Guide to Shower Door Opening Sizes


Choosing the right shower door opening size is an important decision when remodeling a bathroom or building a new home. The opening size will impact the look and feel of your shower area and how easily you can get in and out of the stall. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about standard shower door opening sizes, how to choose the right size for your needs, considerations like wheelchair accessibility, and more. With the right information, you can select the perfect shower door opening for your space.

What is the Standard Shower Door Opening Size?

The most common standard shower door opening size is 22 to 24 inches wide. This gives enough room for most people to comfortably enter and exit the shower stall without bumping into the sides of the frame. Standard bathtub openings tend to be a bit wider at 24 to 27 inches.

Some of the most popular standard shower door opening sizes include:

  • 22 inches – This narrow opening is suitable for small shower stalls and fits most design styles. It provides easy access for most adults.
  • 24 inches – The most common shower door width, 24 inches offers comfortable access for most users. It works well for both walk-in showers and tub/shower combos.
  • 27 inches – A 27 inch opening provides extra roominess for larger showers. It’s a good choice if you have a wider stall or want generous space.
  • 32 inches – A 32 inch opening is often used for accessible showers as it allows enough space for wheelchairs. It also creates an airy, open feel.
  • 36 inches – A 36 inch wide opening is typically used for custom luxury showers. It provides ample room for multiple people.

The standard 24 inch width is a safe choice that suits most bathrooms. But the ideal size for your shower depends on the dimensions of your stall, tub, and the needs of users.

What Size Shower Door Opening Do I Need?

When choosing your ideal shower door opening size, here are some important factors to consider:

Shower Stall Dimensions

Take measurements of your shower stall space to ensure the door opening size you select actually fits. You want it centered in the width of the stall. The opening should be 1-2 inches narrower than the full width of the stall.

Tub or Shower Combo

If you have a tub/shower combo, make sure to account for the extra space taken up by the tub. A 27 inch opening often fits tub/shower combos best.

User Height and Size

Consider the heights and body sizes of main users. Standard openings work for most adults, while small children may need narrower, and taller/wider users may need more space.

Accessibility Needs

For wheelchair accessibility or walkers, at least 32 inches of clear entry space is recommended. Grab bars can also be helpful for accessibility.

Glass Panels

If using a doorless shower design with glass panels instead of doors, you may opt for a wider opening size that enhances the openness.

Shower Design Style

A narrow 22 inch opening fits modern or contemporary shower designs well, while wider openings work better for spa-like spaces.

Take measurements, assess your space, and think about who will use the shower to land on the right size door opening for your bathroom.

Wheelchair Accessible Shower Door Opening Size

For those with disabilities, the elderly, or users of any kind, an accessible shower design is key. For wheelchair accessible showers, a minimum door opening of 32 inches is recommended. This provides enough clear space for a wheelchair to easily maneuver in and out.

Some guidelines for accessible shower door openings include:

  • Door opening should be at least 32 inches wide
  • Clear floor space of 60×30 inches should be provided outside the door for approach
  • No lip or threshold should impede access
  • Swing-clear hinges can allow the door to swing out of the entry path
  • Grab bars properly positioned give added support and safety

Going even wider, such as 36 inches, provides more room for caregivers assisting wheelchair users or for very large power chairs. Just be sure the shower area can accommodate the larger size.

Accessible designs allow everyone, regardless of mobility challenges, to enjoy a safe and comfortable showering experience.

Standard Tub Door Opening Sizes

For bathtub and shower combinations, you need to account for the extra space taken up by the tub. Standard tub door opening sizes are generally 24 to 27 inches wide.

Some common tub door opening dimensions include:

  • 24 inches – The minimum recommended width, 24 inches fits most standard tubs
  • 27 inches – The most popular and comfortable standard tub door opening
  • 30 inches – Allows for more room and easier access in and out
  • 32+ inches – Extra wide openings for accessible tubs with more clearance

Tub openings should be 1-2 inches narrower than the alcove the tub is recessed into. This prevents the doors from bumping into walls or corner obstructions.

Measure the existing tub alcove, or if installing a new one, check the tub specs to determine appropriate door width. Wider is better to avoid tight squeezes between the tub and doors.

Friction vs Rollers: Which Shower Door is Easiest to Open?

Once you’ve decided on the ideal opening size, the next choice is whether to get sliding doors that use rollers or friction to glide open. Which type of shower door is the easiest to open and close?


Roller shower doors have wheels at the top and/or bottom that roll along a track. This makes them very smooth and easy to slide open. Rollers are a great choice when prioritizing effortless opening and closing.


