Of all the parts of a bathroom—the shower, the sink, the vanity, the toilet—it can be argued that the shower is the most important. After all, who doesn’t enjoy spending time under a hot shower, warming up and getting clean.

What you may not know is that a shower can also increase the functionality of your bathroom and even raise your property values. After all, spending some time redoing your bathroom and making it look nice can be an attractive thing for prospective buyers.

When it comes to walk-in showers, you can decide whether or not you want to add a shower door to create a full enclosure. Looking in the right aisles of your local home improvement store you’re likely going to find two common styles for how your glass partition will be constructed: framed glass or frameless glass. As you peruse the different doors and make a choice, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Costs: Whether you’ve got a framed glass shower or a frameless glass shower, both of them cost money if you’re looking at doors. What you pay is going to depend on how big the door is, how tall the door is and the type of glass you choose. It should be noted that a sliding, framed glass shower door for a standard shower (60 inches) runs about $350. On the flip side, a frameless glass shower door for the same shower is going to run around $700 plus extra for installation costs.
  • Installation: When you’ve made a decision on the door, you’re going to need to call a glass and mirror installation company. The last thing you want is to have a door that’s crooked or improperly installed. The best thing to do is call in the professionals, let them take measurements and let them do the job. It should be noted that frameless glass shower doors are more labor intensive since there isn’t a frame there for support and can take several hours to install. Framed doors are easier to work with and caulking can secure the door.
  • Style: One benefit of both framed and frameless doors is that there are plenty of options no matter which way you go. You can get a bronzed door, a frosted door or many other options. The most common choice for framed doors is sliding glass, but with frameless glass showers you can have panels that move on hinges to really create the custom shower of your dreams.
  • Material: Doors for both framed glass showers and frameless glass showers are made of tempered glass, but the glass in framed doors is usually a little thinner since there’s a frame there to offer support. Frameless glass shower doors usually have to be thicker since there’s no frame. But these stay in place using hinges or clips and is sealed around the edges with silicone. A rubber sweep is also installed to help protect against water leaks.
  • Maintenance: No matter which kind of door you get, both of them are going to need regular maintenance. With framed doors, especially those on a track, mold growth is a common occurrence as well as metal corrosion. Frameless doors typically don’t have mold and mildew issues because there’s nothing to help foster that growth, but they still need proper upkeep. With regular maintenance, your shower door of choice can last 20 years or more.

If you’re in the market for a new shower door, do yourself a favor and do some research first. You need to figure out which style is going to work best in your bathroom, what your space constraints are, what you can afford to spend on a shower door and how much installation might cost and long it might take. Taking into account all these factors can help you find the perfect shower door that’s going to perfectly accentuate your shower and last a long time.

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