Frameless, Semi-Frameless and Framed Shower Doors Explained

Here we tackle what they are…when there used and the cost differences between each.

There are a number of reasons to choose a framed enclosure vs. semi-frameless or frameless shower doors.  The most likely reasons are aesthetics & budget. When someone comes into one of our showrooms the first things we find out is “is this a new renovation or older bathroom?”.  If you have just taken the time, money & effort into a new bathroom renovation it is likely you are going to finish off the project with a frameless shower enclosure as it will likely be the focal point of the bathroom.

Following the “less is more” philosophy, the less frame on a shower enclosure the more it will cost.

If you are just replacing your older shower enclosure you probably don’t want to go for the extra cost of frameless when all you need is the function of a shower door with a cost-effective price point.  In this scenario, most will lean toward a framed or semi-frameless enclosure.

Chris explains the difference between framed, frameless or semi-frameless shower doors.

Frameless Shower Doors and Enclosures

Frameless shower enclosures can vary in the degree of frameless-ness.  Generally, if the shower has heavy glass (⅜” or ½” thick) and the finished edge of the glass is visible it is considered frameless.  Regardless if a U channel or a header bar is used.

Below is an example of a frameless shower door.

Semi-Frameless Shower Doors and Enclosures

Semi-Frameless enclosures are generally thinner glass (3/16” or ¼”) that comes separate from the frame, glazed into a metal channel on sight using gaskets or silicone.  There is less metal on the edges of a semi-frameless enclosure than a framed one. Usually, a Semi-Frameless enclosure, the only edge of glass you will see are on the handle side edge of the door and the top. Typically all other edges will have metal channels around them.

Below is an example of a semi-frameless shower door.

Framed Shower Doors and Enclosures

A framed shower door or enclosure is one where all edges of the glass are covered by a frame of metal, channel or extrusion.  These can be made of aluminum or in high-end applications solid brass. Framed shower doors typically use a thinner glass and cost less than a frameless shower door.

Below is an example of a framed shower door.

Free Frameless Shower Door Design Consultation

At Absolute Shower Doors we are committed to helping our customers navigate the many options available for their new custom shower door design. Our unique process ensures our customers receive the best quality products and have a rewarding customer experience.