  • Glide open with little force or resistance
  • Easy for children, elderly, and those with limited mobility
  • Often quieter than friction doors


  • More expensive than friction
  • Rollers can squeak or corrode over time if quality isn’t high


Friction shower doors have rubber lining that creates resistance as it slides along the track. The rubbing requires a bit more force to open.


  • Inexpensive compared to roller systems
  • Simple design with less to break or malfunction


  • Rubbing can make doors stick or get hung up
  • Not as smooth to open, requiring more effort

For most users, roller systems provide the smoothest, easiest gliding action compared to friction doors. But well-designed friction doors can still open fairly easily. Go with rollers if effortless access is critical.

Glass Shower Door Weight: What to Expect

Glass shower doors are beautiful but come with considerable weight. Usually between 40 to 50 pounds per door panel. However, the door size, thickness, and materials impact overall weight and ease of opening.

Here’s a look at factors affecting shower door weight:

  • Glass thickness – Standard is 1/4 inch, low-iron 3/8 inch is heavier duty and most common. Going thicker adds substantial weight.
  • Tempering – The process of heat strengthening makes glass safer but can increase its weight as much as 1/2 pound per square foot.
  • Size – Larger shower openings and door panels equate to more square footage of glass. More surface area adds weight.
  • Materials – Standard glass is heavy, going lighter with acrylic or polycarbonate can reduce weight. However, those don’t offer the same sleek look.
  • Hardware – Rollers, hinges, and handles add on a few extra pounds.

To make heavy glass doors slide more easily, opt for quality ball-bearing rollers, double rollers, and antit-jump devices. Getting help during installation is also key for large doors.

Shower Door Opening Height

Along with width, shower door opening height is important for both aesthetics and function. Typical shower door heights range from 72 to 76 inches.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing shower door opening height:

  • User height – Standard shower door height suits users up to about 6 feet. If very tall users, go up to 78 or 80 inches.
  • Showerhead height – Size opening so showerhead is at least 2 inches above top of door. This prevents water spraying out.
  • Ceiling height – Make sure to account for ceiling clearance above the door. Avoid hitting heads on low pipes or lights.
  • Curb height – If a curb, adjust door height to about 1 inch below total curb height.
  • Visually – Standard 76 inch height provides nice proportions. Extra tall doors can overwhelm in small spaces.

Getting the measurements right means your new shower doors will be both functional and visually appealing.

How High Should a Shower Door Be?

As a general rule of thumb for comfortable access and aesthetics, a standard shower door should be between 72 and 76 inches high. Here are some guidelines:

  • 72 inches – Best for children
  • 74 inches – Fits shorter adults
  • 76 inches – Ideal for average height users
  • 78+ inches – For very tall users 6’+

If ceiling height allows, going up to 76 to 78 inches high ensures even tall users can enter and exit without ducking. Just ensure the showerhead clears the top of the door opening by a couple inches.

For small children, consider going down to 68 or 72 inches high to make it easier for them to reach and open the doors.

Measure the users, compare with ceiling clearance, and check showerhead position to find the optimal shower door opening height.

Shower Door Opening Code Requirements

Building codes provide minimum requirements for shower door openings to ensure safe, accessible designs. Key shower door opening code rules include:

Minimum Width

Most residential building codes require a minimum 22 inch wide opening. Wider minimums apply for accessible commercial applications.

Minimum Height

Door openings must provide at least 67 to 68 inches of height clearance.

Maximum Threshold Height

Any lip or curb at the shower entry should not exceed 1/2 inch tall to prevent tripping hazards.

Clear Turning Space

A 30×48 inch clear floor space is required outside the shower entry for maneuvering into and out of the stall.

Always check your local building codes for applicable shower door opening requirements. Having measurements that meet code ensures legal compliance and safe access.

How to Measure Shower Door Opening

Taking accurate measurements is crucial for ordering a shower door that fits properly within your opening space. Follow this basic process:

  1. Locate studs – Find the wall studs framing the sides of the opening. Mark them.
  2. Measure width – Measure across at the top, middle, and bottom of the opening. Record the smallest width.
  3. Measure height – Measure from the curb or tub lip up to the ceiling. Deduct 1/2 inch.
  4. Verify measurements – Double check all measurements to ensure they are accurate.
  5. Order precise size – Order your shower door using the smallest width and adjusted height.
  6. Confirm fit – Have installers verify the fit before permanently fastening in place.

With careful measurement and ordering the exact opening dimensions, you can achieve a professional looking, customized fit.

Shower Entry Door vs Opening Size

Understanding the difference between the shower door size and the rough opening size is key to a proper fit:

  • Shower Door Size – This is the actual dimensions of the door panels ordered. It’s usually 1/2 to 1 inch less than rough opening size.
  • Shower Opening Size – The “rough opening” is the full width and height of the unfinished framed space the door gets mounted within.

