What Is a Semi-Frameless Shower Screen?


Homeowners are often confused as to what the differences are between framed shower screens, semi-frameless shower screens, and frameless shower screens because each type still has visible metal as part of its construction. It would be nearly impossible to have a full glass enclosure with no metal supports or connectors. 

A shower screen is another name for a glass shower enclosure. For homeowners unfamiliar with the term, it is essential to note that the back walls and floor of the shower are tile, while the enclosure portion is either clear or frosted glass.


A framed shower screen has metal around each piece of the enclosure, including the doors. A semi-frameless shower screen will also have metal framing around most of the enclosure, but not around the door, and a frameless shower screen is attached with metal clips, so the panels are not wrapped in metal.

Often there is confusion on the part of the homeowners about what a semi-frameless shower screen is because there is still a fair amount of metal framing in the structure. The critical difference is that the door to the enclosure will not be encased in metal. There will likely be large metal clips and hinges holding the door to the other parts of the enclosure.

There is also confusion with the frameless shower screen due to the fact metal pieces are holding the panels together. There will be metal hinges on the door to the enclosure. While these are called frameless, they still require some metal to hold each panel safely in place.

The presence of a frame or partial frame will depend on a few factors, including the weight of the glass. In some cases, additional framing is needed due to the thickness and weight of the glass, making the enclosure.

Shower enclosures are often preferred over traditional shower stalls with curtains for a few reasons. First, it makes space feel more open and allows more light in, which makes it brighter. You will essentially be making the inside of the shower part of the overall room. 

Enclosures also allow you to be more creative with the size and shape of a shower, as opposed to limiting you to a stall area. When creating a shower with an enclosure, you can make the shower extra-large, oddly shaped, or make it fit an odd space already in your bathroom. Traditional bathrooms are box-shaped, with the tub/shower, toilet, and sink all fitting together in an orderly way. Newer designs, however, have stepped away from the tidy layout and created endless possibilities.

Enclosures also make the shower itself feel more open. Single stall showers often feel dark and cramped. Tub and showers can also feel crowded, and shower curtains can make space feel even smaller and darker. Sliding shower doors on a bathtub can be hard to clean with the metal runners fixed to the edge of the tub.

Glass shower enclosures are much easier to clean than tile and cement stalls with a shower curtain. You are also less likely to have mold or mildew grow due to the light and air allowed into space.

In terms of home decor, they work with most designs because they allow you to include the tile in the shower in the overall design since it will be evident within the bathroom. Larger showers and oddly shaped showers also provide more opportunities for working the shower design into the overall bathroom design. Semi-framed shower screens are an ideal option for most spaces, and the difference between semi-framed and frame-free is minimal. Semi-framed and frameless enclosures also cater more to a minimalist design.