Shower Door Types – Framed vs Frameless

Frameless Shower Doors & Framed Glass Shower Doors

Framed Shower Door Pros and Cons

Thanks to their metal frame, framed doors and enclosures are highly effective at keeping water where it belongs. The seals and sweeps that come with these doors mean that the door can be placed anywhere, even right next to or in front of the shower spray, without fear of leaks. With no need for highly polished edges, thicker glass and specialty hardware, framed enclosures also tend to cost less than frameless models. They also offer plenty of decorative glass options because the frame lends much of the support needed for the enclosure, so less strength is needed from the glass itself.

Drawbacks to framed enclosures are that they may appear dated in modern bathrooms, and they come in a limited range of sizes and shapes. Due to the frame, the doors on these structures only open out, which limits design options and layout.

Frameless Shower Door Pros and Cons

The greatest advantage to using frameless shower doors lies in the variety of design options available. Frameless shower and tub enclosures may come in any size or style, allowing for optimal customization. The doors open in or out based on layout and design needs. With no frames to get in the way, frameless doors provide a more open, airy look, making it easy to show off beautiful tiles and other finishes. The lack of frames also makes for easier cleaning. Thanks to the heavier glass and smooth polished edges, frameless enclosures come at a premium price point compared to framed shower doors.

The lack of seals and sweeps also means a greater chance of leaks, and limits where you can place the door in relation to the showerhead. For example, positioning the door in front of the flow of the shower could result in leaks through the gaps around the doors.

To Frame or Not to Frame

In short, a semi-frameless shower has metal framing everywhere but the door. This means that vertical seams at the corners of the enclosure will be held together by metal. A semi-frameless shower is often much the same as a framed one, except for the door. Frameless shower enclosures have very little metal framing. The only metal on the door is the hinge and possibly a small strip at the bottom to catch drips. A frameless unit may have a metal strip that runs all the way across the top for added stability, but the vertical seams are not held together with metal. Semi-frameless showers are typically less expensive than frameless ones.

To get a quote, ask questions, or to get started on installing a custom shower door or enclosure, please call (757) 422-8242 or fill out the form below: