Defining Framed and Frameless Shower Enclosures

A framed and frameless glass shower enclosure

Are you in the process of remodeling your bathroom? You have the new wall color picked out, new cabinets and fixtures, and now it is time to select your shower enclosure. Did you know there are many different types of shower enclosures? How do you know which frames to choose and the differences between them? At Glass Doctor of Dallas Metroplex we pride ourselves on making sure our customers are getting a quality product in a fast and friendly manner as well as educating them on the differences between each type of glass.

The most common shower door frames are fully framed doors. These are typically seen on a bypass shower door, which has two doors that slide in a frame mounted to the bathtub.

They have a metal frame around the entire structure, including the door. The framed showers are the most cost effective because they typically use 3/16 inch tempered or laminated glass. Although the fully framed enclosures aren’t as fancy or glamorous as the frameless showers, they are built to last and work in the smallest of budgets.

A semi-frameless shower enclosure also has metal on it. Although you will see the metal on the entire structure, there will be no metal across the top and the strike side of the actual shower door. The semi-frameless shower enclosures usually use 1/4 inch tempered glass as well as a sleeker profile channel.

A frameless shower enclosure is harder to define. Some have metal around the fixed panels while most people think that frameless means no frame at all. However, in the glass industry, “frameless” refers to any shower enclosure that does not have metal adhered to the edge of the glass. Clips, which are used on the fixed panels, as well as a header, are used for safety and support reasons on the top of the glass. The use of clips, u-channels, or a header does not disqualify a shower enclosure from actually being “frameless”. Generally, using u-channels or a header on the enclosure actually help tie it into the rest of the bathroom structure. Frameless enclosures use either 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch tempered glass.

As you can see, there are many variations of framed and frameless shower enclosures. We can match your existing hardware finish with the finishes of your current hardware, which will make your new bathroom come to life.  Here at Glass Doctor of Dallas Metroplex, we will go above and beyond to make sure our customers are fully satisfied with their finish product. If you have any questions, call us or click -here- to fill out a contact form.  To learn more about shower enclosures, visit our online gallery