Pros and Cons of Frameless Shower Doors

Kyle Schurman
Written by Kyle Schurman
Updated September 2, 2022
Frameless shower in a an open modern bathroom
Photo: Martin Barraud / OJO Images / Getty Images


  • You can upgrade the look and feel of your bathroom with a frameless shower door design. 

  • Frameless shower doors are easier to clean than framed doors and reduce the risk of mold growing in the shower. 

  • This door style does come with drawbacks, including costing more than framed shower doors and requiring a complex installation process.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Taking a shower is your ultimate "me time" space—no chores, errands, or even emails can reach you there. Frameless shower doors upgrade your shower into a sleek, minimalistic space that offers a spa-like experience right at home. But before you gather up the design team, look over this stylish shower enclosure's common perks and downsides.

What Is a Frameless Shower Door? 

Most glass showers include a metal frame that wraps around the outside of the shower and its individual glass panels. The panels connect to a shower-tub combo or extend to the floor to create a full shower stall.

Frameless doors cut out the metal altogether—the glass panels blend seamlessly into one another with only a handle or bar to indicate how it opens. Like their framed counterparts, you'll spot frameless shower doors on walk-in showers and shower-tub combos.

The tranquil, clean look of the design blends smoothly with the rest of the bathroom. If you're looking to show off that new shower tile—this is a great way to do it.

Pros of Frameless Shower Doors 

Here are some reasons why you might choose to install a frameless shower door in your bathroom and change up the look of your space. 

Open Up Your Space

If you’re a fan of open space and airy concepts, the frameless shower door will bring this feeling into your bathroom. Even a small bathroom will feel bigger with this type of shower design.

Without framing and other pieces of metal to block your view, frameless shower doors allow your eye to travel across the room without interruption.


If you have an odd-shaped bathroom where traditional shower enclosures simply won’t fit, one of the biggest pros of frameless shower doors is the customizable size and shape. 

Because they consist of glass panels rather than a preconfigured frame, your local shower installer can size the panels based on your desired design. You simply have fewer design restrictions with this type of shower door.

Visually Appealing 

Perhaps the best advantage of frameless shower doors is that they look amazing with a sleek and elegant design. The frameless shower door has an upscale feel, like something you might see in a luxury hotel. 

Even better, they allow you to showcase the beautiful tile you installed inside the shower, further enhancing the visual appeal of the space. After all, if you’ve followed tips for tiling a showstopping shower, why allow a metal frame to detract from it? 

Reduced Risk of Mold and Mildew

It’s essential to prevent mold and mildew from forming in the bathroom because of the constant steam and dampness from baths and showers. The frameless shower enclosure doesn’t give mold a place to start growing; these shower doors have fewer joints, seals, and seams than a framed shower door, leaving fewer nooks and crannies where mold and mildew can gain a foothold. 

Easy to Clean

Cleaning the shower is tough, especially in corners and along seams. However, when you select a frameless shower door, cleaning a glass shower door becomes less challenging.

You can simply spray cleaning solution on the glass doors and walls before using a squeegee or clean cloth to remove it. You don’t have to worry about soils or mildew sticking underneath the seams or seals along the metal frame of the shower door. With all-glass shower enclosures, it’s easier to see any areas that require cleaning.

Less Corrosion

A metal shower frame will eventually suffer from corrosion that detracts from its look. At that point, you may need to pay the extra cost to replace the door. Glass, on the other hand, isn’t going to corrode, which makes a frameless shower door a long-lasting option.

Cons of Frameless Shower Doors 

With the pros in mind, let’s explore some of the disadvantages of a frameless shower door. 

Usually More Expensive 

Unfortunately, when you want the elegance of this type of design, one of the biggest cons of frameless shower doors is the cost. The total cost for a walk-in shower can range from $4,200 to $8,500. As a portion of that overall price, the cost of a glass shower door installation and materials typically falls between $500 and $1,500, or about double the cost of framed shower door materials and installation. 

The difference in cost is due to the glass panels that make up the doors and walls of the frameless shower. These higher-quality doors cost more than thinner and lighter framed shower door panels. 

Frameless glass panels consist of heavy, tempered glass, usually around 1/2 inch thick. The panels can weigh 80 pounds or more, complicating the installation process. Meanwhile, the glass in a shower door with a frame doesn’t have to be as heavy or thick because the frame provides reinforcement.

Another component to consider is that frameless shower doors require specialized hinges that can handle the weight while being minimally visible, so this hardware is costlier. Additionally, if you’re interested in a shower glass coating, it usually adds another 30% to the overall cost for the shower door.


Although it rarely occurs, the glass in a frameless shower door can shatter and create a mess in the bathroom—although the use of tempered glass does reduce the risk of encountering dangerous shards of glass.

The shower door glass could shatter due to an imperfection in the manufacturing process or if someone slams the shower door or strikes it with a hard object. Introducing a sudden and significant change in temperature or humidity could cause the glass to break.

Higher Chance of Leaks

Leaks should not occur if the glass shower design, materials, and installation are flawless. However, if the glass panels are the wrong size or if there’s an issue with the installation, you may begin to notice leaks. 

A shower door with a frame will include rubber seals designed to minimize the possibility of leaks if the installation process isn’t quite perfect. Because such seals are not present in a frameless shower door, you may find puddles on the bathroom floor if there were problems with the installation.


Compared to a framed shower door, the installation of a frameless shower is far more complex. It can take five to 10 days to take measurements and prepare the materials for frameless glass shower door installation, and the installation process takes an additional day. This is a far longer process than a simple prefab shower installation, which usually takes a few days.

Frequently Asked Questions

A frameless shower door installation can increase your home’s resale value. This type of shower door creates a luxurious look and feel in the bathroom, potentially making it more desirable for potential buyers and driving up the asking price.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.