Your Guide to Glass Shower Door Frames

Your Guide to Glass Shower Door Frames

Showers - they wake us up in the mornings and calm us down after a day of hard work. In modern times, the shower has become the focal in our baths. However, besides having a great shower head and beautifully tiled walls, there’s one more component that’s needed to make the perfect shower - shower doors. They set the overall tone of your shower appearance and make a huge impact on the overall look of your new shower.

When it comes to choosing your shower doors, there are different options available.

Selecting Door Styles

Door style selection will depend not only on your style preference and door movement but also any space restrictions that might exist. Such as if there is enough room for a swing door to open or if there is enough width for sliding doors. The height of the shower enclosure will also be a factor. Here are your options to consider:

Sliding: two panels fit in a frame and slide in either direction to open and close

Swing or pivot: a single pane attached to a wall swings open from the left or right

Door and panel: one narrow pane is fixed to the wall while next to it, a panel is fixed with hinges to the other wall and operates as the door

Butterfly or bi-fold: two equal-size panels are hinged at the center to open inward

Fixed: a single pane of glass attached to the wall holding the showerhead protects the bathroom from splashes; the rest of the shower opening remains uncovered

Choosing the Door Mounting

There was a time, when having framed doors was the only choice you had. But now we are starting to see more semi-frame and frameless options available. With improvements in mounting systems, availability of thicker glass shower doors supported by stronger hinges, means you can now create a shower that seems to float or even disappear. You have the following four choices:


This is the classical option which features a metal frame around the four edges of the door.  

This option is created to fit standard shower openings. However, that doesn’t mean that their appearance has to be standard. There is a wide range of available looks, from the contemporary clean-lined chrome to matte black. The glass panes are usually ¼ in thick.


Usually, this option has framing around the shower opening but not around the actual door panels. Also commonly features ¼ in glass. Semi-framed lends itself to some creative trends in headers, like exposed industrial-style hardware with rollers and bars that suggest barn door hardware.


This is the way to go if you want an open, seamless, spa-like effect for your shower. Although not completely without hardware, still, advances in hardware engineering and glass manufacturing make this option appear to float. It uses hinges to attach glass panels to walls. It usually comes in a combo of a fixed panel and a swinging door. The glass panels used are usually ⅝ in safety glass.

Frameless door mounting:

This is a good way to apply a curbless shower treatment. Without a ledge to step over, it’s a good universal design.


The ultimate high-end shower design choice. It consists of a shower pan with a four-sided metal framework in which glass panels fit, one of them a door. It a very nice look but comes with a big price tag.

As you see, there are many choices when it comes to designing your shower. When deciding, see what appeals to you most, fits your budget and works with your floor plan. We hope after reading this article, your choice will be easier to make.

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