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. A bi-fold is similar to a telephone booth door.
buttress: 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.
curb: the threshold of a shower that the enclosure is placed on top of, 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 a special size of tempered glass and framework.
drip cap system: some shower doors come equipped with a device designed to prevent water from the door dripping onto the floor when the door is opened. This concept is the same as a gutter on a roof.
etched glass: glass that has a design cut into its surface, usually by an acid treatment.
fixed panels: the glass or plastic panels of an enclosure that are stationary.
framed: a bath enclosure system that mounts all glass or plastic panels in a metal frame. This concept is the same as a picture 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 thickness.
hinge door: a shower door that has a jointed metal hinge on the side of the door.
in-line panels: fixed panels that are “in a line” or parallel with the shower door.
laminated glass: glass that has been made by uniting layers of glass with a plastic film in order to increase the strength of the glass so the glass meets safety glazing requirements.
neo-angle: a shower that consists of a center door with two fixed panels at a 22.5 degree angle on either side of the door.
obscure glass: glass that lets light through, but is not totally transparent.
patterned glass: glass that has a repeating shape embedded in the glass.
pivot door: a shower door that rotates on two metal pins that pivot 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. This kind of glass is commonly called a one way mirror.
return panels: fixed panels that are set at a 90° angle to the shower door.
silk-screened glass: glass that has graphic images painted on the surface to give the illusion of etched, textured or patterned glass.
sliding panels: The moving panels in a bypass door.
steam bath: an enclosure that is usually equipped with special plumbing to create steam. The door itself either runs from the floor to the ceiling or has a top with special seals to contain the steam.
tempered glass: glass that has been 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 or laminated glass.
textured glass: glass that has been made with a texture on its surface that creates a translucent effect. This is the same concept as patterned glass.
tinted glass: glass that has a permanent color running through it.