Various shower designs with diverse framing options will confront you when installing a new enclosure in your bathroom. Generally, you can sort showers into three models: frameless, semi-frameless and framed. As well, you'll need to consider the door style.
If you want your shower to become almost invisible—to highlight elegant decorative tiles, for instance—you could install a frameless shower. The glass panels in these enclosures are without metal borders around their edges. Instead, they attach with minimal hardware like hinges, brackets and braces. Such freestanding glass structures impart a light and airy feel in a bathroom as your eye can see all corners without the interruption of opaque screens or the heaviness of extended metal frames.
Another style, semi-frameless designs, have framing around some edges while others remain bare. The framing pattern is not set but varies between models. For instance, the fixed panels in an enclosure might have frames while the moving door doesn't. Alternatively, all the screens might have horizontal framing along the top and bottom edges, but not the vertical ones. This metal provides structural support for the glass panels, which can, therefore, be thinner than in frameless designs.
Each glass panel within a framed enclosure has a supporting metal border around all four sides, which allows for thinner glazing to reduce costs. The glazing itself doesn't need to provide so much structural strength. While these showers allow for light flow, their framing style adds definition, making the enclosure feel less airy and open.
As well as opting for an edging form, you'll need to assess door type. An outward-swinging door requires floor space to open, which can impede others using the bathroom; plus, it limits the layout of other elements. An inward-swinging pivot door requires area inside the enclosure to operate. Maximising space with a sliding door that moves sideways is a smart choice in a small bathroom.
Frameless showers are particularly ideal for small bathrooms as they create an open feel—but in larger spaces too, they evoke a sense of luxury and light. Various degrees of framing create semi-frameless models, or you can go with full frames, which typically use the thinnest glass. Your choice of door style when undergoing shower screen installation depends on personal preference and the room and shower size; swing and pivot doors need free space while sliding doors are incredibly efficient options.