Considering your bathroom is probably the smallest room in your house, it is amazing just how many decisions you need to make during a remodel. Picking out the design for your shower enclosure will be just one of the many choices you make, but it is an important one. Since you are hopefully going to be keeping this enclosure for a while, you need to be sure that you are choosing a type of shower door that you will enjoy using just as much as you enjoy looking at it. If you thought that your only choice was a traditional hinged door, think again. There are several other options for you to choose from.
Sliding doors are the most common choice as an alternative to a basic hinged design. As you can imagine, this involves a large pane of glass sliding along a track. This requires a larger amount of horizontal space than a hinged door so is more popular as an addition to a tub than for a shower enclosure. However, if your enclosure is wide enough to support it, a sliding door will keep the shower space from encroaching on the rest of the bathroom. Basic models will be framed in order to protect the glass as it slides along the track, but you can also get a frameless model. These are hung, almost like a shower curtain, and the track is there just to keep the door steady as it moves.
Sliding doors can be a bit harder to clean if there is an overlap between the two panels. It's also harder to make sure the track stays clear. The rest of your bathroom will benefit though, as the water will be better contained entering and especially exiting the shower. A frameless design where the tracks are more accessible may provide the benefit of containing the water without being difficult to clean, depending on the design.
Bi-fold doors are far less common but are a strong choice when space is especially tight. They still run along a track, but instead of a single, solid pane, two or more panes work together along with hinges to slide out of the way of the entrance. They don't require as much horizontal space as regular sliding doors, and because they don't swing out, they don't use much floor space in the rest of the room either. You gain the same advantage as single pane sliding doors in that the water will stay in the shower enclosure more easily.
If you have the budget and space, a walk-in enclosure can be a luxurious upgrade to your bathroom. Instead of having to choose a type of door, you just skip that part completely. You may still use glass for the rest of the enclosure to keep an open feeling in the space, but this is not a requirement. The benefits of this design are that you can just walk right in when you are ready for your shower and it is one less thing to clean.
You do need quite a bit of space in the bathroom to pull this one off. The shower head has to be positioned so that water is not escaping into the rest of the room, and the water flow also has to be carefully designed. For this reason, you will probably need to pay for custom design and installation for this type of shower enclosure, which may increase the price of your remodel.
As you can see, not all showers are created equal. You should now have the information you need to make a decision about the type of door that is going to be right for your space. The next step will be to pick out the specific design that will accent the rest of the room without being too intrusive.