Which is Best - Framed or Frameless

Once you are ready to plan the shower feature in your bathroom, one of the biggest questions you face is whether to choose a framed or frameless model.

You can use this guide to help you determine which option works best for your plans.

Understanding the Main Differences

Most people are familiar with traditional framed showers. These have a metal frame that goes around the glass and along the top and bottom of the door.

The metal that is used for the frame can be coated with materials that allow you to choose the color. Bronze, silver and gold are the most common colors for framed showers that you will see in bathrooms.

Frameless shower enclosures are held together with special clips and hinges instead of a frame. Most frameless showers may still have a top rail to help hold things together.

Since the glass panels allow greater flexibility for design, you have more options to customize how you want the shower installed.

For instance, you can choose to have a three-wall enclosure installed to create an open look. People often choose frameless shower enclosures because of the clean and airy visual effect that they provide while also making it easy to show off beautiful tile work.

Choosing Your Preferred Door and Glass Type

A frameless shower requires thicker glass than a framed style. While you may notice that the glass is heavier on a frameless shower, it will still have the same visual transparency as a similar glass type used on framed enclosures.

With both types, you have options for tempered glass that range from clear to opaque and patterned styles.

Sliding glass doors are common in framed showers, and you will not have this option with a frameless shower.

However, frameless enclosures give you additional door options such as having two doors placed side by side to create a French opening.

Think About Your Preference for Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits of a framed door is that it is sturdier due to the stability that the frame provides.

This can be important if you are installing a shower in a bathroom that will be used by children, or tenants who may not always be careful about how they close the door.

That said, these types of enclosures are also more difficult to clean since the metal frame has a tendency to collect mineral deposits.

Frameless showers are made from thicker glass to help offset the fact that they are made without frames to help hold everything together.

Without the frame, it is much easier to keep the glass clean. You will need to carefully check for water leaks over time.

When it comes down to cost and installation, frameless showers can be slightly more than framed types, due to the need for thicker glass, as well as the expertise that is required for proper installation.

Both types will give you a long lasting shower with many different options for designing a beautiful bathroom.


Frameless Shower