Some individuals choose glass shower doors because they look nice and they let in light when you are in the shower. The trade-off from having something that looks good, however, is a significant decrease in safety & accessibility. We dislike them in any home, and because our focus is on safety and aging in place, we strongly encourage the removal of sliding or swinging glass shower/tub doors. Why? There are several reasons.
Decrease In Access to Bathing Area
Glass doors significantly decrease overall access to the bathing area, creating a conditions for a more difficult transfer. This creates a very limiting and difficult situation when bath chair or shower bench is introduced for those who need it, as seen in the picture we have included above. Also, it is very limiting when there is a caregiver situation as the helper cannot fully access individual.
Unstable Grab Handles
The handles and bars that are on the glass shower door can give a false sense of security to those with balance issues. Individuals by nature grasp them for stability and often go on a terrible ride when the door slides. This leads to many falls, serious injuries, and preventable visits to the emergency room.
Skin Tear Risk
The metal door tracks are a risk for those who have to climb over the tub edge. The door tracks can cause serious bruising and skin tears in the elderly population, which often times lead to hospitalization.
Even though glass doors are made of tempered glass, they can still shatter. Very bad cuts and bleeding can result. Here is a look at an instance of this very thing from NBC.
The upkeep on glass shower doors can be very time-consuming and often times exhausting. The fact is, there is no good way to keep them clean. The tracks will hold dirt, mildew, mold, and soap scum. Combine this type of dirt with getting cut by the door and it is a perfect environment for a bad infection. Also, if you let hard water and soap scum build up, the glass can become permanently etched.
What is the Alternative Solution to the Doors??
We are often asked “What happens when you remove my doors, how do we keep the water in?” The good news is that are easy solutions to keeping the water in the tub. We recommend installing a curved mounted shower curtain rod, curtain rings, and 100% polyester curtain liner. This type of liner won’t get moldy like the old plastic liners as you simply machine wash and dry as needed and can re-use for years.
Oakley Home Access provides the service of removing doors and associated tracks. Then we caulk the several holes that will exist after track removal. Next, we scrub and clean with mineral spirits to remove all of the old glue or silicone adhesive. Our team can either stow the doors on site for future use or re-sale or recycle off-site.
Are you ready to make your bathroom a safer place by removing your glass shower doors? Oakley Home Access can help with this project and other home modifications. We also provide free home safety assessments or we offer in office consultations in our office at 322 South Pier Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island.