What are the differences between Wetroom Panels and Shower Doors?

Categories: Bathrooms, Buying Guides

What are the differences between Wetroom Panels and Shower Doors ?

Time and time again we get the question: What are wetroom panels, and why would I choose them over shower doors?

It’s not about choosing which one is better – it’s more about understanding the benefits of each so that you can pick the right option for your space.

The decision boils down to several deciding factors such as the available space in your bathroom, the intended use of your shower, the people who will use the space, and the aesthetic you want to create.  As the Bathroom Experts, SONAS Bathrooms has compiled a list of everything you should know when it comes to deciding which option is best for your home.




Wetroom Panels - What are they?

In short, wetroom panels are open-glass panels that don’t have a door. They can be either floor mounted or used to enclose a shower tray. They are stabilised by an overhead support bar at the top of both glass panels offering a mobility-friendly option. By adjusting the spacing between the glass panels on installation, you can ensure the required depth for wheelchairs. Building regulations for new builds would recommend 1500x1500mm circulation space for wheelchairs however in private home settings, the minimum size requirements for a mobility-friendly wetroom will depend on the individuals’ needs. (vividcare.ie, 2023)

When it comes to wetrooms, there are two styles to choose from. The first method involves having your plumber or installer come in and create a slope on your bathroom floor so that the water drains effectively. This area is then tiled over once the entire room is sealed and waterproofed.

The second method is somewhat easier; you can use a low-profile shower tray instead of having an open-floor space. You shower tray is placed on the floor and your wetroom glass panels are mounted directly on top of it.

We recommend selecting a Slate Tray for your wetroom, as they typically come with a built-in slope for efficient drainage, are low-profile for easy access, and often feature an integrated anti-slip layer. The slimline design ensures you maintain the aesthetics of your bathroom while potentially saving on labor costs.

Since 2020, SONAS has seen wetroom panel sales triple, indicating a growing trend for bathrooms that is only going to continue. Read on to find out why wetroom panels are becoming increasingly popular.




What are the benefits of Wetroom Panels?

Wetroom Panels offer numerous benefits. Not only are they aesthetically appealing, but their seamless design allows them to blend in with most existing bathroom designs, ensuring they remain timeless.

A major advantage of wetroom panels is that they are great when you are looking at future-proofing your home. The open space of ASPECT Wetroom Panels is adjustable for mobility needs. The wide opening aids in assisting loved ones without the need to remove shower frames. Cleaning is simplified with no rollers or handles, and Clear Shield Easy-Clean Glass Protection prevents limescale build-up on the glass panels, streamlining your cleaning routine.


Why go the Wetroom Panel route?

Wetroom Panels are ideal for spacious bathrooms and those opting out of a bath. Paired with our ALITA Rain Thermostatic Shower Kit, they bring luxury to your bathroom.

They're also great if you want to include a radiator or heated towel rail, balancing the warmth in your bathroom due to the open-air aspect of wetroom panels.

Another factor to consider when it comes to going the wetroom panel route would be your splash zone. Some people can't deal with the idea of having a wetroom simply for the fact that there is no door to contain your water from splashing, something known as 'water egress'. If this is you, then shower doors are our recommendation. If you're more concerned with design and intend to install a shower tray of flipper panel anyway, which will contain majority of water splashing, then a wetroom panel will work perfectly for you.

Careful planning as to where your wetroom panels should extend out to, will mean that your water remains inside your designated wetroom space, and ensure that any water egress frustrations are put to rest.



Our recommendation for Wetroom Panels

The top-selling SONAS ASPECT Wetroom Panels range provides a comprehensive solution for your wetroom needs. With six finishes—Brushed Gold, Matt Black, Chrome, Matt White, Brushed Nickel, and Black Trellis—ASPECT Wetroom Panels come in various sizes (700mm to 1400mm) to suit your needs. Ideal for spaces starting from 900x900mm, these panels offer a luxurious showering experience with functional simplicity.

The 1200mm overhead support bar ensures stability, and the 8mm toughened glass resists impact and heat. The range features a 20mm adjustable wall profile for flexibility in accommodating variations in wall thickness and uneven surfaces

The ASPECT Range also includes an optional flipper panel which can be purchased at an additional cost. If you’re concerned about water splashing as you enter and exit your wetroom, then a flipper panel might be the solution you’re looking for. Flipper panels can be mounted to your existing ASPECT Wetroom Panel, which fold inwards to reduce water splashing out from the shower.

The ASPECT Wetroom Panel Range include a Lifetime Guarantee for your peace of mind.





Shower Doors - What are they?

Now that you’re up to date on wetroom panels, let’s talk about shower doors.

Shower doors, the conventional choice for smaller bathrooms, offer versatility. Opt for a hinged, sliding, or quadrant door to maximise space. If your bathroom layout or pipework doesn't allow for a wetroom, a shower enclosure is the obvious choice.




What are the benefits of Shower Doors?

There are many advantages when it comes to shower doors for your bathroom space. One of the biggest benefits being flexibility in design. By this, we mean that you can have various shapes, sizes, and finishes with your shower enclosures, which is especially useful when you’re looking at small family bathrooms or converted ensuites.

The installation process for shower doors would be another key benefit. Shower doors, as the more conventional shower choice, tend to have a shorter installation period. If you need a quick turnaround or you’re working with a limited budget, then shower doors may be the best option.

Some people simply prefer the look and feel of having an enclosed space when they shower. Moreover, there is less risk of water running outside your shower tray when you have enclosed panels on all sides. Some people also prefer having the warm air trapped in the shower as they bathe, over an open-air shower space.

Because shower doors are enclosed, take up less space, and are generally more cost-effective, they make an ideal option if you’re looking for a streamlined and budget-friendly solution for your bathroom renovation or upgrade.




Why go the Shower Door route?

If you've converted a small space, like an old bedroom or office, into an ensuite, a shower door is likely the best choice for optimising limited space.

If you prefer a scalding hot shower after a long day, opt for shower doors. Wetroom panels, with their open space, don't retain as much heat; instead, it spreads into the rest of the bathroom.. With shower doors your heat remains within your shower frame ensuring you have a piping hot shower every time.


Our recommendation for Shower Doors

SONAS Bathrooms are proud to offer a wide variety of shower doors giving you ample options to choose from when creating your dream bathroom.

Ranges like SONAS K2, STYLE, and CITY+ are great options if you’re looking for a stylish and versatile shower that will suit your bathroom. But our top range option for creating an everyday luxury shower experience would be the SONAS ASPECT Shower Door Range.

The ASPECT Range provides design flexibility, multiple brassware finishes, and numerous features for a comfortable daily experience, crafting a homely bathroom space.

Available in various sizes and formats—sliding, hinged, and quadrant doors—these shower doors become a stunning focal point for any bathroom

Depending on the format suitable for your space, sizes range from 700mm to 1800mm with an impressive 2000mm height. The 8mm toughened glass resists impact and heat, with spring-loaded rollers for easy cleaning and limescale prevention.

The ASPECT Shower Door range offers minimalist hinges, stainless steel handles, and comes in Chrome, Matt Black, and Brushed Gold.

All ASPECT Shower Doors feature a Lifetime Guarantee



Visit the SONAS Showroom

The best way to choose the perfect shower for your bathroom is to step into it! Visit the SONAS National Showroom of any of our retail partners across the UK & Ireland to select your perfect shower solution.