Framed Vs Frameless – A Quick Lesson in Shower Doors

The Framed glass doors are the most common type of doors and glass panels used in shower and tub enclosures. While the popularity of this style of door has made way for the sleek and clean lines of frameless glass doors, there have been new improvements in the look and finishes of the framed glass and metal trim. Currently there are 14 different metal finishes and 7 different glass styles that I offer my clients for the framed glass shower panels and doors. Much has changed since the old metal trim that was offered in only silver and gold. The glass finishes are pretty impressive as well, although the majority of clients choose the clear glass to show off their new custom tile showers that we build.

It’s important to note some practical tips and pros and cons of the two different styles when choosing your shower door. The first consideration is how close the shower head will be to the door. The framed door is designed to seal shut with a magnetic strip and have additional rubber seals and sweeps to help prevent water from splashing out on to the bathroom floor. When far enough away from the shower head, a frameless door and its quarter inch gap around the door is no longer a target for excessive splashing. For sliding glass doors the splashing is less of an issue because the two panels overlap.

The next consideration is the price difference between the two products. Because there is no frame holding and supporting the glass panels and doors, the glass is extra thick and heavy, making heavy duty hardware and supports a necessity. The exposed edges also need to be sanded after being cut. All of this extra labor and materials pushes the price to almost twice as much as framed glass shower panels and sometimes out of the homeowners budget. A nice brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze finish on the shower frame is a nice alternative to frameless shower glass.

One last thing you may want to consider is whether the frameless door will work with your shower configuration. With a metal framed door, the door can be positioned at almost any angle by using a special pivoting trim which the hinge track connects to. The frameless glass door has hinges that rest in a certain position when the door is closed. These hinges only allow for the door to rest at either 180, 135, and 90 degrees to the hinge panel. The only way to solve this problem is to build a doorway at the desired angle and attach 90 degree hinges to the tiled opening. Send us an email if you have any more questions about glass shower panels and tub enclosures.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *