Frameless vs Framed Glass Shower Enclosures Frameless vs Framed Glass Shower Enclosures

Many people are familiar with the concept of the framed glass shower enclosures, which involve a mainly glass structure supported with metal fittings on the edges of the door, at the top of the enclosure, and at each corner. This is the kind of traditional shower fitting that would be familiar to most adults, and for younger adults might even be a memory from childhood. However, more homeowners are becoming aware that there is a different option, that of the frameless glass shower enclosure. They may be keen on the idea, but unsure of the advantages and disadvantages of each particular type of enclosure.

Framed Glass Shower Enclosures

Framed glass shower enclosures have been traditional for decades due to the strength and safety of the design. The glass inside the walls and doors of the shower unit is protected by the metal of the frame, so there is a reduced chance of it breaking or shattering. In addition, the shower is completely defined, which is useful for people with poor eyesight or partial blindness. The framed glass shower enclosure also comes in a variety of sizes, which means that it can adapt to the needs of the homeowner, no matter their bathroom size. On the down side, these products can seem somewhat chunky and industrial, and many models have had the same design for 20 or 30 years, so it is fair to say that they are stuck in the past. In addition, the frame requires a great deal of cleaning and effort, as it attracts dirt and soap suds to a surprising degree.

Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures

The frameless glass shower enclosure looks significantly sleeker and more elegant than the framed version, and can add a touch of class to even the most urban of bathrooms. The frameless shower enclosure uses a very small amount of metal to support the glass, typically by forming a base against which the panels can rest, and by forming clamps which hold the panels together. The enclosure is made up of tempered glass, which is extremely strong, and will also brake into shard-less parts. The glass in a frameless shower unit is also much thicker than with the framed variety, being up to half an inch thick (rather than the framed enclosure glass, which is 1/4 inch thick). On the frameless glass structure is much easier to clean and maintain, and unlike the other, will not form a magnet for soap and dirt. On the down side, the frameless enclosure is much less adaptable, as the glass cannot be cut down in any fashion. Changing your mind about the shape of the unit after it has been built would be costly. In addition, the smooth shape of the frameless shower unit means that people with partial blindness might be more at risk when using the shower, and there is also less framework for disabled people to hold on to when climbing in and out of the shower. Some homeowners may also find the cost of a frameless glass shower enclosure to be prohibitive, as it is more expensive than the traditional framed version.

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