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Shower Screen Types: Frameless vs Framed vs Semi-Frameless

November 3, 2023

When it comes to creating the perfect shower experience, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right shower screen. The options can seem overwhelming, with framed, frameless, and semi-frameless shower screens all vying for your attention. Each type has its unique features and benefits, and it’s essential to understand the differences to make an informed choice.

At Shower Ranger, we specialise in shower screen replacement and installation, helping you transform your bathroom into a haven of comfort and style. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing shower screen or need expert guidance on selecting the ideal option for your space, our team is here to assist you.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of framed, frameless, and semi-frameless shower screens, exploring their advantages and drawbacks. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to make the right decision for your bathroom.

Let’s dive into the world of shower screens and discover the perfect match for your needs and preferences.

Framed Shower Screens

Framed shower screens are the most traditional and commonly used type. They consist of a metal or plastic frame that surrounds the glass panels. These frames can be made from materials like aluminium, stainless steel, or PVC, and they provide structural support and stability to the screen.

Framed Shower Screens: Enduring Classic Charm

If you appreciate traditional designs and a touch of nostalgia, framed shower screens are for you. Serving as a centrepiece in vintage-inspired bathrooms, the frames add character and uniqueness. These shower screens offer a sense of security and durability with their robust construction, ensuring longevity while maintaining a timeless appeal. Don’t let modern trends overshadow the allure of classic charm!


  1. Affordability: Framed shower screens are generally the most budget-friendly option. The presence of the frame reduces the cost of materials and labor.
  2. Stability: The frame provides structural support, making framed shower screens sturdy and durable. They are less likely to wobble or sag over time.
  3. Customization: These screens come in various designs and finishes, allowing you to choose one that matches your bathroom decor.
  4. Easy Installation: Installation is relatively straightforward, and they can be fitted into bathrooms with uneven walls or floors without much hassle.


  1. Aesthetic Limitations: The presence of a visible frame can be considered less aesthetically pleasing, especially in modern bathroom designs, as it can create a more segmented and enclosed feel.
  2. Maintenance: The metal or plastic frame can accumulate soap scum and grime over time, requiring more frequent cleaning compared to frameless alternatives.
  3. Reduced Light: The frame may block some natural light from entering the shower, making it feel smaller and darker.

Frameless Shower Screens

Frameless shower screens are characterised by their seamless, all-glass design. They are constructed using thick tempered glass without the need for any surrounding frames. Instead, they rely on sturdy hinges, brackets, and channels to support the glass panels.

Frameless Shower Screens: Embrace Elegance and Minimalism

When it comes to the epitome of modern sophistication, frameless shower screens take the crown. The absence of visible framing creates an illusion of spaciousness, making your bathroom appear larger and more open. These screens not only provide a luxurious touch but also allow natural light to permeate, making your shower experience tranquil and refreshing.


  1. Elegance: Frameless screens offer a sleek and modern look, making them a popular choice in contemporary bathroom designs. The absence of a frame allows for an open and spacious feel.
  2. Easy Cleaning: Without the presence of a frame, there are fewer nooks and crannies where dirt and grime can accumulate. This makes frameless screens easier to clean and maintain.
  3. Light and Airy: The lack of a frame maximises the entry of natural light, making your bathroom feel more open and airy.
  4. Durability: Tempered glass is known for its strength and resistance to shattering, which ensures the safety of users.


  1. Cost: Frameless shower screens tend to be more expensive due to the use of thicker glass and specialised hardware. The cost can be a significant factor for those on a tight budget.
  2. Installation Complexity: Installing frameless screens can be more challenging and time-consuming, often requiring professional assistance.
  3. Sealing and Waterproofing: Proper sealing and waterproofing are crucial for frameless screens to prevent water leakage. Poor installation or maintenance can lead to costly water damage.

Semi-Frameless Shower Screens

Semi-frameless shower screens offer a compromise between framed and frameless options. They have a partial frame usually surrounding the top and sides of the glass, while the bottom remains frameless. These screens combine the structural stability of framed screens with the aesthetic appeal of frameless ones.

Semi-Frameless Shower Screens: The Best of Both Worlds

Are you torn between the allure of frameless and framed shower screens? Fear not! Semi-frameless shower screens offer the perfect blend of elegance and sturdiness. Boasting a sleek design, these screens feature minimal framing, effortlessly complementing both contemporary and classical bathroom aesthetics. Semi-frameless screens are an excellent choice for those seeking a compromise between modernity and durability.


  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Semi-frameless screens provide a contemporary look that enhances the overall bathroom aesthetics, making them a popular choice for those who want a balance between style and stability.
  2. Stability: The partial frame offers added support, making semi-frameless screens more robust and less susceptible to wobbling or sagging.
  3. Affordability: While not as cost-effective as fully framed screens, semi-frameless options are generally more budget-friendly than fully frameless screens.
  4. Easier Installation: Installation of semi-frameless screens is often less complex than frameless screens and can be done by experienced DIY enthusiasts or professionals.


  1. Maintenance: The presence of a partial frame means that semi-frameless screens may require more cleaning than fully frameless ones. However, they are still easier to maintain than fully framed screens.
  2. Light Blockage: Compared to frameless screens, semi-frameless screens may block a bit more natural light, but the difference is minimal.
  3. Cost: While more affordable than frameless options, semi-frameless screens can still be cost-prohibitive for some homeowners, especially when higher-end materials are used.

In the world of shower screens, the choice between framed, frameless, and semi-frameless options ultimately comes down to personal preferences, budget constraints, and the overall aesthetic and functional goals for your bathroom. Each type has its unique advantages and drawbacks, and it’s essential to weigh these factors carefully to make an informed decision.

If you value a modern and elegant look, with an emphasis on natural light and a spacious feel, frameless shower screens are an excellent choice, provided you are willing to invest in both the product and professional installation. For those who seek a balance between aesthetics and affordability, semi-frameless screens offer a compelling solution. Finally, framed shower screens are a budget-friendly option that provides stability and a variety of design choices but may be less appealing to those looking for a sleek, contemporary look.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs, style preferences, and budget. Whichever type of shower screen you choose, proper installation, maintenance, and sealing are critical to ensure that your bathroom remains a functional and inviting space for years to come.

For professional shower screen replacement and installation services in Melbourne, visit Shower Ranger to get started on enhancing your bathroom today.

Elevating your Shower Experience

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