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The Difference Between Framed and Frameless Shower Doors

The Difference Between Framed and Frameless Shower Doors

November 24, 2020
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Transforming a bathroom can be as easy as installing a new shower door. These simple changes can have a big effect on the look and feel of your entire space, no matter which style you prefer. However, there are so many options that picking the right one may seem impossible. You may even wonder whether you should get a framed or frameless shower door. These decisions will impact whether you like or love your new bathroom once finished. But how do you decide?

While frameless and framed shower doors are both secure and flexible choices, they also have some disadvantages that you must consider ahead of time. We want to help you make the right decision, which is why our team of Utah shower door installation experts puts together a guide to framed and frameless glass shower doors.

Let us help you decide which shower design promises the best results for your new bathroom. If you have any questions regarding any of the following information, you can also contact Sawyer Glass. Together, we can design your dream bathroom using our shower door installation services in Salt Lake City.

Now, let’s discuss.

Frameless vs. Framed Glass Shower Doors

Have you ever wondered about the difference between shower doors? A frameless glass shower door enclosure uses a panel of tempered glass rather than metal support for an overall seamless design. These shower enclosures offer a clean, modern appearance that many homeowners lean towards when designing a new bathroom. On the other hand, framed shower doors use a heavy-duty aluminum frame around their interior edges for a sturdy structure.

Frameless Shower Doors

Benefits of Frameless Glass Shower Doors

Most of our customers prefer the look of frameless glass shower doors because it perfectly blends with any bathroom style. Along with the impact of frameless glass shower enclosures, other benefits make this option a popular choice.

Variety of Design Options: When you opt for a frameless shower door, there are a variety of design styles that you can choose from for your final pick. A frameless shower door comes in customizable options, including sizes, configurations, shapes, and styles. These glass shower doors don’t use metal frames, but there will still be metal hinges, hardware, and handles.

You will need to decide which material matches your bathroom design best. There are also semi-framed shower doors that include metal enclosures on the sides or top of the door. Whichever style you prefer, these options will ensure that you get the perfect look for your bathroom.

  • Range of Motion: Forget opening limitations. Another advantage of frameless glass shower doors is that the hinges can swing outward or inward. You can decide how the door pivots so that it minimizes interference with your space’s spatial design. This feature is especially important in bathrooms with limited space.
  • Easy Maintenance: Without any frame blocking the glass, cleaning your frameless glass shower door will be far easier than a framed enclosure. Maintaining your shower door is essential to keeping your bathroom looking as beautiful as the day it was installed. The frameless design will minimize soap scum that develops from collected moisture over time.

Along with easy cleaning, frameless glass shower doors are also easier to replace. Framed shower doors require parts from the original manufacturer, while replacement parts for frameless enclosures can come from various suppliers. You won’t need to worry about as many parts either since frameless shower doors require less than framed.

  • Flawlessly Blend into Any Space: One of the traits of frameless shower doors that influence homeowners the most is that it blends into any design. The minimal look of the enclosure keeps the space free and airy. The doors also allow the rest of your design features to show without any distraction. If you have beautiful tile work, these are the glass shower doors for you.

Drawbacks of Frameless Shower Doors

Although there are many advantages of frameless glass shower doors, there are a few disadvantages. A few include the cost, instability, and difficult installation. The price of frameless shower doors tends to be higher than other shower enclosure options. However, each style will impact the exact price difference.
Installing a frameless shower door is also more complicated than framed enclosures. The process includes drilling certain tiling materials and hardware into place so that it functions correctly. You will need a professional contractor with the experience to ensure the door goes in properly. However, working with Sawyer Glass will make the entire installation process a breeze. Contact us to figure out whether a frameless shower door is right for your bathroom design.

Framed Glass Shower Doors

Advantages of Framed Shower Doors


A framed glass shower door is a perfect choice if you upgrade from a shower curtain to a glass shower door. This framed design offers a cleaner and more friendly design than shower curtains or mirrored glass doors. Our designers often recommend these shower enclosures for those looking for adding architecture and design in their bathrooms. A few benefits of framed shower doors include:

  • Stability: Most framed shower doors use tempered glass that is highly durable and safe. In fact, if the glass breaks, it breaks into small circles rather than shards, which will reduce the risk of injury. The aluminum framing also decreases any chance of the glass breaking—a great option for homeowners with small children.
  • Easy Installation: Installing a framed glass shower door is often easier than frameless doors because you won’t need to worry about hinges or other difficult hardware. Framed shower doors can also fit over any shower material, so you will have various options when choosing your enclosure.
  • Keeps Water Inside: Another benefit of framed shower doors is keeping the water inside better than any other type of enclosure. They contain a track that traps water and has both a layer of caulk and a metal frame to protect against spilling. The overall design will reduce the chances of leaking onto your bathroom floor.
  • Cost-Effective: Framed shower doors are typically 10-15% less costly than frameless glass shower doors. If you are on a budget, then this enclosure type might be the right choice for your space.

Disadvantages of Framed Shower Doors


A few of the drawbacks of choosing a framed shower door are that it offers a limited range of motion. These doors only open outward, so if you have limited space inside your bathroom, it could be difficult to find a framed shower door that fits the design. It is also harder to maintain because of the little crevices and various materials. The metal around the enclosure can also corrode over time due to excess moisture. Soap scum and water droplets could also cause mildew buildup around the shower frame.

Utah Shower Door Installation at Sawyer Glass


Sawyer Glass is the premier provider of residential and commercial glass in the Salt Lake City area. Our dedication to professional work, prompt service, and your satisfaction will ensure that you get the perfect glass shower door for your bathroom.

Whether you are in the market for a framed shower door, frameless glass shower door, custom mirror, glass furniture tops, cabinet glass, energy-efficient vinyl replacement windows, commercial glass, or pet doors, our professional glaziers have the knowledge and experience needed to provide first-rate service.

No matter what you need, Sawyer Glass guarantees your satisfaction. Learn more about our frameless and framed shower door services by visiting our website.