Basic Tub and Shower Sliding Door Terminology

When space is limited, sliding bypass tub and shower doors are an excellent option. Today’s units solve the problem which drove people to use shower curtains – that hateful, impossible to clean bottom track. Modern units have no grooves in the bottom track, and are gently sloped for proper drainage – they are a breeze to keep clean! If your space requires one or more fixed panels in addition, these may either be on the same level (inline) or elevated (buttress).

The choices for tub and shower sliders or “bypass” doors are fairly simple:
framed or “frameless” – although both types have a perimeter frame, the actual glass panels in a framed unit are fully enclosed with metal, and in frameless they are not. Frameless units are more “open” looking, more contemporary in appearance, and offer more options in glass types. We no longer sell framed units, since they are not in demand.

  • Standard or “Euro” frameless – the glass thickness in a good quality standard unit is 3/16″, with the towel bar and pull press-fitted over the edge of the glass. Euros offer at least 1/4″ glass thickness, have pulls and towel bars which mount through the glass, and have heavier aluminum extrusions. In addition, the header has a contemporary, curved face instead of the “squarish” profile typical in standard units.
  • Glass thickness – standard frameless units have a thickness of 3/16″, and Euro frameless sliders have a range of 1/4 to 3/8″. In all instances, glass in non-slider panels, if present, generally does not exceed 3/16″.

Another option to a slider is the shower “screen“. These cover approximately half the tub/shower opening, and can either be fixed or hinged. Made to order, the specific dimensions are up to you within certain limitations, but generally 36″ wide and 60″ tall for tubs, and 72″ or taller for showers. An additional glass panel can also be attached to the screen, allowing for greater coverage. Glass thickness recommended is generally 3/8″, although 1/2” is also available.

Finally, there is the heavy glass partial slider, in which one panel is fixed and the other slides. These units are very high-tech in appearance and serve the purpose where a door/panel is desired, but where space limitations prevent a door from opening fully.


  •  available in brushed or polished stainless steel
  •  made to order
  •  3/8″ of 1/2″ glass thickness
  •  NO bottom track or wall channels
  •  available for tubs or showers
  •  side panels available
  •  professional installation is strongly advised as these units have minimal adjustments