Frameless vs. Framed Shower Doors: How, What, and Why? Skip to Main Content
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Frameless vs. Framed Shower Doors: How, What, and Why?

Bathrooms are an integral part of a house. The shower area is where you go to decompress after a long day or even get ready for a big day. Apart from hygiene and personal time, it's a place that sets the tone for the rest of the day, which is why it's so important to take some time to redesign it when you're moving into a new house.

Shower doors for your bathroom are an important decision when you're revamping it. The shower door's design and material can increase your property's value if you decide to put your home up for sale in the future.

With so many options available in the market, choosing the right shower door for your bathroom can be overwhelming. Framed and frameless shower doors are two of the most common types of shower doors today. If you're looking for something that matches the contemporary architecture of your home and offers excellent functionality, frameless glass doors should be your go-to.

However, since the shower area is a central part of your home, you should consider all the factors such as material, design, and durability before settling for one option.
Read on to learn more about shower glass doors and which one you should choose for your home's bathroom!

Types of Shower Doors

Before picking a shower door for your home, make sure you learn about the different types of shower doors available and pick one that suits your needs and best fits your home.

Here are the two most common types of shower doors:

Framed Shower Doors

Framed shower doors are the standard type of glass doors with a frame made up of different materials like wood , fiberglass, metal, aluminum, etc. Framed doors can be installed in different designs and are known for their strength.
However, the framed shower doors come with a drawback such that their material tends to rust with time as shower doors are exposed to water. No matter what material you pick, it's prone to corrosion or damage that will affect its overall look with time.

Frameless Shower Doors

Although framed shower doors are a standard option, frameless glass doors are becoming popular among homeowners, architects, and remodelers. Frameless glass doors are sturdy and add to the bathroom's aesthetic appeal.

Many homeowners with contemporary architectural design are opting for frameless shower doors due to their many benefits. The simplicity and transparency of the frameless glass doors also highlight other high-end features of the shower area, such as the tiles and the showerhead.

Frameless shower glass pane

What is a Frameless Glass Shower Door?

If you want to learn what and how frameless shower doors function, you shouldn't skip this part of the blog.

A frameless shower door is a glass door that doesn't require frame support. Most commonly, it's made up of tempered glass that is shatterproof and is between ⅜" and ½" thick. The glass door is connected to the shower area with durable hinges or even slides.

Due to the lack of a material frame, frameless glass doors are more durable and long-lasting than framed shower doors. Depending on how well-maintained a shower door is, it can last up to 20 or 30 years. This means that once you've installed a shower door, you wouldn't have to worry about reinstallation for another 3 decades.

Moreover, frameless shower enclosures are made of thicker panes that provide sturdier support and wouldn't crack or chip easily compared to framed glass doors.

How to Choose the Perfect Glass Shower Door?

If you're considering installing a frameless glass shower door for your home, there are several factors you must consider to choose the right shower door for your home. From installation to budget, design, and functionality, you must consider everything before deciding.

Here's a short guide for you:

Budgeting and Research

The first step in choosing the right shower door is setting a budget for it and starting your research. Find out what kind of shower door you want to install and whether it will be the right fit. Search the company that provides the installation services. Make sure to stick to the budget you've set.

Shower Area Space

Once you've determined the budget, you'll have to consider the design you want and whether or not you have enough space for it to be installed. Will a swinging glass door fit in your bathroom, or will a sliding shower door be more suitable?

Spacious shower door in a bathroom

Enclosure vs. Doors

Another thing you may want to consider before hiring a professional is whether you want a frameless shower enclosure or a shower door for your bathroom.

If you have a smaller bathroom space, then instead of a swinging shower door, you can install an enclosure that will save space and enhance the aesthetics of your bathroom.

Glass Options

There are many glass options if you install a frameless glass door for your shower area. It's best to consider other factors like the design of your bathroom before choosing a shower glass. Here are some of the options you can choose from:

  • Rain Glass
  • Clear Glass
  • Frosted Glass
  • Low-iron GLass
Each glass options have many pros and will enhance the aesthetics of your shower. Regardless of which one you choose for the upgrade, each glass option offers great possibilities.

Framed vs. Frameless Shower Doors


Mostly, framed and frameless shower doors use the same material, such as tempered glass; however, the material's thickness and durability are different for both.

The frameless glass door uses a thicker frame, making the shower door stronger and more durable. In comparison, framed shower doors or enclosures use thinner glass. This is because of the added weight of the frame material that supports the door.

Framed shower doors use materials like aluminum, metal, or wood, which are prone to corrosion and ruin the look of the door, not to mention the additional installation cost.


