Frameless vs. Framed Shower Doors: Which One is Safer?

December 14, 2023
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When selecting shower doors for a bathroom renovation or a new build, the debate between frameless vs framed shower doors is significant. This choice not only influences the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom but also factors in cost and safety considerations. Deciding between the sleek elegance of frameless doors and the traditional stability of framed ones requires a thoughtful approach.

The choice between frameless and framed shower doors often revolves around more than just safety. Consumers need to consider their budget and desired visual style. From a shower door leaking to custom glass shower installation, Kryger Glass is here to assist. Read on to explore the full range of options for your glass shower needs.

Frameless vs. Framed Shower Doors

Both types of shower enclosures have benefits and negatives that can be divided into four major categories:

  1. Cost
  2. Quality
  3. Cleanliness
  4. Aesthetic
  5. Safety

What is a Frameless Shower Door

A glass shower door without the metal casing along the edges and corners is considered frameless. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of frameless shower doors. 

The Pros

Frameless shower doors stand out for their quality, using tempered glass typically ranging from 3/8 to 1/2 inches thick. These installations, customized for your bathroom, guarantee a precise fit. Trained residential glass service professionals expertly secure the glass panels, creating an airtight seal along the sides and bottom for optimal functionality and elegance.

Frameless glass shower doors are also easy to clean since there are no metal edges for moisture and soap scum to hide under. This also means the bathroom will harbor less bacteria. 

The bonus of having metal-free glass doors is their sleek look. They look luxurious compared to their traditional counterparts. The plain glass also opens up a space and creates the illusion of a larger room. 

The Cons

Frameless shower doors offer beauty and reliability but carry a higher price tag. Their custom design with thicker glass often necessitates modifying or adding bathroom tiles for proper installation and secure glass wall support.

Customization of frameless shower doors also means repairs may take longer and incur additional expenses.

What is a Framed Shower Door? 

Framed glass shower doors are defined by having aluminum casing along all of the sides along with a bottom metal track or water barrier. 

The Pros

The aluminum casing defines framed glass shower doors with sides and a bottom track or water barrier. They offer affordability, coming in ready-made kits rather than custom sizes, which reduces the overall cost. Many homeowners opt for DIY installation, making them a practical choice over shower curtains, which a study found to harbor 60 times more microbes than toilet seats.

The Cons

Framed glass shower doors, while affordable, have notable downsides. Their lower pricing often correlates with lower-grade materials and reduced overall quality, a typical result of bulk manufacturing. 

Despite being a cleaner option than shower curtains, they are prone to mold and mildew accumulation within the aluminum borders and hinges, complicating cleaning efforts. 

Additionally, their traditional appearance might appeal to something other than those preferring frameless doors’ modern, sleek design.

Which Shower Door is Safer? 

We’ve discussed the good and bad of each type of enclosure; now it’s time to discuss the possible safety risks. 

Frameless vs Framed Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors, often installed with pivot hinges, offer the practicality of opening inward and outward. This flexibility is beneficial in emergencies, allowing easy access without the risk of injury or glass damage. The thicker, tempered, and reinforced glass of frameless doors significantly reduces the likelihood of shattering.

In contrast, framed shower doors typically feature thinner glass as a cost-saving measure. This makes them more prone to breakage, even though the metal frame does provide some stability. However, the question arises: does this added stability justify the potential safety risks?

Overall, frameless glass doors blend safety with aesthetics, demonstrating that you don’t have to compromise elegance for security.

Need Help Deciding? 

Choosing the correct fixture elements for your bathroom upgrade is crucial, and we are ready to assist with our bath and shower enclosure services. Our commitment to outstanding customer service and value ensures a seamless enhancement of your bathroom. Reach out to us today for professional guidance.

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