Basic Shower Door Terminology
Shower Doors and panels comprise the bulk of installations for non-tub showers, and offer the greatest flexibility of design. The choices of glass, metal finishes, and dimensions are almost limitless, as are cost spreads. Panels may either be on the same level as the door, or on different elevations known as buttress panels.
Your first consideration, apart from cost, is the look you wish to achieve. Do you want a framed or frameless enclosure? Framed doors are generally the least expensive and not currently in favor, and also offer the fewest options in metal finishes and glass styles.
Frameless doors, by themselves, may or may not be totally “frameless”. Not to confuse you, but when we talk about frameless, we need to differentiate between “conventional“, conventional “Euro” and “heavy” glass enclosures.
- With conventional frameless, the door glass is 3/16″ thick, with the handle press-fitted on the glass edge. It will still have metal along the hinge side and bottom edge, and panels will have metal around all edges.
- With Euro frameless, the door glass is 1/4″ thick with the handle going through the glass. It will still have metal along the hinge side and bottom edge, and panels will have metal around all edges.
- Heavy frameless – regardless of the configuration, offers the greatest choice in metal finishes, hardware styles, glass designs, and the least amount of metal showing. All edges are polished, and the only metal is the hinges and door pull. Panels will only have small clamps with all edges sealed with clear silicone. Minimum glass thickness is 3/8″ – 1/2″. They are also the most expensive in both materials and installation.