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Pros and Cons of Frameless Shower Doors

Learn the advantages and disadvantages of installing a frameless shower door in your bathroom.

For new shower installations, one of the first things you'll need to decide is the style or type of shower door. One popular option is the frameless glass shower door.

Learn the pros and cons of choosing this style of shower door.

Pro: Frameless shower doors can be customized

Most frameless models are custom glass shower doors, which means you aren't limited to mass-produced shower doors at a standard size. This adds more flexibility to your shower installation. In fact, customization is one of the important factors in purchasing a frameless shower door.

Keep in mind, though, that since it is custom-made, it could be costly to change your mind halfway through the bathroom remodel.

Con: Frameless shower doors cost more

Frameless shower doors often require the use of thicker glass in order to stay in place without the sturdiness of a frame. This is because they can weigh 80 to 100 pounds, frameless shower doors also require sturdier hardware, such as solid brass, to hold them in place.

Pro: Frameless glass shower doors look better

Framed shower doors tend to look bulky because the edges are covered in rubber, metal or some other form of a seal.

Frameless shower doors don't have those eyesore additions, giving the shower a clean, fresh look.

If your bathroom remodel includes a beautiful, intricate shower tile design, the frameless glass shower door can also help to showcase it.

Con: Frameless shower doors may sacrifice function

Where frameless shower doors excel in aesthetics, they can sometimes lack in performance. 

Framed shower doors typically include rubber or seals around the edges to bind the door with the shower wall and floor, preventing leaks. Frameless doors, however, don't have these protective seals around them.

This means that unless the door is cut to fit perfectly, there could be gaps between the door and other areas of the shower, which may allow water to splash onto your bathroom floor. Experts say shower design is important when considering a frameless shower door.

At Edmonton Elite Glass we like to get involved as early as possible in the shower installation process to prevent a homeowner from picking a design that won't work. It's also important to hire a professional to custom-make your door instead of buying one from a hardware store.

Pro: Frameless shower doors minimize mold risks

Frameless shower doors minimize the number of places water can collect and mold can grow in your shower.

With framed shower doors, you run the risk of water build-up underneath the door's seals, allowing mold and mildew to form. Frameless shower doors don't have these risky areas. They also are easier to keep clean.

Con: Frameless glass shower doors can shatter

It happens rarely, but glass shower doors can explode.

Most frameless shower doors are made from tempered glass, which is designed to shatter into small pieces as a safety precaution. Small pieces of glass can cover you in scratches and embed in your skin, but you're less likely to suffer as big a wound as you would if the glass broke into big shards while you were showering.

Most glass companies only get two to three calls a year about spontaneous glass breakage, an extremely low percentage in comparison to the number of doors they installs.

A door typically will combust for two reasons: damage or glass inclusions, he says.

Damage can happen in several ways. A door may be improperly installed, which could be putting pressure on the door and cause it to break. It may be mishandled during installation or damaged during transport.

Glass inclusions are defects within the glass that occur during the fabrication process. If particles get into the glass and don't get totally dissolved, they'll put the glass at higher risk for breaking later.

While these factors put a door at risk for breaking, they are not the main cause. Temperature change or humidity change is typically what causes spontaneous glass breakage.

Edmonton Elite Glass offers quality custom glass solutions to the good people of Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Leduc, Fort Saskatchewan, Devon, Ardrossan, Edmonton and surrounding areas.

Whether you need replacement windows, custom shower installations, or mirrors for your home or business, we will get the job done right.