Showering and Glass Shower Doors: Then and Now

May 2nd, 2019

Showering was not always as easy as hot or cold water at the turn of a tap in the privacy of your own bathroom. It has come a long way since the evolution of mankind. From not having a bathe at all to showering under a waterfall, human beings have had to go through massive transitions to achieve what showering is today. This blog post takes you through the progress and speaks about how shower enclosures have made showering a more lavish feeling.

What Was Showering Like in the Past?

If you look back to the ancient civilizations, people used to bathe in lakes, rivers, oceans and other available bodies of water. Servants often were asked to pour jugs of water on their upper class Egyptian and Roman masters in the privacy of their homes. The water utilised was extremely cold. The usage of public bath houses where popular and were treated as a place for socializing. Aqueducts and sewage systems made of lead pipes were developed to pump water to these community-shared shower rooms. Slowly and steadily, the Greeks invented the basic version of the first showers. But the whole set up of a 12ft tall metal frame, hand pump and tank were not just bulky, but costly as well.

This ended with many people not being able to afford it and they stopped bathing for days at a time. In the 14th century, however, the Black Plague hit Europe and as a result, a third of the country was decimated. Following this major incident, people started to understand the need for cleanliness and hygiene. Nevertheless, this didn’t equal to people taking a shower on a regular basis. They washed their face and hands daily but taking a bath was a very rare occurrence.

The first patent for mechanical showers was made by William Feetham in 1767. Gradually the world’s understanding of hygiene evolved as people got to know more about the effects of bacteria and germs. By the 19th century, this basic utility system became famous and affordable. Finally, around the year 1850, indoor plumbing was invented and free-standing showers could be connected to a water source.

Evolution of Glass Shower Doors

How Did We Manage to Get the Most Out of It?

By the 20th century, tankless water heaters became readily available. This was able to generate hot water without the help of any separate tank, allowing people to shower on a regular basis in a bathroom of their own. The 1980s to late 1990s saw a lot of improvements in this area. Additional features such as coloured lights and varied flow pressures became a common thing creating the advent of custom shower doors. Many places started to use glass in their shower enclosures. Technologies kept on improving and the whole concept of custom glass shower doors with a slider came into being by the end of the ‘90s.

Ancient Civilization 0 to 5th Century 6th to 10th Century 11th to 15th Century 16th to 20th Century
Water bodies like oceans and rivers were used.


Egyptians introduced Aqueducts and Lead pipe sewage system for bath-houses.

Greeks invented the first shower.



In Japan, only the wealthy had private baths and bathing in the springs was still common. The Black Plague hit Europe.


William Feetham got the patent for the first mechanical shower.

The first designer shower was created anonymously.

Indoor plumbing was invented.

First Shower in Public Bathhouses at Vienna.

Frameless Shower Doors were presented.

Glass Shower Doors became popular.

Having glass shower doors and enclosures prevented slippery floors while simplifying the maintenance. Glass being a transparent material allowed a lot of light to enter providing an illusion of a bigger and brighter space. Frameless shower doors were introduced around 1970 where the lack of any kind of metal and rubber to hold it together made them more visually appealing. Even though have been available for more than four decades, they weren’t reasonably priced until recently.

How to take a shower has come a long way over the years. In the 21st century, having custom glass shower doors has become more of a necessity than a luxury for their benefits and aesthetic look. However, before buying one here are a few critical things you must keep in mind.