The shower door cost is another important factor you must consider before making a decision. There is a slight difference in the cost of framed and frameless glass shower doors . The door's size, material, design, and height also impact the price factor. Additionally, the customization of the doors will also increase the cost.

With that being said, framed doors tend to cost less than frameless doors. This is because of the thin glass panes and the material used to support the glass.

You may want to remember that frameless glass doors will be an investment that will last for decades with minimum maintenance. While you may save some money by installing farmed doors, over the years, you will be spending more on the maintenance of the frames. Besides, the aesthetic result of the frameless door will make the investment worth it.

Installation Methods

Typically, farmed shower doors take less time to install, while frameless shower doors require more time. This is because the frame supports the windows and is adjusted quickly during labor. Since the glass of the framed door is thinner and lighter, the installation process is relatively easier.

When it comes to frameless glass doors, the installation process is a bit more laborious due to heavier glass and no frame support. Once the hinges or the clips are secured, the glass door is easily installed. While you can opt for a DIY route, it's not recommended. A professional expert is more equipped to install the shower door. They understand all the requirements and will be able to measure the doors and fit them perfectly without breaking the glass door.

Frameless sliding shower door

Maintenance Requirements

Another difference between a frameless and framed shower door is maintenance requirements. If the framed shower windows aren't maintained regularly, you could be dealing with mold and mildew buildup. Because the material of the frame is constantly exposed to water, it becomes prone to molds and corrosion.

Frameless doors, on the other hand, require little maintenance due to no frame. Additionally, the protective layer on the glass door makes it a lot easier to clean the door. Therefore, with frameless shower door installation, you don't have to worry about dirt, minerals, or mold buildup.

Design and Aesthetics

If aesthetics and design are your first preference, then you should no doubt choose a frameless glass shower door. People looking for contemporary bathroom designs want to install frameless shower doors.

Frameless doors are also an excellent choice if you have limited bathroom space and want to give it a spacy and open look. Moreover, it also allows natural or artificial light to flow in, so you perform your shower rituals easily.


Compared to framed shower doors, frameless doors are made of high-quality glass and are not prone to rust. This is why frameless glass doors are sturdier and more durable than framed doors.

The glass is around four times thicker, which makes it high-functional and durable in the future.


Frameless glass doors are the perfect option if you want to go for a minimalistic design . It will perfectly fit into your minimalist bathroom style.

Additionally, frameless doors are more versatile in size. They can be customized according to your shower area. The size, glass material, height, and design are completely customizable.

In comparison, framed door glass is less customizable due to the frame. The glass size and height are adjusted according to your choice of a door frame.

Shower glass door in Austin


If you want transparency, you should opt for a frameless shower door for your bathroom. Frameless glass makes your bathroom space feel more spacious and open. It will also highlight the inner features such as the beautifully installed tiles, stonework, curtains, shower head, etc.

In comparison, framed glass doors make your shower area look outdated, especially if the frame doesn't match the overall look of your bathroom. The framed door for your shower also limits the bathroom layout.

Final Verdict

Both framed and frameless shower doors are good options, but the benefits and value that a frameless glass door brings to your home outweigh that of a framed shower door.

A frameless shower door is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it's high-functional, easily maintained, and much more long-lasting than framed doors. The durability of the frameless shower door is what makes the investment worthwhile. While the installation process is time-consuming and the costs may be slightly higher, once the door is installed, you wouldn't have to invest much in the future.

Frameless doors are also an excellent choice if you hate cleaning the shower door. They make maintenance easier and aren't predisposed to rust or corrosion.

Tips for Maintaining Your Frameless Shower Doors

To keep your frameless shower door clean, you don't need to invest in frequent professional maintenance schedules. All you need is a piece of cloth or towel and a cleanser to clean up after you have showered.

Spray down the cleanser on the glass door after showering and use a sponge or a towel to clean the walls and doors. Fill up a bucket of water and splash it over the glass doors and walls until it's clean.

Then, you can use vinegar water to clean any buildup of minerals and use a squeegee or a piece of cloth to dry the glass door. Make sure that all the spots have been cleaned. Regular professional maintenance wouldn't be required if you keep the shower doors clean and maintained.

A bathroom with a glass shower door in Austin

If you're looking for a dependable shower door installation service in Austin, TX, you can count on Shower Doors of Austin. We're a leading shower door company in Austin providing shower glass services using our expertise and experience.

We also offer shower door installation, door glass installation , shower door replacement, the fabrication of frameless shower glass doors, and much more!

You can check our portfolio or contact us to get a free quote on our custom shower doors today!

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