Choosing Between Framed and Frameless Shower Enclosures

Frameless Shower Enclosures

Many homeowners are making the switch to walk-in showers instead of the classic-shower and tub combination. While it’s possible to have a glass door installed on a traditional stall, glass shower enclosures have become very popular.  Glass shower enclosures come in two major varieties: frameless or framed. Here are a few of the differences between these types.


A framed shower enclosure consists of panes of glass with metal frames. Contractors use these frames to hold the panes together to make the stall.

For a frameless shower, contractors use a heavier grade of glass because there’s no framework to provide stability. Instead, the panels are attached to the walls and each other with discrete hardware.


With a framed glass enclosure, contractors are using simple metal and a standard grade of glass. There doesn’t need to be quite as much expertise in the construction either.

With frameless glass, contractors must create a seamless look and use a more expensive grade of glass. Therefore, choosing a frameless enclosure does increase the price.


Frameless glass showers offer a seamless appearance. If your bathroom is small, or if you have especially beautiful tile work in your shower stall, a frameless enclosure is ideal because it doesn’t impede the view. This allows your tile work to take center stage. It can also make a small bathroom look larger.

With framed enclosures, you obviously can see the metal frames. This can impede your view in the bathroom. However, you can choose narrow metal to minimize this effect. Conversely, you can opt for wide, decorative framing.