A new shower can take your bathroom from boring to glamorous. There are so many possibilities for your shower glass door design that you may not know where to start. Before making a decision, you may be wondering if you should purchase framed or frameless glass shower doors.We've summarized the pros and cons of frameless and framed shower doors.
Both are made of tempered glass.
They are available in a variety of glass designs.
The doors open in many different ways.
Framed and frameless shower doors can be sealed with a protective coating.
Both types of doors require caulking.
Both types of doors can provide a good view of the shower stall.
Framed doors are made of thinner glass, as the frame supports the door. The frame itself is usually made of aluminum and can be powder coated in a variety of colors and finishes. The frame can be smooth or textured, and the glass is sealed in the frame to prevent leakage.
Frameless doors are made of the same tempered glass, but have thicker panes because there is no supporting frame. Clips, hinges and door handles are set into the glass and are caulked with thick silicone at the edges and corners to seal the glass. Often, the door itself may have a rubber "broom" at the bottom to keep water out of the shower.
Both framed and frameless shower doors are available in a variety of styles.
Framed shower doors are more limited in what they can do. Sliding doors are the most common type of framed shower stall, where the door slides on a track. You can't have frameless sliding doors. You can have a framed door with a recessed panel that opens and pivots in the frame, and a fixed enclosure with a heavy top frame. These become less common as housings become larger.
Frameless doors may come with a French opening that has two side-by-side doors hinged outward, or they may feature a variety of different fixed and moving panels that pivot and hinge off the fixed panel.
However, framed doors are often considered formal or traditional in appearance due to the heavy metal edges, while frameless doors have a more modern feel.
Both framed and frameless doors should be installed by a professional. The complexity of the installation depends specifically on the size and shape of the shower, the height of the ceiling and the glass you choose.
Frameless doors can be more laborious to install than framed doors because the clips used to hold the door in place need to be perfectly level to prevent the heavy door from sagging over time. If the tiles are installed in a shower, special drill bits are required to properly attach the clips. Heavy-duty silicone caulk is used where the glass meets the wall on the fixed panel to prevent leaks.
Framed doors may be easier to install because the glass is thinner and the door is lighter. Frames make installation faster because the glass rests on the frame rather than on clips or hinges. Caulking is still needed to hold the frame in place and ensure the glass is properly secured in the frame.
You can expect to take at least three to four hours to install a frameless door, while a framed door can usually be installed in about one to two hours. Keep in mind that if the formwork is already completed, there is a two to three week lead time between the formwork and the door installation.
The cost of the two types of shower doors varies greatly depending on whether the product is stock or custom, the size of the door, the height of the door, and the type of glass. The different configurations of the doors make it difficult to accurately compare costs. In either case, choosing a custom door will increase the cost of materials and installation.
The most common framed shower doors include a track at the top and bottom of the door. This track can collect water, which can lead to metal corrosion or the growth of mold and mildew, which means they can be more difficult to clean. It is also difficult to find framed glass that has been treated to help prevent water damage, so we recommend scraping the door after each use.
Frameless doors are less likely to cause mold and mildew problems because they do not collect water.
Framed shower doors are more likely to collect minerals around them and corrode because they are made of aluminum. Powder coating can help prevent this from happening and extend the life of the door.
Frameless shower doors are less likely to have this problem because less metal is used. Both types of doors can last 20 to 30 years or more if properly maintained.
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