As enclosures go quadrants are one of the most popular choices for UK households.
But why is that? What are the benefits of these curved glass models and why should you buy one?
First things first. When we talk about quadrant shower enclosures we mean showers that have essentially a square footprint with one corner rounded off. These curved shower enclosures are for corner fitting only.
Out of the box quadrant shower doors are assembled into a single frame. This might comprise of up to 4 pieces of glass. That’s if you have 2 fixed side panels and 2 sliding or hinged doors. Nonetheless, it will always make up a single framed structure, you don’t need to add side panels as with most shower doors for a corner installation.
The Benefits Of A Quadrant Shower Enclosure
Let’s look at some of the benefits and give you the perfect reason to buy a quadrant shower enclosure.
Wide Corner Access
A problem with many showers is that the access is either very slim or awkward to get in. A quadrant as small as 800mm will still have a 450mm entry, approximately. And with the UK population having an average dress size of size 16, access width and comfort is important. So put a quadrant on your shopping list if you haven’t exactly been calorie counting.
Cheap As Chips
Because there’s lots of competition between manufacturers for your money the price has been driven down. Bear in mind that a race to the bottom has meant lots of poor quality fittings on the market. If you do your research though, you can grab a bargain and bag a cheap quadrant shower enclosure.
Plenty Of Choice
Quadrants are popular which means every shower door manufacturer out there has at least one offering. They can differ in size, style, handing (more on that later!) and glass thickness resulting in lots of price point and aesthetic options. Whether you want a budget 4mm for a student house or a frameless 10mm for a swanky apartment there are models to suit.
A Perfect Style Statement
Lets face it many of us like our curves. Compared with square enclosure comprised of a door and a side panel the curved quadrant just looks the business. The way light catches the curve of glass and the fact you can see right into the shower space. They just look better and more inviting and can also show off the tile work or panel design within.
This is especially true if you’re looking into the frameless variety. Exposed fittings, taller glass and oversized rollers really look the part as far as shower enclosures go.
Contained Within The Corner Space being Used
For a small bathroom it might be essential that the doors of the shower don’t open into the bathroom space. More often than not curved shower enclosures have single or double sliding doors. So there’s no need to impact on any other area of the bathroom.
Off course there are quadrants with hinged doors but you’re only going to choose one of these if you have the room. The reality is that most don’t impact the rest of the space around them and are self contained.
Other Things To Consider
We’ve looked at the benefits but now we need to get to the nitty-gritty of things you need to consider before purchasing a quadrant shower door.
If you have a free corner in your bathroom and either have existing or the capability to install suitable plumbing then you’re ready to decide on the size you require.
A larger shower will equate to a better showering experience. However it shouldn’t be so large that it looks out of proportion with the rest of the space. Also you don’t want glass encroaching too close to basins or toilets where it could potentially receive impacts from a stray elbow.
Below are the most common sizes on the market. You should be aware that not all manufacturers make all sizes and some more expensive models will only be available in the most popular selling sizes.
800mm – popular
900mm – popular
Offset Quadrant Sizes – The elongated quadrant variety
900 x 800mm
1000 x 800mm – popular
1000 x 900mm
1100 x 800mm – very rare
1100 x 900mm – very rare
1200 x 800mm – popular
1200 x 1000mm – popular
Glass Style Considerations
The cheap quadrant shower enclosures will probably be specified with 4mm clear glass. As the thickness of glass increases so does the price.
Generally 6mm doors will suit most families. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy, there’s plenty of choice and the door will feel assured and robust and not flimsy like what you might experience in a mobile home for example.
Again low priced doors will be standard clear glass. Frosted, tinted, like the Aquaglass above, or other special finishes will be less affordable. Designer features impact the manufacturing cost and ultimately your wallet.
Types Of Quadrant Shower
Although the footprint of a quadrant is roughly the same, a square with a rounded corner, there are still 3 distinct types of quadrant.
Frameless quadrants are probably the most expensive design. They are generally taller, incorporate thicker glass and have only minimalist frames. This is generally comprised of slim vertical wall profiles and no top or bottom framework. On the very best models like the Phoenix Motion pictured above, they often incorporate exposed, oversized rollers for the doors to glide on.
9 out of 10 quadrant shower doors will incorporate sliding doors. Each door glides on 2 top and 2 bottom rollers that run along a thin aluminium track.
These are smooth and quiet to open and take up no additional bathroom space. The downside is that at some point you may need to replace the mechanical rollers. Most manufacturers stock these as spares and a decent warranty will cover you for a few years.
The only other distinction with sliding door designs is that they might incorporate 1 rather than 2 doors. The single door slider is seen as a little more upmarket than the 2 door counterpart. Kind of like the difference between a coupe and a saloon in terms of cars. As with a car they tend to be a little more expensive because of the larger single curved piece of glass.
The last type of quadrant are those that come with hinged doors, like Idyllic above from Phoenix. These are much less popular with manufacturers and with the public. You’ll need a larger bathroom space or at least enough of a space where the doors can open out with this design.
Hinged models are usually specified with thicker 8mm glass too and often incorporate oversized designer hinges. They also tend to be of the frameless variety.
Wrapping It Up
We hope to have given you enough food for thought if you’re considering buying a quadrant shower enclosure. You can view a full range here and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the design and the suitability for your bathroom space.
Hello, my name is Dean.
Together with my business partner we own and operate Shower Enclosures UK.com Ltd.
We’ve been running the business for over 9 years and have amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge and expertise on the subject of shower and bathroom hardware. Enough that we’ve been able to put together a series of blog posts that should make buying bathroom goods that little bit simpler and help answer all the most popular questions.
If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on please let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn
Thanks for taking the time to read our posts.