Bathrooms aren’t just bathrooms anymore. They’re an escape, a sanctuary from everyday life. Frameless shower doors have played a key role in the transition from the bathroom as functional to home retreat. The best frameless shower doors bring a minimalist elegance, with either sliding or hinged configurations. Without a frame, the eye keeps traveling, helping bathrooms to feel larger while making them easier to clean, too. Different door styles and hardware finishes offer a variety of looks to fit a wide range of interior designs.
- BEST OVERALL: WOODBRIDGE Frameless Sliding Glass Shower Door
- RUNNER-UP: DreamLine Mirage-X 56-60 in. W x 72 in. H Frameless
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DreamLine Aqua Uno 34 in. W x 58 in. H Frameless
- BEST SINGLE-SLIDING: VIGO Frameless Sliding Rectangle Shower Door
- BEST DUAL-SLIDING: DreamLine Essence Frameless Sliding Shower Door
- BEST HINGED: DreamLine Aqua Ultra Frameless Hinged Shower Door
- BEST FOR NARROW SPACES: DreamLine Aqua Fold Shower Door, 33.5″ W x 72″ H
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Frameless Shower Doors
The job of choosing the best frameless shower door for the bathroom is no small task. They come in a wide range of styles, designs, and sizes. This shopping guide can help narrow down the style, door thickness, and hardware needed based on the bathroom configuration.
A frameless shower door does not have a metal frame around the edge of the door. They come in both sliding and hinged designs. Either type may have a frame or rail to which they attach, but the metal isn’t attached directly to the door’s edge.
Single-Sliding Frameless Shower Door
A single-sliding frameless shower door has two glass panels, but only one of them slides. They’re common among the true frameless designs, meaning those that have no frame or bottom rail. The stationary panel acts as an anchor point for the design’s sliding door.
These shower doors work well in bathrooms with plenty of space. In a large bathroom, you may never need to get into the shower from the opposite side. These doors are less expensive than dual-sliding frameless shower doors.
Dual-Sliding Frameless Shower Door
In a dual-sliding design, both shower doors can slide open or closed. This type of design works well in midsize and smaller bathrooms because they allow entrance to the shower from either side. They cost more than a single-sliding door, and the more complicated installation takes a little longer.
Hinged (Pivot) Frameless Shower Door
Hinged frameless shower doors open like a bedroom door by swinging open. Some hinged doors only open outward, while others can swing both inward and outward. A few designs have a hinge in the middle of the door, folding like a bifold closet door. They’re made in both single- and double-pane designs.
Single-hinged frameless glass doors take up less space, making them a great option for smaller bathrooms. Some people find hinged doors easier to clean because soap scum and mineral deposits don’t get stuck in a track as they can with a sliding door.
Hinged or Sliding Tub Frameless Shower Doors
Tub frameless shower doors attach to a bathtub, giving another option besides a shower curtain. They come in full and half designs, as well as hinged or sliding. These doors are smaller and therefore are less expensive than full-size frameless shower doors. They offer the sleek appearance of a frameless shower door with the convenience of a traditional shower/tub combo.
Measure carefully when selecting the shower door. Wait until all of the other shower finishings are complete, such as the backer board, tile, and any decor, to make sure you get accurate measurements. Just a note of caution—frameless shower door installation is fairly complicated and may require extra permits. Most people will require professional help unless they have considerable DIY experience.
The average frameless shower door has a 22- to 36-inch width. Heights are usually around 72 inches, though they can vary based on the bathroom design. It’s common for frameless shower doors to be custom made to fit the bathroom space because they have to fit precisely to prevent water from getting out of the shower.
You need several measurements to make sure you get a door of the right size. Start with height. Measure from the top of the fiberglass or tile on the wall to the floor of the shower. This measurement tells you the standard door height needed. You can measure higher if you’re considering an oversize or custom door.
Next, measure the full width of the door. Measure the top, middle, and bottom of the shower opening. If there’s a difference in these measurements, use a level to check the angle. In a perfect world, the walls must be parallel, though you may be able to use a tapered filler to adjust the opening if the walls aren’t exactly parallel.
Also, measure from the centerline to the edge. You’ll need this measurement for sliding doors because you want to make sure the doors line up correctly.
After you’ve taken all the measurements, consult with a professional to select a door that’s equal to or slightly smaller than your measurements. If you’re considering a hinged door, make sure it can open without hitting anything else in the bathroom.
Frameless shower doors range in thickness from ⅜ inch to ½ inch. Frameless doors are slightly more prone to falling or dropping during and after installation. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. As you can imagine, the thicker the glass, the less likely it is to break if it falls or gets dropped.
However, thick glass comes at a higher price, and of course, it’s heavy. Some bathrooms may not meet the structural needs of a large, ½-inch-thick glass door. Doors of this size may require extra reinforcing, or it may not be possible. A lighter ⅜-inch glass door is sufficient the majority of the time. They’re also easier to ship and install, as well.
In general, it’s a good idea to match the shower hardware with the rest of the hardware in your bathroom. For clear doors, make sure that the interior hardware matches the exterior hardware, too.
Most hardware is made out of aluminum, stainless steel, or a composite. Many shower doors include hardware in different colors such as black, chrome, nickel, and finishes such as brushed, satin, or matte.
