Advantages and Disadvantages of Framed Shower Door vs. Frameless Shower Door
When building or remodeling a bathroom, one of the choices a homeowner might need to make is whether to install a shower with a framed or frameless shower door. It is true that many people simply opt for a shower with a curtain in a tub-shower combination, but unless the shower really has its own room it will need some type of enclosure. Both types of shower doors are made of tempered or laminated glass and make the shower area seem larger than it is. Tempered glass is several times tougher than the ordinary glass that is placed in windows and laminated glass is two pieces of glass with a layer of clear plastic or resin between them. Both are still subject to breakage. However, if tempered glass breaks, the pieces are less sharp and jagged than they would be if they broke into large shards. Though the bather may suffer some scratches if tempered glass breaks, they won’t be as seriously hurt as they would be if plain annealed glass broke. If laminated glass breaks, the shards will mostly stick to the plastic middle layer. Following are some pros and cons when it comes to framed and frameless shower doors: Framed Enclosures Pros Framed enclosures cost less that frameless enclosures. The glass can be thinner because of the support given by the aluminum or composite frame, which is in turn supported by the wall, the floor or another frame. The glass can be quite decorative, and the frame itself can be treated to resemble chrome, bronze or even gold. The best thing about a framed enclosure is that its seals, drip guards, clips and other hardware make it water tight. When the door is shut, the bather doesn’t need to worry about water leaking onto the bathroom floor. Because of this, the showerhead can be placed anywhere in the shower stall. The framed shower door can also be made at any angle relative to a hinged panel. Cons Framed enclosures are custom made, and they may not fit the dimensions of every bathroom. Some people find them unattractive, while others find them outdated. A framed shower door can also be fiddly to clean, and if it’s not cleaned regularly, the frames can harbor mold and mildew. Sliding doors can also stick or wobble over time in their frames. Frameless Enclosures Pros Frameless shower enclosures have a beautiful, clear, elegant look, and they are especially useful if the homeowner wants to highlight a shower surround that features especially beautiful tile. If the shower stall has a window, it can give the bather the feeling that they’re bathing out of doors. Doors of a frameless shower enclosure can open in or open out. They are easier to clean than framed doors. All they need is to be squeegeed and wiped clean, much like window glass. There is far less risk of mold and mildew than there is with a framed enclosure. Cons Frameless enclosures tend to leak unless the shower head is in the right place in the stall. Though the glass of a frameless shower door is stronger, it costs more than a framed enclosure. Though frameless enclosures can be custom made to fit into any bathroom configuration, they cannot be built at any angle. The only angles they are available in is 35, 90 or 180 degrees to a hinged glass panel.
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