Shower Enclosures: What’s the Difference?

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Shower Enclosures: What’s the Difference?
Framed, Frameless, and Semi-Frameless Shower Enclosures What’s the Difference

Framed, Frameless, and Semi-Frameless Shower Enclosures: What’s the Difference?

So you’re ready to renovate your bathroom, or at the very least your shower, and you are picking and choosing from among the many style options you have. Your options truly are limitless. The types of tiles, shower/tub combos, fixtures, and more, can seem overwhelming. One design feature many do not realize they need to decide upon until asked is the shower enclosure. What type of framing do you want on your shower doors? Do you want framing at all.

Three Shower Enclosure Options

By now, you have decided you do indeed want a shower enclosure and not a shower curtain. Now, you have three options to choose from – framed, frameless, and semi-frameless. Before you decide, let’s talk about what the differences among them are.


Framed shower enclosures offer a bold, Victorian look where every edge of the glass door and paneling is framed. Many framed shower enclosures even include metal strips or panels that run across the glass to create squares or rectangular accent pieces. 

This style of framing is great if you want to be able to install the doors and paneling yourself. The glass is less expensive because it is thinner, and you can choose from among the types of metal material you have framing your glass, which means you can match the rest of the fixtures in your bathroom. 

You will typically save money with framed shower enclosures.


Frameless shower enclosures are at the opposite end of the spectrum and have no framing whatsoever around the glass. Your glass will need to be thick, from ½” to 3/8,” and it will likely need to be professionally delivered and installed. It is fastened with luxury, high end hardware to keep the glass in place and safe upon opening and closing. 

Frameless is the most “fancy” of the three options as people usually choose it for a clear view into their shower to display their tile or showerhead and fixtures. It has a clean, seamless look.


Semi-Framed shower enclosures are the midway point between framed and frameless. Here, you will find some framing, typically at the outer edges of the enclosure, but not around the doors. These are the most common shower enclosures, so you will have many more options to choose from as they are widely available. 

It is a good balance to choose semi-framed; you will still get that seamless, clean look, but you will spend less money because your glass does not have to be so thick, and you will be using less metal. There is also a chance you can install these yourself or with a little help.

Still Stuck? Contact Select Glass & Windows Today

If you have read the descriptions and differences, and you are still not sure which is right for you, Select Glass & Windows is here to help. 

A leader in glass repair, replacement, and installation, we have been helping people find the glass that fits their needs for many years. You may be looking for a modern, sleek look. Perhaps you enjoy a bold, masculine approach to interior design, or maybe you just want to save money and have something that looks nice. 

That’s what we are here for. Our crews are top rated experts in their field with a passion for exceptionalism and an eye for aesthetics. We can come out to you to take a look at your bathroom and work with you on which options might be best. 

Contact Select Glass & Windows today for all your glass needs.

If you’d like to schedule your free estimate give us a call at 703-309-4118 or click here to contact us.

If you’d like to learn more about 5 Great Reasons To Use Safety Glass just click here.

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One Comment
  1. I really liked reading what you had to say about frameless glass showers and what they’re good for. These kinds of sleek looks could really be something that I can see myself liking for our grand bathroom remodeling project. I’ll ask a glass shower expert to get me a frameless model immediately so we can start this project.

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