The Difference Between Frameless Showers, Framed Showers, and Semi-Frameless Showers

walk in shower, free standing tub, chandelier in master bathroom

There are many choices to make when remodeling your primary bathroom, one of which is the type of shower you want to install. Before jumping in with both feet, it is important to research your options, including frameless, framed, and semi-frameless shower enclosures.

While fully frameless, framed, and semi-frameless showers are beautiful and popular options for your bathroom, you’ll want to be sure you understand and visually see the difference between your choices.

Frameless showers are comprised of tempered glass that is between three-eighths to one-half of an inch thick. The heavier weight and sturdiness of the glass help eliminate the need for heavy metal framing around it. Instead, the structure is held together by metal fasteners and hinges.

basement bathroom with framed shower and black fixturesFrameless is a great option for displaying beautiful tile and it also provides an open and airy feel. Keep in mind, however, that since the glass is thicker, you may notice a slight tint.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a framed shower enclosure.  With a fully framed shower, the glass thickness is between three-sixteenths and one-fourth of an inch. Because the glass is thinner, it needs more support than just metal brackets and hinges. Instead, it is surrounded by metal framing which coordinates with the finishes of the other fixtures in the bathroom.

Semi-frameless shower enclosurePerhaps the happy medium is the semi-frameless shower option.  Semi-frameless shower enclosures tend to have slightly thicker glass and a more noticeable frame, but it largely allows an unobstructed view of the tile and interior of the shower.

While frameless showers offer the cleanest look, semi-frameless is an intermediate option for your bathroom if frameless isn’t right for you.

Arrange to meet with a designer to learn about all the variables you should consider for your upcoming primary bathroom remodel. For more information and inspiration on interior design and home remodeling, follow Normandy on Facebook and Instagram.

Primary bathroom shower with storage  stand alone tub in front of window and shower with half wall and frameless surround

frameless shower attached to deep tub with deck surround in traditional primary bath with oak vanity  stand alone shower with wood wall look and decorative floor tile in black and white, open shelving in nook


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