In Australia, shower screens start at around $200 and can be as expensive as $1,000 or higher. The shower screen price depends on a variety of factors, such as type of shower screen, size and the materials used. Cost considerations also include shower screen installation expense and even a potential removal cost if the new shower screen is replacing an existing one.
What is a shower screen?
A shower screen is a glass panel – or a combination of panels – that encloses the shower area, ensuring that the rest of the bathroom space remains dry. Depending on the type of screen and both size and layout of the bathroom, the shower can be fully or partially enclosed.
What materials are shower screens made of?
The selection of materials used in the manufacturing process will affect the shower screen price. High-quality and locally sourced materials might come at a higher cost; however the resulting shower screens are durable and long-lasting, making the money spent go a long way.
When it comes to panelling, shower screens in Australia are made out of Grade A safety glass in line with AS/NZS 2208-1996, outlining requirements for the safety of glazing materials in buildings and AS 1288:1994, outlining the requirements for the selection and installation of glass in buildings.
Tempered – or toughened – glass is the most popular safety glass for shower screens. This particular type of glass is achieved by rapid application of heat and cold temperature. The process not only strengthens the glass, but also enables tempered glass to break in a much safer way. If a tempered glass panel breaks, it disintegrates into small chunks that aren’t as sharp and dangerous as shards of ordinary glass, which makes it the best choice for high-use areas like the bathroom. Laminated glass is another popular shower screen material. Made up of two sheets of glass, laminated glass is designed to work best in a fully-framed shower screen set-up.
Shower screen cost will depend on the type and design of the glass. While the standard clear glass is the least costly option, low-iron glass, which lacks the green tint of the standard glass, will be more of a step-up. Similarly, frosted shower screens – or textured and sandblasted glass – can increase both cost and additional privacy value.
Another consideration when it comes to screen cost is the thickness of the glass panel. While in Australia the minimum thickness of glass will be 5mm and 6mm for fully framed and partly framed shower screens respectively, and 10mm for a frameless screen, the choice is on safety profile and preference – and will affect the ultimate cost of the product.
Shower screens from other materials
While the screen panels tend to be manufactured with safety glass, there are other materials used in the manufacturing of the shower screen elements such as frames, pivots, hinges, brackets and pins. Here, the quality of the materials matters just as much because high-quality materials can dramatically minimise a need for – often costly and time consuming – repairs or replacements for years to come.
Some of the highest-quality materials include high quality aluminium for elements like hinges, high quality forged brass (rather than cheaper alternatives like plastic or honeycomb brass) for the clamp system or stainless steel. Similarly, while zinc might be an acceptable choice for tapware, it can’t take the same pressure as brass and might erode if not treated properly. Because of that, high-quality shower screens will feature brass brackets with stainless fixings as they’re stronger and more durable – a very important consideration for an environment that’s wet and humid for most of the time.
Is it worth hiring a professional to install the shower?
While some shower screen installation jobs may seem straightforward and easy to complete, in a majority of cases, it’s best to hire a professional – even if it increases the overall shower screen cost. Some of the main reasons for hiring a professional are safety, durability and the overall design.
The handling of glass panelling can be a dangerous task, best left to those who are familiar with the way glass behaves, and handling it safely.
As the bathroom is a notoriously wet environment, the quality of finish, sealing, waterproofing and the right choice of materials are key to ensuring the longevity of the installed product.
The ability to install the shower screen in an aesthetically pleasing way that aligns with the original design is yet another reason to leave this particular job to the professionals.
It’s important to ensure the person you’re hiring is indeed qualified and experienced, and will deliver the desired outcome. Before hiring a builder or a glazier, it’s good practice to check their qualifications and applicable licenses, their previous work and if they have appropriate insurance. Request a written quote with clear turnaround times. It’s also best if you can check reviews, watch testimonials or follow up with their references to get first-hand confirmation they’re the right person for the job.
Understanding shower screen installation costs
Shower screen installation cost is dependent on whether a new shower screen is being installed, the type of shower screen in question, and its size. While installation costs don’t vary too dramatically across Australia, they will differ based on location and might range from $45 to $65 per hour. Depending on the task at hand, shower screen installation cost – excluding the cost of the product itself – are likely to range between $200 and $600.
Are there any other costs to consider?
There are some other costs that might be associated with shower screen installation that are worth considering.
Sometimes, in order to install or replace a new shower, an old one has to be removed. Oftentimes, any removal costs will be calculated separately so it’s important to discuss them prior to the commencement of work.
In terms of labour, usually a builder or a glass specialist would install the shower screen; however if installing a shower cubicle is required, a plumber will have to be involved in the process and labour costs will have to be calculated accordingly.
And remember to be careful with your screen once you have it – shower glass replacement costs can be significant.
Current shower screen trends
With shower spaces increasingly growing in popularity, there are a lot of different products to choose from for the shower enclosure. Here are some of the shower trends that will tell you what’s in or out in shower spaces.
Trend 1: Shower curtains are out, shower screens are in
Quite passé in modern bathroom design, shower curtains aren’t very effective in containing water within the shower area; they’re more difficult to clean, and require a lot of consideration when it comes to making them work within the wider design of the space. Shower screens, on the other hand, are much better at keeping the bathroom dry and much more appealing from a visual point of view.
Trend 2: Fully frameless shower screens
The simple, minimalistic, almost invisible appearance helps create excellent flow visually in the bathroom. Frameless shower screens are also easier to clean and install as a glass panel can be cut to size, removing any issues potentially posed by installing more complicated fixtures, for example, framed doors.
