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Hot Trends: Framing the Argument for Frameless Showers

A little while ago I talked about the benefits of steam showers, and a before that I went through some tips and tricks for giving your bathroom decor a more traditional vibe. Continuing the trend of bathroom spruce-ups, I wanted to bring the conversation around to frameless shower enclosures, and why you really, really want one. They are more of a process and commitment than simply hanging a shower curtain, but one that will prove worth it in the end.

A Hot New Look 

Frameless showers have a sleek, fresh, modern feel. (By Justine Sterling Design)
Frameless showers have a sleek, fresh, modern feel. (By Justine Sterling Design)

A “frameless” shower is exactly what it sounds like–a shower enclosure without any of the metal bordering that sets the glass in more traditional-style showers. Instead they are just held together with a couple sturdy hinges. This immediately gives frameless showers a more contemporary feel than curtains or framed doors, as contemporary decor often builds around simplicity, seamlessness, and the subtle space-age appeal of glass. If you’re looking for a way to immediately bring your bathroom into the 21st century, this is it.

Lighten Things Up 

These style doors are great for making the most of natural light. (By Zakrzewski + Hyde Architects)
These style doors are great for making the most of natural light. (By Zakrzewski + Hyde Architects)

Bathrooms, in general, don’t have much wall space, what with the necessary placement of a mirror, bath, and door. If there is space for a window, more often than not that window is blocked by the shower. I’ve lived in multiple places where this is the case, and it sort of defeats the purpose of having a source of natural light, since none of it can reach the rest of the room when the shower curtain is closed. With a frameless door, that light gets through easily. It’s like having another window.

Invisible Benefits

Frameless showers are great for open-plan bathrooms. (By Chown Hardware)
Frameless showers are great for open-plan bathrooms. (By Chown Hardware)

Just like with the light, frameless showers are a great way to create the illusion of more space, in that it turns the shower into a part of the bathroom itself rather than a separate space that is cordoned off. I like the mirror-image effect in the photo above, with the split sinks on either side. They are separated but not isolated.

This may also be a good time to mention that another huge benefit of frameless shower doors is that they are much easier to clean. Buildup on metal runners and frames can be a huge pain to get rid of, since there’s so many little nooks and crannies for the gunk to seep down into. A standard glass cleaner is typically good enough for a frameless shower door.

Shower Show-Off 

Feel like showing off your shower?
Feel like showing off your shower? (By Gaskin Designs)

Alright, I’m aware that most of our showers are not going to look like the shower in the photo above–i.e. like they belong in the residence wing of an imperial palace, but there are certainly some of us who want to show off the inside of our showers. Whether that’s because of great tiling, attractive water features, a cool mosaic on the floor, or some other reason, a frameless shower gives an uninterrupted view of the interior. That way, if you ever decide you want your shower to resemble one from the residence wing of an imperial palace, well, you’ve already got the doors for it.

No Need For Natural 

A great choice for bathrooms without natural light. (By Kohler)
A great choice for bathrooms without natural light. (By Kohler)

I have a prominent memory of the bathroom I used when I was growing up. It was small, windowless, and had this heavy dark blue shower curtain that just sucked up all the light in the room. It made it feel more like a prison cell than a bathroom, and my family jokingly dubbed it “the punishment room”. Bathrooms without a source of natural light can easily fall into the punishment room trap, but glass naturally reflects and enhances light, making even a dim room look brighter.

Whatever your bathroom situation is, a frameless shower hosts a long list of benefits–easier cleaning, cheerier lighting, a modern, and a freshened up feel. A perfect for those upcoming cold, gloomy months!