framed shower screen

Pros and Cons of Framed Shower Screens: Deciding if They Suit Your Bathroom

When renovating your bathroom or building a new one, choosing the right shower screen can have a significant impact on the space’s function and style. Framed shower screens are a popular choice, offering a defined structure with a frame that runs around the entire edge of the glass. They’re known for their affordability and the wide variety of design options available to suit your tastes and bathroom layout.

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of framed shower screens is crucial to determining if this option aligns with your preferences and needs. On the positive side, these screens are sturdy due to the support provided by the frame, making them a practical choice for daily use. Additionally, they are typically cheaper than their frameless counterparts, which can be a decisive factor if you’re working within a budget.

However, framed shower screens come with some considerations. They require regular maintenance to keep the frames free of water and soap buildup, which can be a challenge to clean. Aesthetically, they may not offer the same minimalist, modern look as frameless screens, and if a part of the unit is damaged, you might need to replace the whole screen, rather than just a single pane of glass. Your decision should weigh these factors carefully to ensure that your bathroom meets both your aesthetic aspirations and functional requirements.


Understanding Shower Screen Options

When choosing a shower screen for your bathroom, the frame design and glass type are critical factors that will influence both functionality and style.


Framed Shower Screens

Framed shower screens are characterised by their sturdy aluminium frames which encompass the glass panels. This framework provides significant structural support, making them particularly suitable for family bathrooms or high-use environments. The edges of the glass panes are covered by the frame, and magnetic seals are often used to ensure a watertight closure.

  • Durability: Framed screens are robust due to the strength provided by the aluminium frame.
  • Budget-friendly: This is usually a more cost-effective option compared to frameless varieties.
  • Design Variety: The frames can be finished in different colours to complement a range of bathroom styles.

However, framed shower screens can have some drawbacks:

  • They may make a small bathroom feel more enclosed.
  • The metal frames might collect more soap scum and watermarks, requiring more regular cleaning.

Read this guide to learn more about how to care for fully framed shower screens.


Comparing Glass Types

Choosing the right glass for your shower screen is paramount not only for aesthetics but also for safety and durability. Both framed and frameless shower screens commonly use toughened safety glass due to their resilience.

  • Safety: The toughening process makes the glass much less likely to break, and if it does, it shatters into small pieces to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Glass Thickness: Frameless screens often require thicker glass for structural strength, typically around 10mm, whereas framed screens can use thinner glass as the frame supports it.
  • Visibility: Clear glass is a popular choice for its crisp and clean appearance, but you have options such as frosted or tinted glass to increase privacy.
  • Cleaning: Frameless screens offer fewer areas for water and soap to collect, making them easier to clean.

By understanding these shower screen options and comparing their features, you can confidently choose between a framed, semi-frameless, or frameless enclosure to match your bathroom’s size, style, and functional requirements.


Advantages of Framed Shower Screens

When considering a new shower screen for your bathroom, the framed option offers several benefits. Your decision might be significantly swayed by advantages such as cost savings, durable safety features and the potential for a stylish addition to your bathroom.



Framed shower screens are often the more affordable choice, especially when compared to frameless or semi-frameless options. They provide you with a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality or functionality. To give you a better idea:

  • Lower price point: Generally, framed shower screens can be 50-75% cheaper than their frameless counterparts.
  • Budget-friendly: They are a practical pick if you’re aiming to minimise expenses.


Strength and Safety

The aluminium frames in these screens are not just for support; they play a significant role in safety as well. Here’s how:

  • Enhanced strength: The metal framework provides additional structural support to the safety glass.
  • Safe design: In high-use areas or family bathrooms, their robustness makes them less prone to damage and safer in the event of an accidental impact.


Style and Aesthetics

Your bathroom’s appearance can be transformed with a framed shower screen that marries functionality with style. Consider the following:

  • Modern aesthetics: While framed screens were once seen as bulky, many now feature clean lines and modern designs, including options in various colours like sleek silver or matte black.
  • Complementary appearance: If you enjoy cohesive décor, framed options can match existing fixtures in your bathroom, such as taps or towel rails.


