Walk-in showers are becoming more and more popular with remodels and new builds. Many homeowners feel life is too hectic to dedicate precious bathroom real estate to a rarely-used bathtub, while others choose to separate the two. In any case, contractors use varying amounts of glass to enclose walk-in showers, and one of the options is a frameless glass enclosure. Find out all about frameless glass enclosures to determine if they're right for you.
What is a Frameless Glass Enclosure?
Naturally, you must enclose your shower stall at least partially so the spray doesn't go everywhere. One way to do this is with mostly glass. For a frameless glass enclosure, contractors use tempered glass panels and install them using discrete hardware. Depending on the glass you choose, the result can be almost completely transparent.
Disadvantages of Frameless Glass
One disadvantage of frameless glass enclosures is that they're more expensive than framed enclosures. Contractors must use a heavier grade of glass to provide stability and more detailed techniques for installing it. Another disadvantage is that there's no waterproof barrier, so water can escape into the rest of the bathroom. You can accommodate this by making the shower larger and by being careful with how you position the showerhead.
Advantages of Frameless Glass
The biggest advantage to frameless glass enclosures is they offer a seamless look in your bathroom. You can even choose HD glass, which features reduced iron content and makes the glass truly colorless. However, even regular clear glass keeps the sightlines in your bathroom clear. This is ideal for smaller bathrooms, modern styles, and for especially beautiful tile work.
Another advantage of frameless glass is less hardware means fewer places for mold and mildew to grow. This makes cleanup easier.
Finally, as Better Homes and Gardens points out, a frameless glass enclosure complements a curbless shower, which is a hallmark of universal design.
Frameless Glass and Universal Design
Many homeowners are choosing to adhere to universal design principals for many reasons, not least of which is their own comfort. Essentially, universal design means space can be accessed and used by anyone regardless of age and ability.
With frameless glass showers, there's no metal framework built into the structure. That means the door functions via a hinge or is omitted altogether. You can have a sloping floor and linear drainage system installed so there's no need for a curb to surround the shower tray. The curbless design means anyone can easily enter the shower — and there are no stubbed toes as a little-added advantage.
Frameless glass showers carry a higher price tag, but they're beautiful and more comfortable. Talk to your local glass installation experts about having your shower enclosed in frameless glass.