Frameless Shower Doors Make A Splash
First appearing as a design element in high-end homes about a decade ago, frameless shower doors have entered the mainstream market, turning up in model homes, apartments and townhouses. Frameless doors offer a clean look with plenty of clear glass and just a hint of metal. They are more modern than the traditional framed doors
How Are Frameless Doors Constructed?
Traditional shower doors featured thin sheets of glass – between three to six millimeters thick – with each piece generally being supported on all sides by a metal frame. With a frameless door, the number of pieces of metal is reduced from about 12 on a standard sliding door element to as few as four on a frameless slider. In addition, frameless doors feature heavier, tempered glass.
Frameless doors may still have a header across the top, metal on one side or be supported by a header frame, but there is much less metal used than with traditional, framed doors . The effect is open, clear, uncluttered.
With frameless doors, glass often is butted to glass; edges are finished and smooth, fixtures are drilled securely into the glass and seams eliminate the need for metal. The lines of glass can be virtually uninterrupted by metal – sometimes being suspended from a power hinge. The end result is a streamlined, open look which can be constructed in a variety of configurations.
The sheets of glass must be heavier so that they are able to structurally stand by themselves. The beauty of a heavy glass is its simplicity and design.
Custom-designed frameless doors must be professionally installed, and can take anywhere from one to six weeks to build and install. The cost of such practical elegance is high, with design and installation running anywhere from $650 to $13,000 for more elaborate units featuring sandblasted designs or high-end fixtures.
Despite the hefty price tag, over the years, these shower doors have begun to replace their metal-clad counterparts, and soon framed doors might be a thing of the past.
Of course, you still can have sliders or a hinged door, just like the old framed varieties, however, the hinge would be attached to another piece of glass, or to the wall to create an appearance of free standing-glass.
Variety Of Doors To Choose From
When it comes to frameless doors, customers have a greater variety of fixture finishes available to them. Handles and towel fixtures are drilled directly into the door, rather than clamped onto the metal framing. Finishes can include polished nickel, pewter, brass, even 24-karat gold.
The style allows for added design elements like custom sandblasted designs and extended heights. As homeowners began to invest more money on bathroom fixtures and decorator tiles, they wanted a shower door that did not hide those decorator elements. They are willing to pay for it, too.
Many homeowners don’t mind paying about double the price for a frameless shower door in their bathroom. People now view their house as something to show off.
A frameless show door allows you to spend money on tiles and fixtures – and get to show them off. What about cleaning all that glass? Well, all you need is glass cleaner and a squeegee. Who would have guessed that frameless doors could be both elegant and practical.
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