Challenges and Considerations

Before deciding on a framed shower screen, you must consider the specific challenges it may present and the factors that will influence its performance and upkeep in your bathroom.


Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintenance is crucial to keep your framed shower screen functioning properly. Over time, the frames can accumulate water and soap residue, which may require extra effort to clean compared to frameless alternatives. Regular cleaning using non-abrasive products can prevent “glass cancer”—the cloudiness from minerals—ensuring long-lasting clarity.


Installation and Fit

Installation of a framed shower screen usually calls for professional expertise, as an imperfect fit can lead to issues down the line. If not fitted correctly, problems such as misalignment or difficulty in operation may occur. It’s also important that if your bathroom requires a custom-made shower screen, you consider additional costs and installation time.


Potential for Water Leakage

Creating a watertight seal is essential to prevent leaks. Proper maintenance and installation of your framed shower screen by a professional can reduce the risk of water leakage. However, due to the presence of seals and frames, the risk can be higher than with a frameless design. Frequent checks and replacing worn-out seals will be a part of your maintenance routine.


Deciding What’s Best for Your Bathroom

When you’re considering a shower screen, your bathroom’s layout and your own preferences play central roles. It’s crucial to consider size, design, and budget to ensure your decision enhances both functionality and aesthetics.


Space and Functionality

Your bathroom’s size and layout are paramount when selecting a shower screen. For small bathrooms or wet rooms, framed shower screens can be more pragmatic due to the robust support they offer. They are particularly suited where shower space acts as a multifunctional zone.

  • Small Bathrooms: Maximise space with sliding doors to avoid the sweep area of a pivoting door.
  • Wet Rooms: Requires durable fixtures; framed screens provide extra sealing against water leakage.


Design Compatibility

The design and theme of your bathroom should harmonise with your choice of shower screen. Framed screens tend to suit traditional or classical settings rather than modern design or minimalist bathrooms.

  • Modern Design: If you prefer contemporary, consider frameless options for that clean, seamless look.
  • Traditional Aesthetics: Framed shower screens complement classic styles and offer various decorative frame finishes.


Investment Consideration

The cost of your shower screen is not only about the initial price; consider the longevity and maintenance involved. Framed screens are often less expensive upfront but may need more in terms of maintenance down the line.

  • Less Expensive Option: A cost-effective solution, especially when budget constraints are tight.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning of the frames is essential to prevent buildup and potential glass degradation over time.


Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find concise answers to common queries regarding the pros and cons of framed shower screens, helping you make an informed decision for your bathroom.


What are the advantages of opting for a framed shower screen?

Framed shower screens offer affordability and durability. Their robust aluminium frames provide strong support for the glass, making them a steadfast choice for high-use bathrooms.


What drawbacks should one consider when choosing a frameless shower screen?

While frameless shower screens exude a modern aesthetic, they may require thicker, heavier glass due to the lack of structural framing, potentially increasing cost and necessitating sturdy wall fixings.


How do framed and semi-framed shower screens differ?

Framed shower screens feature metal edging around every piece of glass, while semi-framed shower screens have framing only along certain parts, blending the benefits of framed and frameless designs.


What is the longevity of framed shower doors in comparison to other types?

Framed shower screens typically offer a longer lifespan due to the protective framing, safeguarding against wear and potential damage compared to their frameless counterparts.


What factors should be considered when deciding between a framed and frameless shower screen?

Considerations include budget, bathroom layout, and design preference. Framed screens are cost-effective, whereas frameless screens provide a sleek look but may come with a higher price tag.


Can you outline the various shower screen options available on the market?

The market offers a variety of shower screens including fully framed, semi-framed, and frameless types, each with unique characteristics to suit different sizes and styles of bathrooms.

Choosing the right shower screen for your bathroom is essential for both functionality and style. Framed shower screens, as offered by Perth Glaziers, provide durability, a variety of design options, and cost-effectiveness, making us a practical choice for many homeowners. While we may have some limitations in terms of cleaning and a slightly bulkier appearance compared to frameless options, the benefits they bring to a bathroom’s functionality and aesthetic can be significant.