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Bathroom Remodel

Framed Showers: Buying Guide

Average cost:

$425 - $895

The cost to install a framed shower in 2022 is $425 to $895 on average. The total cost will depend on the type of framed shower you choose – for example, sliding glass shower doors or a freestanding framed shower with pivoting doors – as well as the type of glass and metal frames. If you only need to replace your existing shower’s glass doors, the replacement cost will be on the lower end. Keep in mind that installation and labor costs can vary depending on where you live.

Compare the best shower contractors in your area.

When it comes to a shower remodel, there are several types of showers to choose from, so you may not know where to get started. There are framed showers, which are one of the most classic and popular types. But there are also walk-in, frameless, semi-frameless showers, and even double showers.

The best shower for your bathroom can depend on several factors, including the type of bathroom you are remodeling, its size, your budget, and your design preferences. Modernize is here to provide you with information about framed showers – including their cost, benefits, and which bathrooms they are best for – so you can make the best decision for your bathroom remodel project.

Framed Showers

Simple, cost-efficient shower designs that work especially well in smaller bathrooms

  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy installation

  • Water-tight sealing

  • Sliding glass door option

What is a Framed Shower?

A framed shower is simply a shower that uses metal framing as a support system for the shower glass doors and walls. These metal frames come in aluminum, bronze, nickel, gold, or composite metals, and are sealed and caulked around the shower doors and walls to keep water from escaping.

These showers usually use glass that is thinner compared to frameless showers, which usually require thicker paned glass for support. However, this thinner glass is still sturdy, functional, and even typically cheaper than the thicker glass that frameless showers require. For this reason and several others, framed showers are one of the most affordable types of showers.

framed-shower

Framed showers tend to be best types of showers for…

  • Smaller bathrooms or half-baths. If you are converting a half bath to a full bath, these showers can be better at conserving space compared to frameless or semi-frameless showers.
  • Preventing water leakage. If you dread the thought of water spilling onto your bathroom floors, this type of shower will be your best friend.
  • Tight budgets. This is one of the cheapest types of shower there is. Think about how much extra money you’ll have to put towards other items in your bathroom remodel!
Modernize recommends comparing all types of showers before making a final decision on the best type for your bathroom remodel.

Framed Shower Glass Doors

It’s fairly common for bathroom showers to have metal framing around the glass doors. Metal framing supports the shower’s structure and keeps it fully sealed. It keeps doors in place and water from leaking onto the bathroom floors.

With framed shower enclosures, homeowners can also match the shower’s metal framing to other focal bathroom fixtures and hardware, to add visual appeal when remodeling. Metal frames for glass shower doors can come in aluminum, bronze, nickel, and other materials.

Sliding Glass Shower Doors

Framed shower enclosures are often associated with sliding glass shower doors. This is because sliding doors require metal framing to function properly, and are a popular, classic design choice for bathrooms. Sliding glass shower doors are also highly functional because they:

  • Easily slide in and out, while keeping water from spilling onto shower floors
  • Feature large glass panels that show off interior shower fixtures and design elements
  • Often conserve space in smaller bathrooms
  • Usually include towel bars for added convenience

Keep in mind that sliding glass doors are not your only option if you choose a framed shower for your bathroom remodel. You can also opt for hinged and pivoting shower doors. However, sliding glass doors are one of the most convenient and functional options.

Benefits of Framed Showers

When you choose a framed shower for your bathroom, you can tap into the following short and long-term benefits.

Cost-effective
If you are on a tight budget for your bathroom remodel, it’s a good idea to consider a framed shower enclosure. They can cost between 10-15% less than frameless, semi-frameless, and other shower options. Plus, this lower cost does not compromise the shower’s functionality, as they are sturdy and water-tight.
Space saving
Framed shower enclosures are perfect for small bathroom or half bath remodels. If you are dealing with a tighter space for your shower remodel, chances are a contractor can help you to find a design that fits within that space. For instance, these showers with sliding doors or neo-angle showers often fit perfectly within smaller spaces.
Simple to install
Another benefit of this type of shower is that they are simple to install. This is partly because the glass they use is thinner, doors are lighter, and frames are installation-friendly. Contractors can easily caulk the shower’s metal framing to ensure the shower and glass is secure. In most cases, frameless showers take less than a full work day to install and can even take as little as 1 to 2 hours to complete. This will also help you save money on installation and labor costs during the remodeling project!
Less prone to leaks
Metal framing and caulking creates a water-tight shower enclosure that prevents water from spilling onto bathroom floors. Keep in mind that as long as you hire a trustworthy professional, any shower remodel should not result in water leakage. However, framed enclosures tend to avoid bathroom water leaks most effectively over time.

Potential Downsides of Framed Showers

Although framed showers are very popular choices among homeowners today, there are a few potential disadvantages to know about prior to making a decision.

Appearance of metal frames
While this may not apply to everyone, some homeowners will dislike the appearance of metal framing on their new shower. Since this metal framing surrounds the top, bottom, sides, and joints of the shower walls, it can detract from the visual appeal of the shower’s interior. Metal frames also sometimes do not match other fixtures within the bathroom, which may make them look out of place. You can always choose frames that match other fixtures in your bathroom to improve the visual appeal.
Can make the bathroom appear smaller
Showers with metal frames can at times look tight and enclosed, compared to frameless showers, which often help to make bathrooms appear brighter and more open. Especially if the shower is a focal point in your bathroom, this can make your bathroom feel more closed-in. If you are leaning towards a framed enclosure for your shower remodel, make sure to discuss a few different design options with your contractor to ensure that the shower area appears the way you would like after installation.
Trickier to clean
Because the framed glass shower doors sit within the metal framing, this can make them more difficult to clean. Metal shower door tracks and hinges can collect mold, mildew, and soap scum buildup over time. Not to mention, it’s tough to squeeze a shower brush into those tiny cracks and crevices. If you are installing a framed shower, make sure to regularly clean it thoroughly to prevent that build-up over time. Pro tip: you can use vinegar and a grout brush as a DIY cleaning solution to keep your shower’s metal framing clean.

How Much Do Framed Showers Cost?

When planning your shower remodel, it’s helpful to understand the costs of different types of showers. This will help you to weigh the pros and cons, and choose the best shower for your bathroom remodel needs. To compare different types of shower costs at the same time, we always recommend using a cost calculator to get the more accurate estimate for your project.

Bathroom Remodel Cost Calculator

Take Me There

Framed showers are one of the most affordable types of showers, partly because their glass is thinner than other shower types. They lend themselves to short term bathroom savings, allowing you to save money and/or reallocate your remodel budget to other parts of the bathroom. 

The overall cost depends on the type of shower door you choose, as well as the overall size of the shower, materials used for the frames and glass, typical prices in your location, among other factors. Below you can find the price ranges to expect when planning for your project.

framed shower costs
Shower updateAverage cost
Framed shower with basic sliding glass doors$690
Framed shower with pivoting glass doors$800
Framed shower door replacement only$425

Typically, a framed showers should cost you under $1,000 and take under a day to install. However, keep in mind that prices can be higher in specific areas and as you add customizations to your shower.

Choosing a Contractor and Preparing for Installation

If you are ready to move forward with your shower remodel, Modernize can help you dive in. Get started by exploring some top shower trends to get some ideas. We also recommend calculating the return on your investment based on your shower choices and preferences before getting started.

Once you’re ready to begin, use Modernize to find qualified contractors in your area that can get the job done. We make it easy to compare costs for different local contractors and choose the one that fits your budget.