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Which Way Should a Shower Door Open?

If you have a swinging shower door it must be able to open outward. A shower door that only opens inward is against building code. However, you can install a pivot shower door that opens both inwards and outwards to comply with building code. When installing a sliding shower door, you can install the door on whichever side you prefer.

Which way should a shower door open?

Do Shower Doors Swing In or Out?

When installing a hinged shower door it must have the ability to swing outward. This is the building code for all shower enclosures. It ensures safety and allows you to quickly exit the shower in the event of an emergency. If your shower door does not swing outward, it is against building code. A home with an improperly installed shower door cannot be rented or sold as-is.

  • All swinging shower doors must open out.
  • It is against building code to install a shower door that only opens in.
  • You can use a pivot hinge system to install a shower door that opens in both directions.

As long as your shower door opens outward, it can also open inward as well. So, you can install a swinging shower door with a pivot hinge. This will enable the door to open in both directions.

How Should Sliding Shower Doors Open?

A sliding shower door can open in whichever direction you choose. Typically, whether the door slides open on the left or the right depends on your bathroom layout, including the position of toilets or sinks that may make entering and exiting your shower more difficult on one side versus the other.

  • A shower with sliding doors can open on any side you choose.
  • Choose to have your door open in an area that is not obstructed by other bathroom fixtures.
  • It’s typically best to have your shower door slide open on the side that is closest to the faucet controls.

Most homeowners prefer to have their glass panel sliding door open on the end closest to the showerhead. This allows you access to faucets for easy temperature control and water testing before you enter your shower.

Can Shower Doors Be Reversed?

Most swinging shower doors can be reversed by turning them upside-down during the installation process. By turning a swinging shower door upside down, then turning the door so that the hinges are on the opposite side (from right to left or vice-versa) you enable your door to open outward with the hinges on the side you desire.

  • Reverse swinging shower doors by turning them upside down and attaching the hinges to the right side of the shower stall instead of the left.
  • Sliding shower doors are manufactured so they can operate as left-sliding or right-sliding doors.
  • You can alter the installation to reverse the direction your current shower door opens.
  • Do not make any changes to a shower door installation that prevents a swinging door from opening outward.

Many sliding shower doors are designed so that they open from the left or right, depending on how you install them. They feature reversible tracks so that your door will open on whichever side you choose. Typically, you can change your current installation to switch the side your sliding shower door opens on.

What is the Minimum Size for a Shower Door Opening?

According to IRC (International Residential Code), the opening that allows you to enter and exit your shower must be no less than 22 inches (56 cm) wide. Your opening must meet this standard after the shower door has been installed, as well as before. So, you cannot install a shower door that restricts the opening to a size smaller than 22 inches when the door is open.

  • The entrance to your shower must be at least 22 inches wide (56 cm).
  • If you have a shower door, the opening must be at least 22 inches with the shower door open.
  • Never install a shower door that restricts the opening to a width less than 22 inches—this is a violation of building code.

This 22-inch measurement applies to all types of showers. A frameless shower, or a shower stall without a door, must also meet this standard. Any reputable shower door manufacturer will not construct a shower door that does not meet this standard.

What is the Difference Between a Pivot and Hinged Shower Door?

A hinged shower door swings in a single direction. A pivot shower door swings both inward and outward. When installing a hinged shower door it’s essential to plan your work so that the door swings outward. If you are installing a pivot shower door, your job is much easier. Because the door will swing both inward and outward, it’s simple to set the hinges on whichever side of the shower frame you wish.

What Direction Should Your Shower Door Open?

When installing a shower door, keep these rules in mind:

  • Building code states all swinging shower doors must open outward.
  • Pivot-hinged shower doors that open both inward and outward are allowed.
  • Sliding shower doors can open on the left or right side.
  • Shower door openings must be at least 22 inches (56 cm) wide.

By adhering to these quick rules you can easily install all types of shower doors. Your shower configuration and shower design are up to you. Just make sure you meet building code to ensure shower safety and accessibility.

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