If you’re updating an existing bathroom, or perhaps remodeling and adding a bathroom to your home, you’re going to have to make a decision about shower doors. Your biggest decision will be which type – framed or frameless (sometimes called heavy glass shower doors). Both have their advantages and disadvantages and we’ve compared the pros and cons of each to help you make the right decision. Take a look at the information below, then give Janssen Glass & Door a call for expert installation.
Framed Glass Shower Doors
More Affordable – on average, frameless glass shower doors will cost 2-3 times what framed glass shower doors cost. To give you some rough numbers to budget with, 60-inch framed doors installed will run $400 – $500. 60-inch frameless doors will cost $1,000 – $1,500 installed.
More Watertight – framed glass shower doors are less likely to leak. They have a track along the base that traps water, plus a layer of caulk. They also have a metal frame against the wall which is also caulked to prevent leaking.
Easier to Install – to install a framed glass shower door, you must attach the frame to the opening. Framed glass doors can fit over almost any type of shower material.
Frames May Corrode – the frames are made from various metals and can corrode, discolor, or even pit over time.
Not as Attractive – framed glass shower doors are considered more basic, traditional, and less attractive than frameless doors.
Higher Maintenance – framed doors, by nature, are surrounded by frames and slide on or fit into a track. This track can collect water, mold, mildew, and soap scum and is difficult to clean and keep clean.
Frameless Glass Shower Doors
Many Custom Styles – with the emphasis being more on aesthetics, frameless styles have many unique and custom styles available to choose from.
Upscale Appearance – because they lack a frame and require less hardware, frameless doors have a sleeker, more minimalist look which also helps keep the focus on any beautiful new tile work in your shower.
More Modern – from an aesthetics or decor standpoint, frameless doors are considered a more modern design choice.
Low Maintenance – with no tracks and less hardware, they are easier to keep clean.
Less Metal to Corrode – there are few metal pieces of hardware to corrode over time.
Wider Range of Motion: The hinges for your frameless shower door can pivot allowing the door to swing both outward and inward unlike framed shower doors that only swing one direction.
More Expensive – heavy glass is thicker than regular glass and is more expensive.
More Complicated Installation – it is recommended to have professional installation with frameless doors because they may need to drill certain tile materials to set up the hinges. If you don’t have the right tools, you could do more damage than good.
More Susceptible to Leaking – frameless doors have small openings that aren’t sealed with a frame or caulk. You have to be careful that the water isn’t angled to hit these openings directly. Children might need reminding.
In our opinion, it really comes down to look and price. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to stick with a framed door. If the bathroom will be used by mostly children, a framed door may keep water in better. But if you are looking to update or upgrade a bathroom, especially a master bathroom, we recommend spending the extra money to get the results you’ll like for years to come. If you’re updating, why put in something that’s already considered outdated by many?