Many homeowners are now opting for modern bathrooms with an open, bright, and spa-like feel. Ideally, the traditional framed doors with the hard-line and glaring frames tend to work against that aesthetic. Frameless shower doors, on the other hand, allows for such fluidity and a sense of openness in an otherwise small space. Their seamless design can blend in with disparate bathroom elements like contemporary bath fixtures, decorative tiles, and sprawling vanities.
How Much Does a Frameless Shower Door Cost?
As expected, frameless shower doors cost more than a standard one. In fact, on average, the cost of installing a frameless shower door is $1,000. But that price can swing to as low as $700 or as high as $1,300 depending on the type of the door.
In some instances, you can save the cost (roughly by $300) by installing the door yourself. However, considering the delicate nature and amount you pay for the actual door, it is recommended that you let professional shower contractors install these heavy doors.
What is a Frameless Shower Door?
Frameless shower doors are 100 percent glass that doesn’t have frames. Unlike framed doors that have a solid frame that spans the width of the shower enclosure, frameless doors are supported by u-channel metal and hinges. The hinges are attached to the nearest wall with specific hardware designed to hold heavier doors. Typically, frameless doors will swing or slide to open or shut.
Which is Better Framed or Frameless Shower Doors?
Choosing a frameless shower door means you have a wide range of styles, design options, and sizes than their framed counterparts. The glass is thicker and will be installed with specialized hardware. They are held by very strong nuts and bolts, and hence sturdier than framed ones. Besides, they require little maintenance and last longer than conventional shower curtains.
However, even if frameless shower doors are gaining steam, some homeowners still use the standard framed shower doors. That is because the framed doors cost less than the frameless ones, and you can even save up to $500 on your total project.
Are Frameless Shower Doors Waterproof?
A standard frameless shower door should be waterproof. However, they do have tiny gaps at the sides and hinges of the doors that leak water. But, proper installation can prevent the water from passing through the gaps.
Pros and Cons of Frameless Shower Doors
Choosing a frameless shower has different benefits, such as:
- They can be customized – Frameless models do not limit you to the mass-produced shower doors at a standard size. That adds more flexibility to your door installation.
- Unmatched beauty – Frameless shower doors do not have bulky edges, metal, rubber, and seals, giving them a clean, fresh look. They look less visually cluttered and will showcase beautiful and intricate design choices like tile-work. They also make your bathrooms feel more airy and spacious.
- Modernized – besides the looks, frameless doors add better functionality to your showers. These doors slide or swing quietly and hence no more rattling and screeching.
- Low mold risks – Frameless designs minimize the number of places water can collect and allow mold to grow. They are easier to keep clean and do not run the risk of water build-up underneath the seals.
Frameless shower doors have drawbacks including:
- They cost more – Frameless shower doors require thick glass with sturdier hardware like solid brass to hold them intact. Hence, they cost more as the material used weighs more (between 80 and 100 pounds).
- You may have to sacrifice function – While frameless doors are excellent in aesthetics, they can sometimes be lacking in functionality. Particularly, if they are not cut to fit correctly, they can have gaps and allow water to splash onto the bathroom floor.
- They can shatter – Although rare, glass shower doors can shatter. That can be due to damage caused by improper installation or mishandling during transportation. It can also be because of glass inclusions during the fabrication process. However, the doors are designed to shatter into small pieces as a safety precaution. Small glass pieces can scratch or embed your skin but will less likely leave big wounds.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Frameless Shower Door?
When buying a frameless shower door, there are some aspects you should consider including:
Cleaning and waxing the shower door can be daunting. You should consider a glass that is treated with a protective layer as it will require little upkeep and maintenance.
Typically frameless shower doors are 3/8” or ½” thick. Anything thinner can be flimsy and unsafe. It is recommended to use ½” thickness if the overall size of the enclosure is large to minimize the flex.
Type of Glass
Most frameless doors are made of tempered glass, a safety glass designed to break into tiny, round pieces in case it shatters. In some instances, laminated glass is used to customize the doors as a more resilient but less safe of an option.
Frameless glass panels come in different styles. Clear glass will suit better in an open, modern design. For more privacy, consider textured or frosted glass, but if you want the shower door to be the focal point, look for an etched artsy design or S-cut glass.
When it comes to frameless shower doors, there are no limitations in the styles, sizes, or shapes you want. Look for a company that will come out to measure your specifications for optimum customization.
Most frameless shower doors are custom made, and hence they are uniquely priced. Check out the prices from different suppliers in your area to get the best negotiable deal.
Frameless shower doors are a real investment. So look for those with better warranty support. Remember, longer warranty support means the glass is of better quality and more durable.