European frameless, semi-frameless and framed shower doors: which is right for you?

right shower doors for you

We’re all familiar with the standard framed shower doors. They have panes of frosted glass or somewhat clear glass usually bordered by strips of metal along every edge. These doors often slide on tracks to open and close or open outwards on hinges. They do the job and have been around for decades. Mostly, we barely notice them because they don’t have any particular design features or overall aesthetic. They’re functional and that’s about it.

Today, many homeowners want more elegant, sophisticated, beautiful designs in their shower doors. They’ve seen more appealing designs in magazines, on home improvement shows or even at the neighbor’s house. Fortunately, the current shower door choices are much more alluring than the old school, standard framed doors you can get from the most popular chain retailers. Why have shabby, dated-looking shower doors when you can have much better? As Utah’s shower door experts, let us help you appreciate the choices you have available.

What is European frameless glass, and why would it be used in a shower door?

European frameless shower doors have a clean-looking, modern aesthetic. Of the shower doors available today, some say they are also the most beautiful. When you add this kind of shower door to your bathroom, the whole space will seem to have an enriched design. The very clear glass and lack of frames you get with European frameless doors make many bathrooms appear to be more spacious. With frameless glass you aren’t limited in height and width. This means people will not hit their heads when entering and exiting the shower. (Framed shower doors are often lower – if you’ve ever had to duck your head to enter a shower you know the issue.) Frameless glass doors also don’t have the type of seals that framed doors do, so they do not harbor mold.

People who are doing remodels and want to modernize their bathrooms very often opt for frameless glass. For example, a bathroom with white walls and countertops with an all-glass shower door looks very clean. The glass that’s used is tempered, so if it breaks it does so into many small pieces like auto glass to minimize danger to people. It’s thicker than glass in a window and is heavier. Since frameless glass can be customized, if you prefer sliding glass doors on your shower, that’s no problem. And, as an added perk, cleaning frameless shower doors is easier because there is only glass to wipe off.

Here’s a quick recap of the highlights of European frameless glass:

  • Generally considered the most beautiful
  • Very easy to clean because there are no frames
  • Custom glass for creative, unique designs
  • Often makes the shower area appear more spacious
  • Usually employs the thickest glass

Another option is semi-frameless glass. So what’s the difference?

Semi-frameless is the middle ground between frameless and framed. It’s glass, but there is no metal frame on the top edge of the glass and none on the edge near the handle. It looks more stylish and updated compared to framed options but is a little more traditional compared to the frameless options. However, you’ll still have more choices to add a creative element to your space. Semi-frameless usually costs a bit less than frameless. This is a good option if you are looking for style and function to fit your space and budget.

Recap of semi-frameless glass:

  • Has partial framing
  • Is the middle ground between frameless and fully framed
  • Usually costs slightly less than frameless
  • Uses custom glass for creative and unique designs

Why not stick with framed shower doors?

With framed doors you get a visual look that’s very well-known – one that might even be called boring. Framed doors have frames on all sides of the glass and thinner glass that is often frosted rather than clear. Framed shower doors you can get at retail chains have glass that’s usually ¼ inch and sometimes as thin as ⅛ inch. They come in fixed sizes, so they are not customizable. There’s nothing wrong with this type of shower door, but if you are interested in enhancing your home’s design, you’ll want a more upscale option.

Why upgrade your shower doors?

Consider a kitchen upgrade where homeowners get new cabinets and appliances but don’t replace laminate or formica countertops with granite or marble. Or perhaps they replace the countertops but don’t bother to add new appliances. It leaves the space looking dated. Updating your bathroom without upgrading the shower door is the same. New frameless or semi-frameless shower doors complete an upscale design.

Framed doors are standard in many, if not most, bathrooms with showers, so if you want to add more design attributes to your bathroom, go with frameless or semi-frameless. Which style will work best for you? Frameless doors have more design options like customizable shapes, mounting brackets and door handles. If you want more of a spa experience at home, go with frameless or semi-frameless shower doors. They look much more fashionable, so they are more attractive to both homeowners and potential buyers.

What is the process for going with European frameless or semi-frameless?

It’s simple! When you want exquisite custom glass shower doors for your home in Utah, contact us. Our specialists have years of experience to help make your design vision reality. We are Utah’s shower door experts!