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Framed Showers

Framed Shower Enclosures

When it comes to a shower remodel, you have plenty of options when choosing a type of shower, 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 help you understand framed shower enclosures, so you can decide on whether this type of shower enclosure is the best choice for your bathroom remodel.

Framed Showers

Framed enclosures are simple, cost-efficient shower designs that work especially well in smaller bathrooms.

  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy installation

  • Water-tight sealing

What is a Framed Shower Enclosure?

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

These showers usually use glass that is thinner compared to frameless showers, which usually require thicker paned glass. 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 shower enclosures tend to be best for…

  • Smaller bathrooms or half-baths. 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, the framed shower enclosure will be your best friend.
  • Tight budgets. The framed shower 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!

Glass shower door frames

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 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 design choice for bathrooms with framed showers. 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 doors are not your only option if you choose a framed shower for your bathroom remodel. Other types of framed showers include hinged and pivoting shower doors. However, sliding glass doors are one of the most convenient and functional options.

Advantages

Cost effective

If you are on a tight budget for your bathroom remodel, it’s a good idea to consider a framed shower enclosure. Framed showers 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 framed showers are sturdy and water-tight.

Space-conscious 

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 framed shower design that fits within that space. For instance, framed showers with sliding doors or neo-angle showers often fit perfectly within smaller spaces.

Simple to install

Another benefit of framed shower enclosures 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 1-2 hours to complete.

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.

Disadvantages

Appearance of metal framing

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.

Can make bathrooms look smaller

Showers with metal framing 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 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.

Framed shower enclosures 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 door you choose, as well as the overall size of the shower, materials used for the framing and glass, typical prices in your location, among other factors. Below you can find the price ranges to expect when planning for your project:

Average cost

$100-$300: Basic sliding glass shower door

$300-$400: Full-height shower doors

$400-$600: Pivoting framed shower doors

$500+: custom framed shower doors

Typically, a framed showers should cost you under $500 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’s Contractor Checklist for bathroom remodels to ensure you’re hiring the right professional for the job. Then, prepare for installation day by knowing what to expect from your shower remodel.

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Homeowner Resources

Here are the top articles that homeowners found useful when planning their shower remodel project and navigating the contractor hiring process.

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