Always measure and order based on the full rough opening size. This ensures the doors have enough clearance to operate smoothly. The gap allows for adjusting and shimming during installation.

Going smaller than the rough opening causes tight fits and operation problems. Knowing both measurements ensures shower doors get sized correctly.

How Wide Should a Shower Door Be for a 32 Inch Opening?

For a 32 inch wide shower door rough opening, a door size of around 31 to 31-1/2 inches wide is recommended. This provides the ideal 1/2 to 1 inch clearance on both sides for proper installation.

Here are the optimal door sizes for common rough openings:

  • 22 inch opening – Order 21 to 21-1/2 inch door
  • 24 inch opening – Order 23 to 23-1/2 inch door
  • 27 inch opening – Order 26 to 26-1/2 inch door
  • 32 inch opening – Order 31 to 31-1/2 inch door
  • 36 inch opening – Order 35 to 35-1/2 inch door

Having a door the exact dimensions of the rough opening results in too narrow of a margin of error. Size down the door 1/2 to 1 full inch to safely accommodate variances in plumb and level.

Standard Shower Door Jamb Sizes

The jambs are the vertical parts of the door frame that sit against the walls of the shower opening. Correctly sized jambs ensure proper clearance and operation.

Standard jamb sizes for shower doors are:

  • 2-1/4 inches wide for 22 inch openings
  • 2-3/4 inches wide for 24 to 27 inch openings
  • 3-3/4 inches wide for 32 inch openings
  • 5 inches wide for 36+ inch openings

Jambs should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch narrower than the door panel width ordered. This prevents binding and allows space for adjustability.

Having the correct jamb width and thickness maintains the proper spacing between the wall and door for smooth function.

Types of Shower Door Openings

There are a few different shower door opening configurations to suit bathroom layouts:

Single Shower Door

One single door panel that swings or slides open. Simple and space-saving.

Shower and Tub Slider

Slider along the tub edge providing side entry. Leaves the rest of the tub open.

Corner Shower Slider

Door installed on diagonal to save space in a corner stall. Slides along back wall.

Bi-fold Shower Doors

Two panels that collapse and fold. Flexible position. No wall space needed.

Bypass Shower Doors

Doors slide along two parallel tracks in opposide directions. Great for tight spaces.

Measure your bathroom layout and get creative to find a shower door opening design that works.

Custom Shower Door Opening Sizes

While standard sized shower doors work for many bathrooms, you can also customize openings. Some reasons to consider a custom sized door include:

  • Small or unusually shaped stall
  • Tall or wide users needing extra space
  • Wheelchair accessible design
  • Wanting a truly unique look

Custom shower doors give you more freedom to create the perfect opening for your space and needs. Work with skilled shower door specialists to bring your vision to life.

How Much Does It Cost to Custom Size a Shower Door?

Custom shower door openings typically add 20% or more onto the project cost versus standard sizes. Here are some approximate price increases:

  • 10% – Simple width or height adjustment of 1-3 inches
  • 15% – More significant size change of 4+ inches
  • 20% – Unusually large sizes like 40 inch width
  • 40% – Complex custom shapes or inlays

Factors like special order hardware, glass cutting, complex installation, and design work contribute to the pricing increase.

Custom doors create a more personalized shower design. If your space calls for it, the extra cost can be worth it.


What is the standard width for a shower door?

The most common standard width for a shower door is 24 inches. This provides comfortable passage for most adults. Standard openings typically range from 22 to 24 inches wide.

How wide does a shower door opening need to be for wheelchairs?

For wheelchair accessibility, a shower door opening must be a minimum of 32 inches wide. This allows enough clear space for wheelchairs to enter and exit. Even wider at 36 inches provides more room.

What size should my shower door be?

Choose a shower door 1/2 to 1 inch less than the width of your rough opening. This provides the proper clearance. Check rough opening dimensions and order doors 1/2 inch undersized for the best fit.

Can you make a shower door wider?

Yes, an existing shower door can be made wider by moving the whole frame over, provided there is adequate underlying wall structure. The door panels themselves can also be replaced with larger customized doors.

What is the standard tub door size?

The most common standard tub door opening size is 27 inches wide. This pairs well with standard 60 inch long tubs. Tub door openings are often 1-2 inches less than the alcove opening.


Determining the optimal shower door opening size involves measuring your space, factoring in user needs, and selecting the right style. Consider width requirements, accessibility, glass weight, height, codes, and customization options. With proper planning using the guidelines provided, you can create the perfect shower entry for both form and function.

By understanding key measurements and dimensions, you can specify shower doors with the ideal opening size. Sized right, they will look beautiful while providing safe and easy access for years to come. The information in this guide equips you to make informed decisions about your shower door opening size.