Glass Shower Doors

The Perfect Shower Door: Framed, Semi-Framed, or Frameless

At American Glass & Window, we understand the transformative power of a beautiful shower door. The right shower door can elevate your bathroom from functional to luxurious, and a key element in achieving that is the type of door you choose. This guide explores the five main glass shower door options: framed, semi-framed, frameless, barn door, and slide by, to help you find the perfect fit for your style and budget.

Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors are the epitome of modern design. They boast thick, tempered glass panels for safety and stability, with minimal hardware for a virtually unobstructed view. This creates a feeling of openness and spaciousness, ideal for smaller bathrooms. Frameless doors are a luxurious choice, but keep in mind that their precise installation requires expert craftsmanship.
  • Clean, modern look that adds a touch of elegance
  • Minimalistic design can make even small bathrooms appear larger
  • Offer uninterrupted views, ideal for displaying intricate tilework
  • Allows more light to pass through
  • Can be custom-fitted to any size, making them a versatile option
  • Very easy to clean and maintain
  • Made with thicker glass, frameless shower doors are highly durable

Semi-Framed Shower Doors

Semi-framed shower doors offer a delightful compromise. They combine the clean aesthetics of frameless doors with the added support of a metal frame along specific sections, typically the bottom or sides, of the glass panels. This makes them a fantastic middle ground in terms of both style and price.

Semi-framed doors boast greater design flexibility than frameless options, with a wider variety of styles and finishes to complement your bathroom’s unique character.

  • Partial framing can be customized in different finishes
  • Generally more affordable than fully frameless doors
  • Frames provide additional structural stability
  • Can be used in corner, alcove, or freestanding showers
  • Easy to maintain
  • Choose from a variety of glass types

Framed Shower Doors

Framed shower doors are the classic and budget-friendly option. A metal frame surrounds the entire glass panel, providing exceptional stability and ease of installation. Framed doors come in a vast array of styles and finishes, making them a versatile choice for both traditional and contemporary bathroom designs. If you prioritize affordability and practicality, framed shower doors are an excellent selection.
  • Typically less expensive than frameless
  • Metal frame adds structural strength, making them more resistant to impact
  • Full framing helps to seal the edges and prevent water from escaping
  • Available in a variety of frame finishes and styles
  • Easy to maintain and clean
Slide-By Shower Door
Barn Door Shower Door

Slide-by Shower Doors vs. Barn Shower Doors

Classic Convenience: Sliding doors, also known as bypass doors, are a popular choice for their space-saving design. They consist of multiple panels that slide horizontally along a track, offering a smooth and effortless opening.

Modern Statement: Barn doors add a touch of rustic charm or modern industrial flair to your bathroom. They feature a single panel that slides on a top-mounted track, creating a unique and stylish entryway.

Beyond the Frame: Glass Options to Consider

In addition to the framing styles, the type of glass you choose plays a significant role. Clear glass creates a light and airy atmosphere, while frosted or patterned glass offers a touch of privacy. Our team of experts at American Glass & Window is here to guide you through every step of the selection process, ensuring you find the perfect shower door to transform your bathroom into a spa-like haven.
  • Clear
  • Frosted
  • Textured
  • Tinted
  • Low iron
  • Laminated
  • Cast

Glass Shower Doors: A Clear Advantage Over Curtains

While shower curtains can get the job done, glass shower doors offer a multitude of advantages that elevate your bathroom experience from functional to luxurious. Here’s why you might consider making the switch:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Glass doors instantly transform your bathroom into a more modern and upscale space. Their clarity creates a feeling of openness, making even small bathrooms appear larger and airier.
  • Superior Durability: Unlike fabric curtains that can mildew and tear, glass doors are built to last. Tempered glass is incredibly strong and resistant to scratches, ensuring a long lifespan with proper care.
  • Effortless Maintenance: Glass surfaces are easy to clean and maintain. A quick wipe with a squeegee or microfiber cloth after each shower keeps them sparkling clean and prevents water spots.
  • Improved Hygiene: Curtains can trap moisture and harbor mold and mildew growth. Glass doors, on the other hand, promote better air circulation and inhibit the growth of these bathroom menaces.
  • Reduced Splashing: Shower curtains often billow inwards, leading to unwanted water splashing onto the bathroom floor. Glass doors create a complete barrier, keeping water contained within the shower enclosure.
  • Increased Value: Replacing your shower curtain with a glass door can significantly enhance the resale value of your home. Potential buyers are drawn to modern bathrooms with high-quality fixtures.

Glass shower doors offer a clear advantage over curtains in terms of style, durability, hygiene, and overall bathroom experience. While they may require a slightly higher initial investment, the long-term benefits make them a worthwhile upgrade for any bathroom.


How do I choose the right glass shower door for my bathroom?

A well-chosen shower door can elevate your bathroom’s aesthetics and functionality. But with various options available, selecting the right one can feel overwhelming. Here’s a breakdown of key factors to consider:

Space and Layout:

  • Measure Me Twice, Order Once: Precise measurements are crucial. Measure the shower opening’s width and height, accounting for any curbs or fixtures.
  • Swing or Slide? Consider your bathroom’s layout. Sliding doors are ideal for smaller spaces, while hinged or pivot doors require more clearance for swinging open.

Style and Design:

  • Frame it Up: Decide between framed, semi-framed, or frameless doors. Framed options offer a classic look and affordability. Semi-framed provide a balance of style and support. Frameless doors create a sleek, modern look but require thicker glass and expert installation.
  • Clear Choice or Privacy Please? Select your glass type. Clear glass maximizes openness, while frosted or patterned glass offers privacy.

Functionality and Features:

  • Think About Entry: Sliding doors save space but might have smaller entryways. Hinged or pivot doors offer wider openings but require clearance.
  • Hardware Harmony: Consider the door handle style and finish. Choose hardware that complements your bathroom’s overall design and functionality.
  • Budget in Mind: Glass shower doors range in price depending on size, style, and features. Determine your budget and prioritize accordingly.

What maintenance is required for glass shower doors?

Regularly wipe your shower door with a squeegee or towel to prevent soap scum buildup and water stains. When dealing with stubborn mineral deposits, mix equal parts vinegar and water, apply it to the door, and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish of your shower door. Opt for non-abrasive, mild cleaners instead. Finally, clean the tracks and rollers regularly to ensure smooth sliding motion. A toothbrush or cotton swab can help reach those tight spots.

Can you customize glass shower doors?

Yes! The technician who comes out to measure for you will be able to go over with you what he feels is best for your bathroom. If you have an idea of what you want, make sure to tell him. He will either be able to do the exact same thing you are picturing or offer you something even better that will turn your head thinking: WOW! I didn’t even know something like this was possible.

How long does installation of a glass shower door take?

Depending on what type of shower door it is, for example, a simple slide-by should take around 1-2 hours, a nice door and panel around 1-2 hours, and a custom shower door could take anywhere from 2-5 hours.

What is the typical timeline?

During the process, when we come out to measure for you, we will talk things over with you and make sure you love the idea. Next, you’ll receive a quote – which includes materials, installation, and tax.  If you wish to proceed, we require a down payment – simply provide your credit card number to hold your order ( your card won’t be charged), or you can mail or drop off a check or cash payment. Next, we order the materials, which takes anywhere from 8 to 14 days. Once your shower door arrives, we will place you on the schedule for installation.