Framed Vs Frameless Shower Doors

Gary Johnson
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What are the Shower Doors?

The shower doors are made up of frameless or framed. Today, the framed glass shower door is the most popular shower-door option, giving homeowners a frameless feel within.

The frameless shower door is usually a glass panel, which slides into a track or channel, which in turn attaches to the shower wall. The glass is held in the track by separate, movable pieces of silicon or other soft material.

Another type of shower door is the framed glass or frameless glass shower door. This is a glass panel that is set into a metal frame, often with either metal or plastic pieces for the door. The frame moulding is then fixed directly to the wall. There are many advantages of having the framed shower door. For the frameless, one of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of water-resistance.

Types of Shower Doors

While the two shower doors that come to mind are framed and frameless, there are a few others to consider. The most expensive shower doors are usually frameless, but if you have a tight budget or the budget is already higher than you can afford, frameless shower doors shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Frameless Shower Doors: In the early days, shower doors were frameless, usually made out of glass. Today’s frameless shower doors can be made out of glass or any type of transparent material.

Framed Shower Doors: Framed shower doors are much more popular than they used to be.

Hinged Shower Doors: Hinged shower doors are typically made from stainless steel or some type of plastic, such as acrylic, although some are framed and hinged.

Pocket Shower Doors: Pocket shower doors are very in style right now and stepped on the scene quickly about 10 years ago.

Shower Doors With Fixed Panels: Fixed panels are a shower door with panels.

Framed Shower Doors

Framed shower doors typically have multiple panels to accommodate large or thick frames. These types of doors are often made to be a focal point of the bathroom. They are easy to repair and rarely require replacement. Because they have frames, they are more secure and range from being quite large to over 10 feet tall. It provides a large view of the bathroom.

These shower doors are typically the most expensive type you can buy but can add a sense of luxury and upscale feel to a bathroom. For more of an upscale look, you may want to have your shower professionally installed by a contractor. Framed shower doors in bathrooms often need to be of a certain weight and or thickness to ensure its safety and durability.

  • Frameless shower doors
  • Frameless shower doors are the most affordable style of shower door on the market. It has a streamlined look to it and is not made to be a focal point of the bathroom. They are a simple design that is easy to install and most are not intended to be permanent. Because the doors are mostly clear, it lets in natural light and make the bathroom feel larger while also being cost effective.

Pros of Framed Shower Doors

Framed doors are made of multiple panes of glass. They are usually fixed in a frame, hence the name. This frame is usually made of metal or wood, and attaches to the wall using pre-drilled holes.

The most significant advantage of framed doors is their sturdiness and overall quality. Framed doors look better and can withstand the test of time.

One of the most important things that you should consider before you buy a shower door is the location of the door. Most of the shower doors come in standard sizes or can be customized based on your requirements. It is important to make sure that the model you choose fits the shower unit.

You should also choose the finish of the shower door. Your options include opaque frost, glass, and clear frosted glass. If you want a clean and modern look, you should go for an opaque frost finish. Alternatively, you can choose a clear frosted glass if you prefer minimalistic and sleek design.

A disadvantage of the framed door is the installation process. It takes longer and is more complicated since the door has to be fit precisely along the track.

Advantages of Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless doors are simpler compared to framed doors, but you may not find them as sturdy. They are made of only 1 or 2 panes of glass and usually installed using a tension rod and suction cups.

Cons of Framed Shower Doors

Since these are solid pieces of material they tend to be heavier than the frameless counterparts. You may find that it is more difficult to install these shower doors and that they are more expensive to buy than the frameless counterparts.

Sometimes because they are solid pieces of material they cannot be repaired quite as easily as the frameless shower doors. One thing you will find with the frameless shower doors is that they are always going to be more energy efficient.

The way that the frameless shower doors are manufactured makes it so that they are going to allow the water to pass through them a lot easier than the framed shower doors.

The water is going to flow past the curtain and down the drain of the shower much easier with the frameless shower doors. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to help save the planet then this is the way to go.

Besides being better for the environment these are going to work better for the people who are trying to conserve on the energy that they are using at home. They are made in such a way that they are going to have a lot less impact on the environment.

Frameless Shower Doors

Since frameless showers have no enclosure, they allow for a clear, all-glass look, which makes them perfect for anyone who wants to enhance their bathroom’s visual appeal. These showers are available in many styles, such as framed glass, sliding glass doors, paneled glass, and a combination of wood and glass. Frameless showers may either be equipped with a built-in seat or a standalone seat. On average, frameless shower doors can cost more than framed ones, although it is less expensive than a shower unit with a full enclosure.

Pros of Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors are easier to clean, especially on the inside with the soap scum and mineral deposits. You can also see from the outside what is going on in the shower while someone is in it.

Cons of Frameless Shower Door

If for some reason you're not happy with the glass in the shower and want to replace it, a frameless shower door is going to be harder to find. Not only do you have to find one that holds the same dimensions as the glass, you also need to make sure that it's going to fit in the same place you have an opening for it.

And if it's not perfect, then you're going to have to attempt to cut the glass to fit. This can lead to a dangerous situation.

Second, the hinge is made of a more durable material so the door doesn't flop all over if someone bumps into it. In fact, you shouldn't have to worry about the hinge breaking at all.

Third, a frameless door can slip off of the track or off of the frame when installed. Frameless shower doors do not have a track, so you cannot pull it back into place. This can be inconvenient, especially if you have to get your hands wet to get the door back onto the frame.


Framed doors are generally used for heavy duty applications because they are basic single pane glass or a thermal pane glass. Thermal pane glass shower doors are preferred as they are fog proof and have better thermal qualities than the single pane glass. The single pane is an entry level door. They offer a more traditional look and fit well into a bathroom design using traditional tile or have better sealing capabilities than the frameless version.

Frameless shower doors are gaining popularity and are used heavily in commercial applications. A frameless door is more durable that a framed door, and they offer less maintenance, as well as being more energy efficient. The biggest downside to frameless doors is that they do not allow for any space to be built in to the shower design. This is why they are used in remodel units to increase the floor space, which remains a valuable asset for any home and is one reason why these bathrooms sell faster than homes with a small shower.

A framed door has the frame, which adds depth to the shower. The frame is a 1/2” thick and usually constructed of an aluminum material that keeps it lower in maintenance and weight than the frameless. The interior space provided by the frame is an asset when adding plumbing lines to a bathroom remodel and is the most common door used when remodeling. Framed shower doors also provide a more traditional look.