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Semi-Frameless Showers

Semi-Frameless Showers

When planning your bathroom remodel, there are several things to consider before choosing a type of shower. You not only need to think about the appearance and style of shower to add to your bathroom, but also about your budget and the shower’s functionality. Some common concerns homeowners may have before diving into their shower remodel are regarding cost, appearance, and more practical issues such as cleaning and water leakage.

If you are looking for a modern, open shower area that features clean lines and clear glass doors, but don’t want to spend the money on a completely frameless glass shower, then a semi-frameless shower may be the perfect solution for your new bathroom.

What is a Semi-Frameless Shower Enclosure?

Semi-frameless showers are becoming a popular modern trend when it comes to modernizing your home’s full bathroom or master bathroom. 

Generally speaking, the semi-frameless shower enclosure is like the perfect combination of a framed shower and frameless shower. While it includes metal framing around the top and bottom of the shower door, the shower door itself is made of a thicker paned glass that does not feature any metal. The result is a clean and open glass shower door that makes the shower area look larger and more open. At the same time, the metal framework at the top and bottom of the shower door helps to prevent water spillage onto your bathroom floors.

In addition to being more affordable and functional than completely frameless showers, they also allow for many different versatile design possibilities.

Semi-frameless Showers

The semi-frameless shower is the perfect mix between a framed and frameless shower enclosure.

  • Minimal metal framing around doors

  • Budget-friendly

  • Durable glass

  • Versatile design options


Visual appeal with versatility 

Homeowners may prefer the appearance of a shower door with no metal framework. However, totally frameless showers are usually costly and can be prone to water leakage along the bottom of the shower door. 

Semi-frameless showers give the best of both worlds when it comes to visual appeal. There is no metal framing along the shower walls, which makes the shower area appear to be more airy and open. The lesser metal framework also allows homeowners to show off their shower fixtures, tiles, showerhead, and other visual focal points. Additionally, semi-frameless enclosures allow for versatile styles, including sliding glass doors and corner showers.


Semi-frameless showers tend to be more budget-friendly than frameless shower enclosures. Although they will usually cost a bit more than framed enclosures, they are an excellent middle-of-the-road choice for homeowners that prefer the clean look of frameless shower doors, but want to cut shower remodel costs wherever possible. 

Durable and functional

Semi-frameless showers use heavier duty glass than framed showers, since they include less metal framework to support them. Semi-frameless enclosures typically require glass that is ½” or ⅜” thick. Because of this thicker paned glass, the shower doors are highly durable and tend to last longer than the glass used for framed shower doors. 

At the same time, semi-frameless shower enclosures do use some metal framework along the top and bottom of the shower door. This can add functionality and prevent water leakage onto your bathroom floors, as some homeowners may experience with frameless doors.


Installation process and cost

Although they are more affordable than frameless showers, semi-frameless enclosures still require a more complicated installation process compared to framed enclosures. To put this into perspective, framed enclosures can take as little as one to two hours to complete, while semi-frameless enclosures may take one full working day to complete. Also, they do require the expertise and skill set of a professional contractor, and typically can not be accomplished as a DIY project

Also keep in mind that due to the thicker paned glass required, semi-frameless showers will cost more to install than framed showers. Remember that this is a short-term, one time cost. It is an upgrade that can pay for itself in time, as it will boost your home’s value and modernize the appearance of your bathroom. You can also save money over time with your new shower by adding energy-efficient fixtures to save on your energy bills.

Frequent cleaning necessary

Metal framing, especially near the shower doors and floors, can unfortunately lead to the build-up of mold, mildew, and soap residue in crevices if not cleaned regularly. Semi-frameless showers will be easier to clean and more mold-resistant than framed enclosures, due to having less metal framing. However, it’s still a good idea to get into the habit of deep cleaning your shower – especially near the metal hardware and framing – at least once per week to avoid mold and mildew damage over time. 

How Much Do Semi-Frameless Showers Cost?

When it comes to budgeting for a shower remodel, semi-frameless showers are considered a mid-ranged option. As mentioned, they are typically more expensive than basic framed shower enclosures, but more affordable than options like frameless showers and double showers. This is partly because they do not require special hinges and hardware to install. Choosing this type of shower over a frameless shower can be a great way to save some money during your bathroom remodel.

Like most shower installations, the overall cost will depend on the size of the shower, type of door and glass, and whether you are installing any customized features. All in all, a sem-frameless shower installation should cost between $300 on the low end and $2,000 or more on the high-end.

Style and Design Options for Semi-Frameless Showers

One exciting aspect of a semi-frameless shower installation is that there are several customizations available. These are very functional and flexible types of showers, which opens them up to many design and styling possibilities. 

For instance, keep in mind that if you go with a frameless shower enclosure, this type of shower does not come in a sliding glass door option. However, you can go with this option if you choose semi-frameless! You can also pick out metal hardware that matches your other bathroom fixtures, frosted glass, curved walls, among other possibilities. Here are a few ideas when it comes to designing and styling your new shower:

  • Sliding glass doors
  • Pivoting doors
  • Hinged doors
  • Curved enclosure
  • Bifold doors
  • Frosted glass
  • Various metal framing options, such as nickel, bronze, or aluminum.

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Homeowner Resources

If you are interested in semi-frameless showers for your bathroom remodel, you might also find value in exploring the following homeowner resources:

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