Framed vs Frameless: The Great Shower Door Debate 1

Framed vs Frameless: The Great Shower Door Debate

Are you tired of your old, musty shower curtain and want a more luxurious shower experience?

Upgrade to a sleek, modern shower frame that will not only enhance the look of your bathroom, but also give you durability and stability. Imagine stepping into a shower that not only looks great, but also feels safe and secure.

You have options, though. Framed vs frameless shower doors, this is the question!

From sleek and modern to rustic and traditional, there is a shower frame to suit every taste. In this article, we will go over what you need to know when you are ready to upgrade your shower so you can decide if a framed shower door or a frameless is the way to go for your needs.

Which one do Denise and I have? Read the verdict at the end of the article with a picture to find out!

What are framed shower doors?

Framed shower doors are a type of shower door that has a metal frame around the edges of the glass. The frame can be made of aluminum or any other type of metal and is used to hold the glass in place.

Framed shower doors come in a variety of styles and finishes such as chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze, which makes it easy to find something that will match the overall look of your bathroom.

Framed shower doors have been around for a long time and are the traditional option that most people are familiar with. They are a great choice for those who are on a budget and are easy to install.

Framed shower doors also come in different designs like hinged, pivot or a sliding doors, giving you more design options. The frame can also provide additional support and stability to the door, which can be very helpful in certain cases. For example, if you have sliding doors, the frame can prevent it from sliding off its tracks.

Pros and cons of framed shower doors

ProsCons
Cost-effectiveLess modern and sleek look
Easy to installMore prone to leaks due to the presence of the metal frame
Variety of styles available to match bathroom aestheticMetal frames can rust over time
Metal frames can come in different finishesHarder to clean the frame than frameless shower doors
Metal frames can provide additional support and stability to the door.Metal frames can make the shower feel less spacious

What do framed shower doors usually cost?

The typical costs of a framed shower door can vary depending on factors such as the size of the door, the type of glass used, and the type of hardware used. On average, a framed shower door can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000.

However, it should be noted that the cost of framed glass shower doors can be more expensive if you choose to use higher-end materials or designs.

Installation costs for framed glass shower doors can also vary depending on factors such as the size of the door, the type of glass used, and the complexity of the installation. On average, installation costs for a framed shower door can range from $100 to $300.

The installation costs for framed glass shower doors can be higher if you choose to hire a professional contractor or if you have a complex installation that requires additional work.

framed door shower enclosure

Is it hard to clean a framed shower door?

Cleaning framed glass shower doors can be more challenging than cleaning frameless shower enclosures due to the presence of the metal frame. Although both can collect mineral deposits the metal frame can also collect dirt and grime, which can be harder to remove. Additionally, the corners and crevices of the frame can be difficult to reach and clean properly.

To properly clean framed glass shower doors, it’s recommended to start by wiping down the glass with a squeegee or a microfiber cloth after each shower to remove any water spots. This will help prevent soap scum and hard water stains from building up. Next, you can clean the metal frame with a mild soap and water, using a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse the frame thoroughly and dry it with a clean cloth.

It’s also important to note that some metal finishes, such as chrome or brushed nickel, can be more prone to scratching or discoloration if not cleaned and dried properly, so it’s recommended to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.

Regular cleaning will help keep framed glass shower doors looking new and properly maintained, but it requires some extra effort compared to a frameless shower door. Some people prefer to hire a professional to do the cleaning to ensure the best results.

frameless shower door

What are frameless shower doors?

Frameless shower doors are a type of shower door that does not have a metal frame around the edges of the glass. Instead, it relies on heavy-duty hinges and clamps to hold the glass in place.

The lack of a frame gives frameless shower doors a sleek, modern look that can make your bathroom feel more spacious. They are also less prone to water leaks and are easier to clean since there are no frames to collect grime, soap scum, and hard water stains.

Frameless shower doors are made of tempered glass which is stronger and more durable than regular glass. They come in different thicknesses, and the most common are 3/8″ or 1/2″ thick.

The tempered glass panels can be clear, frosted or patterned with a protective coating. The hardware used to hold the frameless glass doors in place can be made of different materials such as stainless steel, chrome, or brushed nickel, which can add to the overall aesthetic of the bathroom.

The lack of a frame on a glass shower door also allows for a more open and unrestricted view of the shower. This can be especially beneficial for small bathrooms where space is at a premium. Frameless shower doors can make the bathroom look larger and more elegant.

Pros and cons of frameless shower doors

ProsCons
Sleek and modern lookMore expensive than framed shower doors
Cost-effectiveMore difficult to install and requires the services of a professional
Less prone to leaksLimited design options
Easy cleaningTempered glass can be more expensive than regular glass
Tempered glass is stronger and more durableCan be more prone to breaking if not installed properly
Can give a more open and unrestricted view of the shower
Can make the bathroom look larger and more elegant
frameless glass

What do frameless shower doors usually cost?

