Which Option is Best for Your Shower Glass Door?

If you’re thinking of updating or upgrading your bathroom you may be considering switching from a shower curtain to shower glass doors.

When it comes to glass doors for showers, there are two main types to choose from: frameless shower doors and framed shower doors. While frameless showers offer a sleeker and more modern look, framed doors are traditional and offer greater water tightness.

This review of the pros and cons of each type of glass shower door will help you decide which is the right style for you.

What Is the Difference Between Framed and Frameless Shower Doors?

As the names suggest, the main difference is whether the glass has a frame around it or not.

Framed shower doors have aluminum framing on all sides that support the glass panel. 

Frameless shower doors don’t have the framing but instead are attached directly to the wall and include integrated hinges.

Pros of Framed Glass Shower Doors

Framed glass shower doors are available as framed sliders, which are primarily bypass, and framed swing doors, which have a door that opens out into the bathroom. 

Here are the pros that come with choosing framed glass shower doors: 

  • They are easy to install: Installing a framed glass shower door involves simply hanging the frame in which the glass is already fitted. Framed glass doors can be fitted over any type of shower or bath enclosure.
  • They are watertight: Thanks to a track that traps water, you are less likely to experience water leaks with framed glass shower doors. Because the metal frame is caulked to the enclosure, shower spray is kept inside the cubicle.
  • They come in various frame design options: You can choose the type of frame design you prefer for your bathroom. Though a framed glass shower door is a more traditional look, there are some sleeker and more modern options to choose from.
  • They are more cost-effective: A framed shower door is usually less expensive than its frameless counterpart as it is simpler to produce and install and is made with thinner tempered glass, which is more cost-effective.

Cons of Framed Glass Shower Doors

Some of the drawbacks of framed shower doors that you should consider include:

  • A limited range of motion: Framed glass shower doors can only slide open or swing outward. As The Bathtubber reviews, opening outward is a bit limiting because it is more likely to compromise the amount of space in your bathroom. Opening one way provides less flexibility in design and ease of use.
  • They are hard to maintain: Excess moisture can cause metal corrosion, soap scum, and mildew build-up around the shower frame. It will never be as easy to clean a framed shower door as to clean a frameless one.  
  • They may look outdated: A framed shower door can be an eyesore in bathrooms with more modern finishes. 

Pros of Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless glass shower doors are a good choice for those who prefer a more minimal look. 

Available as sliding frameless doors or swinging frameless doors, they have great qualities to consider too:

  • They are versatile in design: With a frameless shower door, you have more room to play with your design style. Choose from a wide variety of design styles, sizes and configurations to fit your bathroom and your personal taste. You can add hinges and handles to the panel of your frameless glass shower door and can even create a semi-frameless door with metal enclosures on the top or around the sides.
  • They offer a wider range of motion: Adding hinges to your frameless glass shower door allows the door to swing both ways. This feature offers more versatility and accessibility than you would have with a framed shower door. 
  • They are easy to clean: A frameless door is free of crevices where soap scum can collect. A frameless shower door holds less grimy debris and is easy to clean so it always looks sparklingly clean.
  • They are easier to replace: Replacing damaged parts of a frameless glass shower door is easier than replacing framed door parts. Framed doors require specific replacement parts that are often only sourced from the original manufacturer. With frameless shower doors, it’s simpler to remove and replace faulty or broken parts.
  • They don’t take away from the design of your bathroom: One of the greatest benefits of frameless shower doors is the aesthetic. Frameless shower doors can showcase your stonework or marble tiles, while framed glass shower doors or shower curtains may distract the eye.

Cons of Frameless Shower Doors

Though going frameless has lots of benefits, there are still some issues you may want to consider before making a choice:

  • They are expensive: Sleek comes with a price that’s significantly higher than traditional. This is because thicker glass and heavy duty hardware add cost, as well as the time it takes to install a larger, more complicated product.
  • They can break more easily: Although the glass used for frameless showers is thicker to make up for their stand-alone construction, they still aren’t as secure as framed glass shower doors. 
  • They aren’t fully water-tight: Due to the fact that there is no frame around the door, it is possible for some water to escape through the small gaps.
  • Their installation is complicated: Installation of your frameless glass door depends on your shower type. You will need the help of professional contractors to set up the hinges, and your shower must be compatible with the frameless door you choose. Make sure your shower has the right setup before committing to a frameless door.

Get Expert Help Choosing Your Shower Glass Door

Upgrading your shower or tub’s enclosure from a shower curtain to a framed or frameless glass door will brighten any bathroom. Whichever option you choose, make sure you consult with an expert like Budget Glass who can show you all the options available.

We now offer an online quoting portal for all your shower and tub glass enquiries. Once you click into the portal, you can choose from a variety of glass door options and ways to customize them including door configuration, hardware finish type and glass style. If you have any additional questions, we are happy to help.

Based in Nanaimo, BC and serving the mid-Vancouver Island region, Budget Glass can help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams. Contact us today to find out more about glass shower doors.