Framed shower enclosures

Early shower enclosures comprised of an aluminium outer frame, often white, in-filled with a patterned acrylic panel.  Modern shower enclosures still feature aluminium frames but the current trend is for silver or chrome finishes and, in compliance with current safety regulations, toughened safety glass has replaced acrylic panels.

Framed shower enclosures follow the traditional construction of aluminium framework surrounding a glass panel that can vary in thickness from 2.5mm to 8mm.  Products offered by manufacturers include pivot shower doors, bifolding shower doors, curved quadrant enclosures and sliding and corner entry shower doors.

Until recently, framed enclosures were produced in a variety of frame colours and glass finishes.  Typically, most manufacturers offered silver, white and gold frame finishes with clear, partially obscured (sometimes referred to as a modesty panel or block print) or Victorian glass.  More recently, the trend has been for large clear panes of glass with chrome fittings and this has dictated that almost all manufacturers now offer predominantly silver or chrome frames with white only available as an option on some framed ranges.

Framed shower enclosures are commonly associated with budget products and while there is some truth in this, there are manufacturers who offer premium framed products.  Although framed shower enclosures are associated with the budget sector of the market, there are many good quality products offered by reputable manufacturers.





Typically, a pivot shower door and side panel, suitable for a 900mm square shower tray, can be purchased for around £450 pounds excluding the shower tray. 

This would be the manufacturer’s retail price from one of the popular brands; deals are available from merchants and internet retailers.

  • Easy to install – a framed shower door is often easier to fit because the product is normally fully constructed in the box and only requires fixing in place and sealing.
  • Frame adjustment - the frame will afford a greater amount of adjustment than a semi-frameless shower, sometimes as much as 30mm per side of a door. This allows much more scope for fitting where walls are not at all straight and vertical or the aperture varies in width.
  • Water tight - framed showers may retain water more readily than some semi-frameless and frameless designs.
  • Made to measure – heights and widths will be available from some manufacturers. Framed products are not normally suited to angled applications such as loft conversions.

  • Dated – the current, and continuing trend, is for shower enclosures with less frame work and more glass.
  • Cleaning – framed products are harder to keep clean. Preventing lime scale build up on delicate aluminium framework is difficult and over time can damage the frame.