Frameless, Semi-Frameless, or Framed Shower Doors: How to Choose?

    (Provided by ABC Glass & Mirror, Inc. - Friday, July 15, 2016)

Shower DoorsWhen you have to choose from among frameless, semi-frameless, and framed shower door options, it can be hard to know what is best for your bathroom. Each door type has features that appeal to us in different ways – a lower price tag, a more glamorous look, or perhaps easier cleaning and maintenance. Understanding just what each style has to offer makes it easier to find the perfect choice for your home.

A frameless shower door or enclosure is characterized by sheets of glass with bare edges. This is undoubtedly a trending look but also one that offers simple, timeless elegance. The absence of framing gives the stall a greater sense of openness and allows you to create a clear glass enclosure that leaves your shower tile fully in view.

To compensate for the lack of metal supports, thick glass must be used on a frameless unit, so plan for a door that feels sturdy and substantial. Finally, the sleek, minimalistic design of a frameless shower makes it easier to clean than its counterparts with more metal components.

Frameless or Semi-Frameless?

Another common look is a shower that is constructed from unframed glass but includes a header across the top. These showers are more difficult to label since some experts call them “semi-frameless,” while others refer to them as “frameless showers with a header.” Either way, a design like this is ideal for certain situations, such as a bathroom in which the added structural support of a header is necessary in order to create the type of glass shower that the customer has in mind.

Semi-frameless showers do include some framing, but the door panels themselves are always frameless. The glass does not have to be quite so thick for these enclosures, so they typically cost less than comparable frameless glass showers. Bypass doors are an example of a popular type of semi-frameless installation. The sliding panels are unframed, but since they move along metal tracking, the exterior perimeter of the enclosure is surrounded by an aluminum frame.

Finally, framed shower doors offer great value for the budget-conscious home improver. Their metal frames allow for the responsible use of thinner glass, and this makes them the most economical of the three styles. These doors and enclosures allow a homeowner to make glass the focal point of the bathroom without the higher costs associated with frame-free glass.

ABC – Your Source for Glass Shower Doors
Learn more about the three shower door types and set up a free in-home consultation by calling ABC Glass and Mirror, Inc. at 703-257-7150!

ABC Glass and Mirror, Inc.


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