Glass Crafters Inc.

What Is The Difference Between Frameless, Semi-Frameless and Framed Shower Enclosures?

Choosing a shower enclosure type and design for your bathroom can have a big impact on the overall look of your bathroom space. Your choice of a shower door with frames or without, it’s material, style and type of bathroom enclosure preferences should be carefully combined with the design and functionally that will suit your bathroom appearance.

Therefore there are 3 basic types of enclosures to choose from: frameless, semi-frameless, and framed. You can compare frameless vs framed shower enclosure based on pros and cons features. They also differ by type of glass, hardware, methods of opening and fastening.

Frameless Shower Enclosures

Frameless shower enclosures don’t have any frame around the glass.

Luxury heavy glass that used for this type of frameless enclosure is usually fastened by specifically designed hardware such as clamps and hinges to hold the glass panel without using any framing around it.

Frameless Enclosures are typically have either a bypass or pivot door and have been most popular among customers.

The glass that is used for the frameless enclosures is ½” or 3/8”. This type of showers known for their clean and seamless look.


Sleek, modern, superior look
Sturdier operation and dependable design
Easier to clean and maintain
See trough look to show off the tile work in your shower
Minimalistic design doesn’t detract attention from your bathroom design details
Permits natural light in
Makes small bathroom space looks bigger
Long life span


Due to heavy glass require a professional installation

GlassCrafters frameless shower enclosures provide a superior look, sturdier operation and dependable design, which are easier to clean and maintain.

Semi Frameless Shower Enclosures

Semi-frameless enclosures are a hybrid that is primarily a framed enclosure, while leaving some edges of the semi-frameless glass exposed achieving some of the effect of a frameless enclosure. They are the most common shower enclosure widely available everywhere.

This type showers door combines elements of framed showers with clean lines of frameless showers. The fixed panes are carrying some sort of frames, where the doors are frameless and don’t have any visible outlined edges. The hardware used for semi-frameless shower enclosures is mostly aluminum. They are not expansive, but at the same time very durable and long lasting.

Of course there are some exceptions. There are companies that are designing and manufacturing semi-framed shower enclosures made of plated brass or stainless steel extrusions. But those are rather rare.

The glass that is used for the semi frameless enclosures is ½” or 3/8”.


Cost effective
Durable and long lasting
Clean look


More parts for installation
Preferred a professional installation

GlassCrafters Semi frameless shower enclosures offer a clean alternative to bulky aluminum framed shower enclosures.

Framed Shower Enclosures

Framed shower enclosure traditionally feature a metal frames surrounding panels of tempered, textured or laminated architectural glass. The metal on the frame enclosure capture all edges of the glass such as top, bottom, sides and joints, parts of the partition, leaving no glass edge exposed. The moving parts such as door are fastened with stainless steel pivot or piano hinges.

The frame can be constructed from plated brass, steel or aluminium.

That frame can be made of extruded aluminum with some sort of paint or anodized color on it. Or it can be a solid brass frame plated in different finishes: polished or brashed chtome, polishe or brashed nickel, polished brass, oil rubbed or brushed bronze.

Plated Brass and Steel are more expensive options because of promising durability, quality, reach and bold Victorian look.

Aluminum frame is inexpensive option, although durable and lasts long.

Tempered safety glass used for framed showers can vary from less expensive ¼” glass, to a heavy ½”. Different companies are offering all range of product in this configuration.

Pure solid brass frames are meticulously plated to complement your bathroom fixtures.


Effective At Keeping Water In the Shower


Limits design options and layout because doors can only open outward

Due to heavy glass and metal parts require a professional installation

Choose the enclosure that fits best with your bathrooms needs. After you’ve weighed the pros and cons of frameless, and semi-frameless shower doors, and enclosures, find a trusted professional to install your new shower.

Shower type choice

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