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.

Shower with glassFrameless 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.

Master bathroom with drop-in bathtub, makeup vanity, and walk-in shower

Perhaps the happy medium is the semi-frameless shower option.  Semi-frameless shower enclosures (shown at left) 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 master bathroom remodel. Or, be on the lookout for the dates of our upcoming bathroom workshops to help you get started. For more information and inspiration on interior design and home remodeling, follow Normandy on Facebook and Twitter.

Master bathroom with drop-in bathtub, makeup vanity, and walk-in showerShower and storage in Chicago condo


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