When you really think about it, there are a lot of important parts to a bathroom: you’ve got the plumbing, the sink, the shower or bathtub and even the closets that all have important functions. Of all those, your shower may be the single most important thing in a bathroom. Not only does a shower help keep you clean, but it can increase the functionality of a bathroom and believe it or not, it can also raise property values.
There’s no doubt that walk-in showers are great, but you might decide at some point that it’s best to install a door for some kind of enclosure. There are many options for shower doors, but generally frameless shower enclosures and framed glass doors are the two most popular styles.
With that in mind, here are some things to keep in the back of your mind as you look for the perfect shower door:
- Costs: Regardless of which style shower door you choose, both of them cost some money. What price you pay or how much you’re willing to spend is really going to depend on the type of glass in the door, how big the door is, how tall the door is and if you’ve got a custom order. Just to have an idea, a framed shower door that fits a 60-inch shower costs $300-400, not including installation. Likewise, a frameless door for the same size shower runs anywhere from $600-800 plus installation costs.
- Installation: Once you know which shower door you want, you’ll need to call a company that does glass and mirror installations. Unless you’re particularly handy, shower doors can be difficult to install. Professionals who know all about glass and mirror installation can take exact measurements and make sure that everything gets put in its proper place.
Frameless glass doors are more labor intensive because as the name implies there’s no frame for support. This is why you need a glass and mirror installation company to make sure nothing sags and nothing leaks. Framed doors are easier to install, but a glass and mirror installation company will still caulk around the frame to prevent leaks.
- Style: One benefit of both framed and frameless shower doors is that there are plenty of options. You can add a glass partition for example, which can be installed in either framed or frameless systems. When it comes to doors, you can get bronzed doors, bi-fold shower doors, curved shower doors and even frosted shower doors if you’re looking for something kind of fancy. If you’re putting a framed door on, you can also install a sliding glass door or you can have panels that move on hinges, allowing you to create a unique look for your shower and a unique overall look to your bathroom.
- Material: Whether you opt for a frameless shower door or a framed shower door, both of them are usually made of tempered glass, which is thinner and can be easily sealed into a door frame to prevent leaks. In frameless showers, doors tend to be a little thicker since there’s no frame to offer support. In order for those setups to work, door pulls, hinges and clips are set into glass and then a glass and mirror installation company will caulk silicone around the edges to deal it. Frameless showers tend to have rubber sweeps at the bottom as well to help prevent water leaks.
- Maintenance: These are benefits to both kinds of shower doors, but they require their own unique kinds of maintenance. Framed doors are usually put on a track, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for mold as well as metal corrosion. Frameless doors don’t have mold and mildew issues since there’s no places for water to collect. In either case, proper maintenance will help these doors last 20 years or more.
If you’re in the market for a new shower door, take some time to do some research. You need to consider what kind of shower you have, the style, and the cost (of the door and installation) to find the perfect door to make your bathroom truly unique.