Today, contractors and homeowners have a wide variety of options when deciding which type of shower enclosures are best to integrate into a new bathroom or a bathroom remodel. Modern bathroom aesthetics have shifted over the past few years, and now current trends have moved towards integrating a more minimalist, sleek, and elegant design. However, no two homes are alike- and no two homeowners are alike. Therefore, it is important that each decision is made specifically to suit the precise needs of the project.

One of the most common decisions that face homeowners or contractors during a bathroom remodel is the choice between utilizing framed or frameless shower enclosures. Each type of shower enclosure carries with it a set of pros and cons, and depending on your specific situation- one category may be more appropriate than another.

To help you determine whether you should integrate a framed or a frameless enclosure into your bathroom design, we have broken down the main characteristics of each category so that you can easily see which may be the best solution for you.

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The Pros and Cons of Framed Enclosures

When you think of your traditional bathroom, you often picture an enclosed shower with glass panels and an aluminum framing enclosing the door. This is what we generally refer to as a framed enclosure.

These enclosures are considered more elegant than the shower/tub combination which generally only utilizes a shower curtain as an enclosure. They also are considerably cleaner and lead to an all around sense of elegance and minimalism, matching modern bathroom aesthetics and adding stock to the home’s future value.

Pros of Framed Enclosures

  1. Stability

Framed enclosures are most noted for their enhanced stability as the metal frame serves as a stabilizing mechanism, substantially lowering the risk of injury. Additionally, framed enclosures often integrate tempered glass which in the case of a fall, breaks into smaller circles of glass rather than jagged shards, therefore greatly reducing the chance of injury.

  1. Easy to Install

Installing a framed enclosure is as simple as hanging the frame, and it is far easier to match a framed enclosure to a certain bathroom space as opposed to a large bulky tub and shower combo.

  1. Highly Effective at Keeping In Water

The sturdy aluminum of a framed shower enclosure ensures that water is able to be kept tightly inside your shower, minimizing troublesome leakages and keeping your bathroom clean and water-free.

  1. Cost-Effective

 In comparison to frameless shower enclosures, framed enclosures can on average cost 10-15% less as this option does not require as thick of a level of glass paneling and installation is simpler.

Cons of Framed Enclosures

  1. Slightly Outdated Aesthetics

Today’s design standards value sleek, modern, minimalist design. The somewhat bulky aluminum frames common to framed shower enclosures can often conflict with this aesthetic standard. However, conversely- there are today a wide number of framing options such as siding doors or various finishes to match your home’s design and create a sense of elegance and modernity with a framed enclosure.

  1. Lack of Mobility

The large frame required for framed shower enclosures comes at the expense of mobility. In most instances, these doors only open outward- therefore, taking up a large amount of bathroom real-estate. Again, in this instance- sliding doors can be integrated to combat this issue.

The Pros and Cons of Frameless Shower Enclosures

Over recent years, frameless shower enclosures have taken over in popular home design as they carry many of the same advantages as the framed shower enclosures while creating a more sleek, clean aesthetic.

In place of the aluminium frame, frameless shower enclosures use thicker panels of glass with clips, hinges, and door pulls set into the glass for opening. Often a small rubber “sweep” will be set into the bottom of the glass to keep water inside the shower.

Pros of Framed Shower Enclosures

  1. Aesthetics

Frameless shower enclosures are far more popular by modern design standards than the framed shower enclosure. The uniformity of style and minimalist design matches more modern aesthetics and leads to a cleaner, sleeker appearance than the framed shower enclosure.

  1. Mobility and Ergonomics

Frameless shower enclosures take up considerably less space than framed shower enclosures, and the hinges allow doors to open both inward and outward, which leads to a  more efficient use of your bathroom’s real estate. Further, the frameless shower enclosures can in general make your bathroom space feel more open and elegant while heightening the natural characteristics of the space.

  1. Maintenance

The lack of aluminium frame means your frameless shower enclosure is considerably easier to clean and maintain. The aluminium of framed shower enclosures can easily collect soap scum and moisture as time goes by whereas cleaning the large glass panels of a framed shower enclosure is relatively easy.

  1. Longevity

Due to the easier cleaning procedures and the lack of soap scum build up compared to framed enclosures, frameless shower enclosures can last longer when properly cared for- boosting the value of your home in the long run.

Cons of Framed Shower Enclosures

  1. Installation

Installation of a framed shower enclosure is more complicated than its framed counterpart. Depending on the type of shower you have in your bathroom, tile drilling may be required for proper installation and the mechanisms involved in utilizing the framed shower enclosures can be quite complex.

  1. Cost

Due to the thickness of glass paneling and the enhanced installation process required for setting up a frameless shower enclosure, the cost of this category of enclosure can be slightly more expensive. However, installation of a framed shower enclosure also increases the value of your property as a whole, thereby making the enhanced cost an investment rather than a liability.

  1. A Slight Drop in Stability

Without the aluminium frame, frameless shower enclosures are slightly less stable than framed shower enclosures.

Deciding Between Framed or Frameless Shower Enclosures

When deciding between framed or frameless shower enclosures, there are a variety of factors you must consider; your space, budget, and aesthetic taste. That’s why the experts at B&L glass take great pride in serving our customers on a case by case basis, ensuring that the glass selection is suited specifically to your needs and space. No home is the same, and no client is the same.

Call us today at 707-546-4143 or use our online contact form to begin the conversation today.

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