put in full coverage.
posted by Runes at 7:46 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Ugh, no, don't do that. My experience has been just like halogen's when I've used this type of enclosure. She and I are a similar height and my husband, who is the same height as hers, really hates this type of enclosure.
posted by gudrun at 7:47 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I regularly only pull my regular shower curtain half way across the shower rod because there is a towel hanging on the other half. Doesn't really seem to be a problem in my case. It does however present a cheap way of trying it out for your self. Buy a cheap wedge type shower curtain rod (either spring loaded or the kind that expands via screw action) and a cheap shower curtain. Install the rod at the height of the glass and string the shower curtain so that it covers the width and then take a few showers.

Or take a cheap shower curtain and use either contact adhesive or tape to fasten it to a piece of card board the shape of your proposed glass and then just duct tape it to the shower and see how it works out for you over the course of a week.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 PM on October 4, 2012

I recently moved to the UK where these are standard. We have fairly good water pressure and as a result every time I bend down to pick up shampoo, soap, etc from the shelf (or to shave my legs) water splashes off me and floods the corner of the bathroom where it's open. Hate it. Looking for ways to replace with a shower curtain. Don't do it.
posted by olinerd at 12:25 AM on October 5, 2012

Not what you asked, but another thing to consider is whether there's enough space adjacent to the tub for the door to open without blocking the bathroom doorway, or whacking a sink or toilet.
posted by jon1270 at 1:43 AM on October 5, 2012

These are very common in the UK. In one of our bathrooms we have a folding one not dissimilar to this one, which has the benefit of collapsing mostly out of the way when you just want to use the bath. I'd recommend it over a fixed one.

You'd ideally want a hand-held shower head on a hose for this set-up (again, pretty much standard in the UK), because you can point the head somewhere safe while the water warms up, and it's then quite easy to keep the water pointed inwards into the space while you take your shower.

Ours is a powerful shower, and there's inevitably some spray. Some of this spray makes its way to the floor outside the bath. As we've got a wooden floor, we have a cotton bath mat next to the tub that we can slide along to the unscreened half, and that fixes that.

They're fine. You just have to (a) have the right style of shower, (b) buy the longest screen you can, and (c) be a bit less carefree in the shower than you would be were it fully enclosed. Much easier to clean than a shower curtain, and it stays where it's put.
posted by pipeski at 1:46 AM on October 5, 2012

I frequently go to a place that has only this style. It's definitely stylish, but only seems to work if you use a hand-held shower attachment so you can control the flow (and even then you can inadvertently soak the floor). What happens every time I shower with the shower head is that the water pools on the edge of the tub, then reaches a critical mass and floods the floor.

It also is less effective at steam-containment, so you have to mop the mirror or wait a lot longer to use it than in bathrooms where the shower enclosure is more complete.
posted by Mchelly at 3:32 AM on October 5, 2012

My parents newly remodeled bathroom has a glass panel that covers half the bath tub. I thought there would be a lot more water on the floor but there really isn't.

Except when my brother uses it but he'd practically flood the bathroom floor even when there was a full door. I have no idea what that boy does, all I know is I learned very quickly to do my bathroom stuff BEFORE I put on socks in the morning.
posted by magnetsphere at 8:33 AM on October 5, 2012

Response by poster: I like the idea of trying Mitheral's experiment before we decide. From everyone's answers, it sounds like an individual thing: some people have problems and others don't. I don't want to go for style over functionality, if that means dis-functionality.
posted by Joleta at 3:26 PM on October 5, 2012

This is popular in hotels outside the US for some reason.

Here's my experience with it on those occasions.
posted by MeatFilter at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2012

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