Semi frameless vs frameless shower screen

If you’re replacing your existing shower screen or you’re in the market for a new one as part of a bathroom renovation, it’s likely you’ve come across the terms semi frameless and frameless.

What do they mean and which type of shower screen is the best? In this blog, we’ll examine the differences and help you pick a winner in the semi frameless vs frameless shower screen contest!

What are semi frameless and frameless shower screens?

Without trying to sound too obvious, frameless shower screens have no frames while semi frameless shower screens do.

To be more precise, semi frameless have frames around some of the edges of the shower screen panels. By the way, with frames around all edges (sides, top and bottom) you have yourself a framed shower screen.

Semi-frameless shower screen

Frameless shower screen

Key differences between semi frameless and frameless shower screens

Frameless shower screens are definitely a major trend in bathroom renovations. Part of this is because they fit the minimalist style that so many of us are looking for in the home. With no frames and very little hardware required (apart from perhaps small hinges if a door is required and small fixings) frameless shower screens practically float in place. 

However, to achieve this look and functionality, the glass on frameless shower screens need to be thicker than for semi-frameless. This is a key difference between the two different types of screens and is why frameless shower screens will generally be more expensive.

Here’s a summary on the key differences between semi frameless and frameless shower screens:

  • A semi frameless shower screen will have more parts, with some edges of the panels framed to provide strength.
  • That doesn’t mean frameless showers screens aren’t strong, they are. However, to achieve the structural integrity required without frames, thicker glass is used. 
  • You probably won’t notice the difference in the thickness of the glass with your eyes, but you’ll see the difference when it comes time to pay! The thicker glass required means frameless shower screens will set you back a little more.
  • Semi frameless shower screens require a little more cleaning and are a little more difficult to clean, because of the frames.
  • Frameless shower screens are generally a little easier to install.
  • Both types of shower screens are low maintenance.

Is frameless or semi frameless better?

Frameless shower screens look fantastic and fit the minimalist style that is so popular these days. They shout premium and are excellent for small spaces, as the lack of frames and extra glass helps to increase light and provide the illusion of more space.

On the other hand, semi frameless shower screens provide a lot of the advantages of frameless shower screens, without breaking the bank. In addition, because the fixings can be adjusted, they are more likely to work against uneven walls and in difficult spaces, where frameless shower screens may struggle.

So, which is better in the contest between semi frameless vs frameless shower screens?

That’s a bit like asking which one of our children we like the most. We may have a favourite but we’re not going to tell!

Seriously, both are excellent choices and it really comes down to personal choice. If your budget is tight, semi frameless is the obvious choice. While if you have a little more money to spend and you like the minimalist look, then frameless will work a treat.