Terms and Definitions
Barrier-Free: in terms of handicap access, this refers
to an enclosure system that has minimal or no bottom
track and openings that are wheelchair-accessible.
Bi-Fold: a door that folds in the middle, usually having
one end in a fixed position while the other runs along
a guide track.
Buttress (Tile Rise): the raised portion of a shower curb that is
on more than one level.
Bypass: a door consisting of two or more panels that
run in parallel tracks.
Clear Glass: glass that is transparent.
Continuous Hinge Door: a shower door that has a full-length
continuous metal hinge on the side of the door.
Curb: a raised edge or border of a shower, usually
made of tile, marble or fiberglass.
Curved Glass: glass that has been specially formed
to fit into a circular floor plan.
Custom Enclosure: an enclosure that requires
specially cut glass and framework.
Drip Channel (Drip Trough): a metal channel that is designed to prevent water
running down the door from dripping onto the floor when the door is
Etched Glass: glass that has had a pattern cut into its
surface, usually by an acid treatment.
Fixed Panels: the glass or plastic panels of an
enclosure that do not move.
Framed: a bath enclosure system that mounts all
glass or plastic panels in a metal frame.
Frameless: a bath enclosure system that minimizes
the amount of metal used to hold the system panels
and door in place.
Heavy Glass: glass used in many European-style
frameless enclosures. Usually 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch in
Hinge Door: a shower door that usually has a jointed metal
hinge on the side of the door.
In-Line Panels: fixed panels that are “in a line” with
the shower door.
Laminated Glass: glass that has been made by
uniting layers of glass in order to increase the strength
of the glass.
Magnetic Latch: a latch that holds the door shut through the
use of magnets.
Neo-Angle: a shower that consists of a center door
with a fixed panel at an angle on either side of the
Obscure Glass: glass that lets light through, but is not
Patterned Glass: glass that has a repeating shape
embedded in the glass.
Pivot Door: a shower door that rotates on two metal
pivots on the top and bottom of the door.
Powdercoat: a technique for applying paint to
aluminum shower door frames. The aluminum is
covered with a powder of dry paint particles and is
then baked in an oven. This causes the powder to
melt and then harden into a tough, colorful finish.
Reflective Glass: glass that bounces back at least
some of the light that strikes it.
Return Panels: fixed panels that are set at a 90°
angle to the shower door.
Silk-Screened Glass: glass that has graphic images
silk-screened on the surface to give the illusion of
etched, textured or patterned glass.
Sliding Panels: The moving panels in a bypass
Steam Bath: an enclosure that is usually equipped
with special plumbing to create steam. The enclosure
itself either runs from the floor to the ceiling or has a
top (Transom Panel) to contain the steam.
Tempered Glass: glass that has been annealed or
strengthened by a process of gradually heating and
cooling. Once a piece of glass has been tempered it
cannot be cut. If it breaks, it breaks into many small
pieces. By code, all glass shower doors and
enclosures must use tempered glass.
Textured Glass: glass that has been made with a
texture on its surface that creates a translucent
Tile Rise (Buttress): the raised portion of a shower curb that is
on more than one level.
Tinted Glass: glass that has a color running through it.
Transom Panel: a panel usually located above the door of an enclosure.
Can be used to keep steam inside of a steam-shower unit. Some open to vent steam.