Reversible Installation Option
Doors with a reversible installation option can be installed with the opening on the left or right side of the shower. Not all doors include this option. Check to make sure before you buy. You don’t want the door to arrive to find that it only opens from the left when you need an opening on the right.
Our Top Picks
Our top frameless shower door picks feature known brands and models that range from innovative to shower classics. Their look, quality, and installation options stand out from the competition.
The Woodbridge Frameless Sliding Glass Shower Door features a modern design with hints of industrial elegance in the track. The stainless-steel track offers 4 inches of adjustment to fit widths between 56 and 60 inches. The door’s height reaches 72 inches, but the rail sits slightly lower, so expect the shower’s actual entrance to be shorter than 72 inches.
The glass measures ⅜ inch thick, and the door is reversible to open on either the left or right side. Stainless-steel hardware resists rust and corrosion, ensuring the door lasts for many years. It comes in several finishes, including matte black, chrome, brushed gold, and brushed nickel.
The DreamLine Mirage-X has a minimalist design that leaves clear views into the shower. DreamLines uses an L-bar that hides the hardware. It also has an aluminum bottom track that keeps water inside.
The Mirage-X only installs with a right-side opening, with a panel (stationary) door on the left. But it does fit openings between 56 and 60 inches, with 4 inches of adjustment in the metal track. The ⅜-inch glass keeps the door light but solid. This model only comes in brushed nickel.
The DreamLine Aqua Uno provides a sleek open design of a glass door for tub/shower combos. Combo showers aren’t always the most elegant, but this ¼-inch-thick door’s sloped edge brings an elegance that opens up the space.
The 34 5/16-inch-wide door has a walk-in opening and swings open from the wall hinges. There’s no adjustment for nonparallel walls, so the measurements and leveling have to be exact. However, it attaches from either the right or left side, so it will fit a wide range of bathroom configurations.
The VIGO Frameless Door with Clear Tempered Glass features a sliding top track, leaving a clear door to open the look and feel of the bathroom. That track has a soft-close feature to quietly close the door. It works with a slim track with less bulk than average and smooth sliders for easy, quiet door control.
This door also stands out because it has an added 4 inches of height, at 76 inches. Those extra inches add weight to the door, making it heavier than a standard ⅜-inch-thick shower door. The VIGO comes in 16 sizes and five finishes, though all sizes are not always available.
The DreamLine Essence Frameless Bypass Sliding Shower Door features 5/16-inch-thick glass. That extra ⅛ inch provides extra durability (and weight) to these gorgeous doors. The dual sliding door allows entry from either side.
An aluminum guard along the side keeps water in, but it also allows adjustments up to ¼ inch for uneven walls. Plus, the track trims down by 4 inches, giving some leeway in installation. The Essence fits openings from 56 to 60 inches wide and 76 inches high, an extra 4 inches of height in comparison to standard frameless shower doors.
The DreamLine Aqua Ultra features a fun walk-in opening but a hinging door that opens from a stationary panel. It works well in small bathrooms. At the same time, the curved door edge adds a sense of style.
An aluminum channel provides ¼-inch adjustment for uneven walls. It offers extra durability with 5/16-inch-thick glass. Finally, this shower door installs from either side, literally “opening the door” to bathrooms of different designs and layouts.
A small bathroom doesn’t have to lack design. The DreamLine Aqua Fold Shower Door features a bifold design that works well in narrow, cramped spaces. The Aqua creates a minimalist, European look without a huge door installation.
An aluminum wall profile provides ⅜ inch of wiggle room for walls that aren’t quite even. The glass itself measures ¼ inch thick, for a heavier feel over the standard ⅜-inch door. It comes in either a 29.5- or 33-inch width to accommodate showers of different sizes.
FAQs About Your New Frameless Shower Doors
The best frameless shower doors will make you want to spend more time in your bathroom than you probably should. They’re beautiful, sleek, and sophisticated. However, you might have a few questions about the installation and the door itself.
Q. How do you stop a frameless shower door from leaking?
A leak-free frameless shower door starts with building the shower correctly. The floor should decline slightly toward the center to prevent water from pooling in the shower or leaking outside of it.
Next, make sure the water doesn’t point and spray directly at the shower door. This helps the door gently angle the water toward the floor and drain. Consider a rainfall showerhead that directs the water toward the floor rather than spraying toward the walls.
Finally, plastic stoppers can be fitted onto the bottom of some frameless shower doors if you still have problems with leaks.
Q. What is the difference between semi-frameless and frameless shower doors?
A semi-frameless shower door has a side or two or three encased in metal like a framed door. Parts of the door are frameless, but not the entire door. In a frameless design, the door itself has no metal frame on it. It may attach to a metal frame in the doorway, but the door is a single piece of glass with no frame.
Q. Are frameless shower doors safe?
They are safe as long as they are installed correctly, which can be said about any shower door. Correct installation assures that the shower walls can support the door and that tracks and anchor points are lined up correctly.
Q. How is a frameless shower door installed?
Installation of a frameless shower door requires more work and know-how than a framed or semi-frameless model. Measurements and angles must be precise before starting the installation to prevent gaps. Include an extra 1/16 inch in your measurements to account for the tape measure’s metal tang. You need to be as precise as possible.
The rest of the installation requires shims, drills, and at least two pairs of hands to hold the door, keeping it in place with attaching it to the hardware. Depending on the bathroom design, a masonry drill or other special power tools may be needed.