Houston Shower Doors and Building Codes

Houston shower doors in blue themed bathroom

Before installing new Houston shower doors, make sure your bathroom design meets building codes.

New Houston shower doors are a must-have for the modern bathroom. If you’re installing or replacing a glass shower enclosure, it’s important to make sure everything meets building codes. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the codes that may apply for your shower remodel.

Creating Code-Compliant Houston Shower Doors and Enclosures

Many people install new Houston shower doors as part of a bathroom remodel. During this process, you may want to change many different things, like the size of your shower, or where it is in your bathroom’s floor plan. 

Of course, you want your bathroom to look great and function well for you and your family. However, it’s also important to remember that your bathroom needs to meet certain standards. Building codes provide these standards for safety. The building code that applies is the International Residential Code (IRC). However, keep in mind that there may be other local codes that apply for your bathroom project. 

Building codes are not only essential for creating a safe and ergonomic bathroom, they are also the law. A bathroom or shower that doesn’t comply with building codes could put you at risk for fines, costs to fix the violations, as well as other issues like your homeowner’s insurance refusing to cover your home. 

So, if you’re getting ready to remodel your shower and install new Houston shower doors, make sure to check local building codes first, Otherwise, you may find yourself in quite a pickle. 

Guidelines for Shower Size

Bathroom codes have standards for many different things, including the size of your shower. While there is no maximum shower size, there is a minimum shower size for safety and comfort. Generally speaking, most showers need to be at least 30 inches by 30 inches square. Therefore, you don’t want to create a glass shower enclosure any smaller than this. 

However, keep in mind that 30 inches by 30 inches may be quite a squeeze for the average adult. Therefore, though this is the minimum size, most people recommend going for at least 36 inches by 36 inches of shower space if you’re able. This will feel more roomy and may save you from banging your elbows against the wall of your shower while trying to shampoo your hair. 

Codes for Houston Shower Doors

There are codes that apply for your Houston shower doors specifically as well. There are many options to choose from for the doors in your shower enclosure, but it’s essential to follow building codes for any option you choose. 

Size of Houston Shower Doors

Building codes say that doors or openings to a shower should be at least 22 inches wide to make it comfortable for the average person to enter and exit the shower enclosure. Narrower doors or openings can make it difficult to get in and out of your shower, which can also be a safety issue. However, once again, the minimum size may not be the standard you should go for in your bathroom. Most people choose a door that is at least 24 inches wide, even going up to about 36 inches wide for plenty of space to get in and out of the shower.

Clearance for Houston Shower Doors

It’s also important to design your shower and bathroom in a way that your Houston shower doors don’t bump into things as you open them. Hinged doors must swing outward according to building codes. This allows someone to reach a person inside the shower in case of an emergency, like a medical issue or a fire. Therefore, you want to make sure there’s plenty of clearance in the floor plan to allow the doors to open easily.

Code requires at least 24 inches of opening clearance. However, if you opt for a larger door, this may not be quite enough. To test it, take a tape measure and open it to the size of your shower door. Then, place one end where the hinges will go and swing it outward to see if you have enough room for a hinged door. If not, there may be other options that will work well for your bathroom. Our shower glass technicians can help you determine the right solutions for your needs.

How Tall Should Shower Glass Be?

The height of your frameless shower doors in Houston is also a subject addressed in building codes. Building codes require shower enclosures to be at least 70 inches high measured from the drain opening to prevent water spilling out into the rest of your bathroom. However, many people place their shower heads higher than the minimum code requirements, so you may need taller doors and panels for your shower enclosure to prevent water splashing onto the floor and other areas of your bathroom. 

Installing Houston Shower Doors in Relation to Other Bathroom Fixtures

As you design your shower, you should also check the distance between the enclosure and your other bathroom fixtures. Even if you are simply replacing an existing shower enclosure, it’s helpful to measure and make sure your bathroom meets building codes. Several parts of the code address how closely different fixtures can be to others.

For a shower enclosure near a toilet, you want to make sure that there is at least 21 inches of free space directly in front of the toilet. To the side, you need at least 15 inches of space to the side of the toilet measured from the middle of the toilet tank. 

You need similar amounts of space around bathroom sinks. So, your shower enclosure will need to be at least 21 inches away from the front of the sink and at least four inches away from the side of the sink. 

Therefore, don’t forget to think about the placement of your Houston shower doors in relation to other bathroom fixtures. 

Other Design Tips for Houston Shower Doors and Enclosures

After you check building codes and have peace of mind you’re on the right side of the law with your new shower, it’s time to think about aesthetics. There are countless ways to design a shower to fit your needs and look beautiful in your bathroom. 

When it comes to your shower glass, the first thing to consider is the shape of the enclosure you want. Most showers are square or rectangular and sit at the corner of the room. However, you can also place your shower against one wall and get three glass panels or even play with the shape to create a curved or neo-angle option. 

Another thing to think about is whether you want framed or frameless shower doors in Houston. Framed options look more traditional and allow you to use thinner glass. You can also choose frame finishes to match the rest of your bathroom, like the color of the shower head and sink faucets. Frameless options are ultra-modern and use a thicker glass, but provide a more spacious look for your bathroom. 

Don’t forget there are also different glass options to choose from. Most people choose clear glass to maximize visual space, but there are other options that afford you more privacy. For instance, frosted glass provides more privacy inside the shower while still letting plenty of light through.

Gorgeous Residential Glass from Apple Glass

Our team at Apple Glass is here to help you create a beautiful shower enclosure for your home. We are glass specialists and offer installation and repair for many different types of glass in your home, including showers, windows, and mirrors. If you’re ready to upgrade your The Woodlands shower doors, we have locations in both Houston and The Woodlands to serve you. Contact us today to get a free quote!

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