Trend 3: Curved shower screens
Often incorporated to soften the harsh lines of the bathroom space, curvy elements can also help create a more cohesive – or interesting – look if the curvature of the shower screen matches other arches in the space.
Trend 4: Metallic hardware
Very much in vogue at the moment, incorporating bronze, gunmetal and copper hardware, especially if it matches the tapware or other metal elements around the bathroom or even wider space, is a popular trend to create a cohesive look and introduce more character in the bathroom space.
Trend 5: Black outlines
If your shower is going to have a frame, why not make it pop? A popular choice with semi-framed and semi-frameless shower screen models, coloured definition across the edge of the glass panel can give the bathroom space more character and highlight its geometry. While black is the most popular colour, a similar effect can be achieved with other bolder colours.
Common types of shower screens
With a choice of shower screens for every budget, and for any need, style or bathroom design, anyone can find a screen for their space. So if you’re asking yourself, ‘how much do shower screens cost?’, read on. Luckily in Australia, cost doesn’t vary too much from state to state, so shower screens prices in Melbourne will generally be similar to those in Sydney or Perth. One thing that can vary is shower screen installation costs, which have not been taken into account in the pricing information provided below. However, with the installation cost roughly at $50 per hour, you can expect the typical shower screen installation to cost you between $200 and $600 based on the size, whether another shower screen has to be removed, and other project-specific variables.
Semi frameless shower screens
As the name would suggest, a semi-frameless shower screen has glass panels, which are only framed on certain sides, the framed sides depending on the model and desired look. They can be great options in smaller bathrooms as the reduced framing creates a greater sense of space. Semi frameless shower doors cost around $300 for a 740mm wide single-panel option, all the way up to the $900 mark for a larger, two-panel corner model.
Fully framed shower screens
When you think of a traditional shower screen, it’s likely that you have the fully framed shower screen in mind. The doors and edge panels – if there are any – are fully encased in a frame. The framing is generally of a chrome-plated or anodised metal such as 6463 alloy. A fully framed shower screen price can vary, with low cost eBay options available from as little as $220. However, a quality product will generally cost you about $500 for a 900mm x 900mm unit.
Half height shower screens
Half height shower screens are ideal for creating accessible shower spaces for people with limited mobility. They provide an excellent water barrier while also allowing carers to provide assistance from outside the shower if required. As a general rule, half height shower screens are fully framed as this makes them more sturdy and easy to operate. Half height shower screens prices vary significantly to accommodate different disabilities, but a screen between 1500-2000mm wide costs around $800.
Frosted shower screens
Frosted shower screens can be found in fully-framed, semi-frameless and fully frameless designs. Frosted shower screens have opaque glass. There are a number of creative opportunities with frosted shower screens – different opacities, patterns or designs can be applied to create a desired look that’s in keeping with the overall design. While it’s difficult to put an exact price tag on a frosted screen (they can be 50-70% more expensive than non-frosted), they are definitely more expensive than clear glass options.
Frameless shower screens
Frameless showers are common in modern bathrooms, and are prized for their sleek, barely-there look. The removal of framing lines visually opens up any bathroom design, while still maintaining full water stoppage and separation between the wet and dry areas of the bathroom. Frameless shower screen price depends on the models, sizes and glass types used in the screen, but there are some general guidelines to follow. You can expect to pay $500-$600 for an 800mm x 600mm rectangular frameless shower screen, and up to $800 for a 1000mm x 1000mm model.
Walk in shower screens
Walk in shower screens are very common in modern bathrooms; the open, sleek, minimalist aesthetic is highly sought after in contemporary designs. A walk in shower can have no screen at all, with the wet area either graded towards a wall, or with a threshold drain running along the edge of the shower to prevent water runoff into the rest of the bathroom. Alternatively it may be bordered by a freestanding shower screen, which retails at around $200-$300.
Sliding shower screens
Sliding shower screens can be framed, semi-framed or frameless, and they are great options in bathrooms where space is at a premium. By removing the need for a swing door, sliding shower screens provide great accessibility, visual appeal, and efficient use of existing floorspace. Sliding shower screens are generally a little more expensive than many of the choices above; this is because the tracks and sliders for the door are slightly more complex to create than a hinged door. A standard 1200mm wide sliding shower screen is likely to set you back about $800-$1,000.
Freestanding shower screens
Freestanding shower screens are increasing in popularity as the ultimate in unobtrusive shower screen designs for modern bathrooms. A freestanding shower screen is essentially a single pane of glass, attached to the wall and floor on two sides. It can be framed or frameless, and allows walk-in entry to the shower area. Because of their simple construction, freestanding shower screens are comparatively cheap, with a standard 800mm wide screen costing between $200 and $300. If you’re a bargain hunter –this is the one for you.
3-panel shower screens
A 3-panel shower screen is a rather traditional model that has decreased in popularity in recent years, though they are highly functional in design. A 3-panel is most common as a sliding screen type, though there are foldable/ pivot variations available as well. An 800mm wide 3-panel screen costs around $400, and prices can go up to $550 for a wider 1000mm-1200mm screen.
Custom shower screens
Custom shower screens can be a great way to create a screen that fits the design and overall look of your bathroom perfectly. In addition to choosing the design of the screen, you can customise widths, heights, materials, colours and glass types. Because of the number of variables, it’s very difficult to provide an indicative cost estimate for custom shower screens – pricing can range from $500 all the way up to a couple of thousand.