The average cost to buy a frameless glass shower door can vary depending on factors such as the size of the door, the type of glass used, and the type of hardware used. On average, a frameless shower door can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000 or more.

The cost can also depend on the thickness of the glass, and the design. Because of the lack of frame, the glass used is typically thicker and stronger than regular glass. This complicated installation can make it more expensive. The hardware used to hold the thicker tempered glass in place can be made of different materials such as stainless steel, chrome or brushed nickel, which can also affect the cost.

Installation costs for frameless shower doors can also vary depending on factors such as the size of the door, the type of glass used, and the complexity of the installation. On average, installation costs for a frameless shower door can range from $300 to $600 or more.

It’s important to note that frameless shower doors require professional installation, the hardware used to hold the glass in place is more complicated than installing a frame, which can make the installation more costly. Also, if the bathroom requires additional work such as tile or grout repair, the installation costs can go up.

VIGO Adjustable 56-60″ W x 76″ H Elan E-Class Frameless Sliding Rectangle Shower Door with Clear Tempered Glass, Reversible Door Handle and Stainless Steel Hardware in Matte Black-VG6021MBCL6076
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL: Obtain a sleek look at an affordable cost without…
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Left or right-side opening provides versatility for…
  • ROLLERDISCK TECHNOLOGY: Sliding roller disks feature 3/8 in. of built-in…
  • EASY WALK-IN ENTRY: Fixed panel with sliding glass shower door allows for…
  • PREMIUM GLASS: Double certified clear tempered glass measures…

Is cleaning frameless shower doors easier?

The cleaning process for a framed and frameless shower door are quite different. cleaning a frameless shower door is generally easier since there are no frames to collect dirt, grime, and mold. It is recommended to wipe down the glass with a squeegee or a microfiber cloth after each shower to remove any water spots and prevent soap scum and hard water stains from building up.

If there is any dirt or grime build-up, it can be cleaned with a mild soap and water. The hardware used in the frameless shower door can also be cleaned with mild soap and water. Frameless shower doors are also more prone to scratches or chips if not cleaned and maintained properly, so it’s important to handle them with care.

What are the different types of frameless glass shower doors?

There are several different types of frameless glass shower doors, including:

  • Bypass doors: these doors slide on a track, allowing them to bypass each other,
  • Pivot doors: These doors are attached to a pivot point, allowing them to swing open
  • Neo-angle doors: These doors are often used in corner shower areas,
  • Bi-fold doors: These doors fold in half like a accordion, allowing them to take up less space when opened.
cleaning shower glass

Is cleaning a frameless shower door easier?

The cleaning process for a framed and frameless shower door are quite different. cleaning a frameless shower door is generally easier since there are no frames to collect dirt, grime, and mildew. It is recommended to wipe down the glass with a squeegee or a microfiber cloth after each shower to remove any water spots and prevent soap scum and hard water stains from building up.

If there is any dirt or grime build-up, it can be cleaned with a mild soap and water. The hardware used in the frameless shower door can also be cleaned with mild soap and water. Frameless shower doors are also more prone to scratches or chips if not cleaned and maintained properly, so it’s important to handle them with care.

The Wild Card: Semi-Frameless Enclosure Shower Doors!

If you are still indecisive after reading the framed vs frameless shower door comparisons then you may be interested in the middle ground: Semi-Frameless shower doors.

A semi-frameless shower enclosure features framing on either side of the main panel but not around the door. The stationary panel may have a frame or not, depending on the design.

This type of enclosure is a great option if you want to add a finishing touch to your shower while still preserving an open view.

On one hand, the semi-frameless design offers a balance between framed and frameless enclosures, providing some openness to the space. On the other hand, it can be more costly than fully framed enclosures and does not offer a completely open design.

Below is an example of a semi-frameless shower door on Amazon:

Sale
DreamLine Lumen 34-35 in. W by 72 in. H Semi-Frameless Hinged Shower Door in Satin Black, SHDR-5334720-09
  • Pictured SlimLine base not included; IMPORTANT! All measurements should be…
  • 1 in. of total adjustment for width or out-of-plumb (uneven walls);…
  • Uniquely designed hinges integrated into anodized aluminum wall profile…
  • Quality 1/4 in. (6mm) thick certified clear tempered glass
  • Pictured SlimLine base not included; IMPORTANT! All measurements should be…

FAQ about framed and frameless shower doors

The Verdict

Spoiler Alert! We have a frameless and love it as you can see in the picture below!

Our frameless shower door

Now you have plenty of information to be able to decide for yourself whether the framed option or frameless glass shower doors are best since they do have some differences. For us, it all came down to budget. Your framed vs frameless shower decision may be based on that as well, or you can have different features that tip the balance one way or the other.

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Denise

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