Which frameless shower door is best?
Whether you’re planning a full bathroom renovation or just want to upgrade your shower, choosing the right equipment can be a challenge. There are a host of different shower enclosures for modern, contemporary and traditional bathrooms.
Choosing a suitable frameless shower door for your bathroom will depend on the location and size of your showering area and the look you are trying to achieve. The VIGO Frameless Sliding Rectangle Shower Door is designed to be installed in an alcove and uses an industrial-looking, roller disk sliding mechanism.
What to know before you buy a frameless shower door
Frameless enclosures and shower doors are available in various shapes and designs for all kinds of bathrooms. Most enclosures are square, rectangular or oval and have the door on the front or on the side. Doors designed for an alcove are usually single or double width and either slide or pivot to open.
Additionally, the design and material of the door can be either contemporary or traditional. Chrome, stainless steel and brushed nickel are common choices for modern bathrooms, whereas gold, bronze and black suit more traditional styles. Other shower door types, such as frameless sliding shower doors, can be made of different materials and may be more suitable for different types of showering areas.
The size of the shower door you need will be dependent on the available space or the width of the alcove. Compact options can be as narrow as 22 inches and increase up to 72 inches wide for a double door. Most have multi-position brackets to allow for uneven walls. It’s important to measure the available space carefully, as frameless shower doors have less adjustment room than framed shower doors.
Framed vs. frameless
The overriding reason to choose a frameless shower door is aesthetics. Frameless doors have a clean, minimalistic look that can give showering areas an extra open feeling. Other benefits include ease of installation and fewer corners and edges that can become dirty.
What to look for in a quality frameless shower door
Frameless shower doors have less support than framed ones. Therefore, the glass is usually much thicker, at around 3-4 millimeters. This provides the door with improved strength and durability. There are also several choices available in the type of glass you can choose. Clear glass allows for the natural flow of light, but it offers little in the way of privacy. Tinted glass suits modern bathroom designs particularly well. However, it does reduce the amount of light within the enclosed shower. Frosted or textured glass gives a good balance of privacy while still allowing plenty of light through.
Although frameless, these shower doors still have several metal components. The brackets, sliding rail and handle should all be made from durable materials. Stainless steel and aluminum are both corrosion-resistant, whereas painted metal may be inferior and can show signs of deterioration over time.
Most shower doors are designed to be installed on top of your tiles and shower tray and use silicone sealant to keep them watertight. It is important that the walls are straight and level, as frameless doors don’t have the same amount of adjustment as framed doors.
How much you can expect to spend on a frameless shower door
For a single pivoting door, the cheapest start at around $300. For a high-quality double door or a full enclosure, expect to pay upwards of $800.
Frameless shower door FAQ
Are frameless shower doors as strong as those with a frame?
A. As frameless doors are made with thicker glass, they are as strong, if not stronger, than framed doors. Wider doors or full enclosures may also incorporate angled wall brackets to increase stability.
How tall should a frameless shower door be?
A. The standard height for a shower door is 72 inches. One of the benefits of a frameless door is that they are also available in many other sizes and can be easily customized to any height you may need.
What’s the best frameless shower door to buy?
Top frameless shower door
What you need to know: This modern, industrial-styled shower door is designed for installation in an alcove and has a fixed glass panel and a sliding door.
What you’ll love: It is available in many different sizes and finishes and can be opened from either the left or the right.
What you should consider: It is only supplied with either clear or tinted glass.
Top frameless shower door for the money
What you need to know: This single pivot door has a simple, minimalistic design and can be installed to open to the left or the right.
What you’ll love: It is made from clear tempered glass with a water-repellant coating in either a polished silver or brushed nickel finish.
What you should consider: The door handles are held on with adhesive.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This sliding door and end panel are designed for a corner installation and have a smooth, silent roller system.
What you’ll love: It has vertical adjustment for out-of-plumb walls. The brackets and 15-inch door handle are finished in chrome.
What you should consider: This enclosure is only available in two sizes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Chris Gillespie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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