Shower screens

Shower screens provide numerous advantages. In particular, they offer complete visibility during the course of the day by allowing the natural light to enter. Therefore, they can be good energy saving options for bathroom trips during the course of the day. As far as space is concerned; shower screen varieties can also increase space in the bathroom. This is mainly the case with frameless shower screens as they use up very little space compared to doors and door frames. Different shower screens are in existence today. The variations may be on the basis of frames or the nature and type of glass used. There are framed shower screens, semi frameless and frameless. All these options are made of glass which may or may not have the same properties.

What is a shower screen?

A shower screen is a glass panel that serves as a partial or full enclosure of a shower. They come in a wide range of styles and sizes with each style offering advantages of its own. Every bathroom is made up of walls which may be made of any material including tiles, masonry, brickwork, refined wood products and metals. However, a glass screen provides the ultimate elegance that such bathroom walls lack. It adds an extra aesthetic touch to the bathroom making it appear more elegant.

What are the different shower screen types?

There are a three types of shower screens:

  1. Frameless shower screens

  2. Semi frameless shower screens

  3. Framed shower screens

Below we have provided a definition and image of each different type so you can understand the main differences. Click on the heading for more information.

Each type can be used in a variety of ways to create a different style, depending on the layout of your bathroom or the look and design you are trying to achieve.

Choosing your shower screen

The first decision that needs to be made is to choose the style of your shower screen. Don't worry your glass consultant is on hand to help you make this decision.

Option 1 - Frameless shower screen

Option 2 - Semi frames shower screen

Option 3 - Framed shower screen

Once you have chosen your preferred option, you can then design your shower screen. Once again your shower screen designer will guide you through this process.

A frameless shower screen doesn't have any framing at all. Frameless shower screens can also be know as a 'blade shower screen'.

Advancements in the manufacture of glass over the years have made glass tougher, safer and cheaper which has allowed glass even more versatile widening its already vast uses even more.

This means glass is now strong and safer enough to support itself without the requirement of a frame to hold it up. The glass panels of the shower screen support their own weight and can also incorporate the hinges so the door can also be frameless. more

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2. Semi Frameless Shower Screens

The option of a semi frameless screen is the middle ground between the frameless and framed showers screens.

This style looks to maintain as much strength as possible whilst minimising the visual impact of the frame.

A semi frameless shower screen differs slightly from frameless shower screens because it comes with a partial frame, normally aluminium. The frame joins the wall and provides a seal for the purposes of blocking the gap that lies between the wall and the glass thereby preventing the water from escaping. In the case of when a bathtub is involved, the frame lies on the ledge of the bathtub. This helps distribute the weight of the shower screen. It is easy to distinguish between the frameless shower screens and the semi frameless ones because of the individual parts that hold the screen in position. For frameless shower screens, it is held in place by a thin 50mm (2inch) thin metal clip. For semi-framed, the screen is held in place by a continuous bracket that runs the length of the glass.

Five semi frameless shower screen styles

  1. Single panel

Features a single panel of glass. A glass wall effectively that you walk around to enter the shower cubicle.

  1. Over bath

Runs down the open sides of the bathtub and generally includes a swing or sliding door.

  1. Wall to wall

Connects two walls in an alcove of at one end of the bathroom.

  1. Corner square

Forms the shape of a square featuring two panels that are 90 degrees to each other

  1. Diamond shape

Usually in a corner and adds angles panels to form 5 sides shower.

Semi frameless shower screen features

The semi frameless shower screen comes with a number of features. In general, they feature glass panels varying in sizes along with semi frames. They have a continuous hinge that facilitates the closing and opening of the shower. There is also a handle for closing and opening the shower as often as the need arises. In most cases, they come with framed glass, a continuous hinge, a handling part and various frame components.

9 semi frameless shower screen benefits

There are numerous benefits associated with semi frameless shower screens.

  1. Stop water escaping

Let’s not forget why we have a shower screen, to control the water. So first and foremost you want a shower screen solution that will minimize the spread of water in your bathroom and semi framed shower screens are no different. You want to control the splash so no water leaks from your shower enclosure into the bathroom or worse still out of the bathroom into the next room.

  1. Save money on installation

Buying a semi frameless shower screen is generally cheaper than frameless shower screens so you can save some money on your bathroom renovation. They can however take a little more time to install, particularly if you have a shower door.

  1. Save money on electricity bills

Having a clear glass shower screen and glass door allows direct sunlight to flow through the bathroom meaning you can save money on energy during the course of the day.

  1. Choice of finishes

You can decide from a variety of finishes such as white powder coat, polished silver and matt silver for your shower frame. Most renovators usually match the frame with other fixtures such as towel racks, mirror frames or faucets to accessorise and maintain a consistent look.

  1. Get the designer look

Maximize the available space in your bathroom, both physically and visually by defining the shower area. They also tend to look a little more streamlined, which may be desirable if you’re going for a fairly contemporary look for your bathroom. You can also accessorise your semi-framed shower by adding towel racks or hooks, toiletry shelves, door knobs of your choice of frame colours and finishes.

  1. Practical and reliable

Overlapping panels help ensure the water stays within the shower. Also, the less frame and components, the easier it is to clean and maintain. For this reason it is always good to consider a frameless shower screen.

  1. East to clean and hygienic

Modern semi-framed shower screens are simple, quick and easy to clean as they have less frame and parts than a traditionally fully frames shower screen.

To reduce the growth of mould a antibacterial silicon is used.

  1. Safety

We use thick toughened safety glass to ensure the highest level of safety of the shower screen.

  1. Add value to your home

Last but not the least, a new and modern semi frameless shower screen can provide your home or rental property with more value. They add a practical and aesthetic appeal to any prospective renter or buyer.

What does the quoted price include?

If you buy a semi frameless shower screen, it will include the following:

  • The number of glass panels stated

  • Frame

  • Components (door hinges, knobs, fixing to wall parts etc)

  • Handles

  • Installation

Other accessories can be added as needed such as:

  • Toiletry shelving

  • Towel racks

  • Hanging hooks

  • Shelves

How big can a semi framed shower screen be?

The overall width of a semi frameless screen shower may be up to 2300mm with multiple panels and around 900mm if it is a single glass panel.

However, a semi-framed shower screen can be custom made to the size or shape that works with your bathroom.

How tall is a semi framed shower screen?

The most common height of semi frameless shower is 1800mm. They can however be custom made to be more or less to suit your requirements for example shorter if mounted on the end of a bath tub or higher to reach a ceiling.

Why are semi frameless shower screens more expensive than framed shower screens?

Semi frameless shower screens are less expensive compared to Frameless Shower Screens, but they cost more than Framed Shower Screens. This is mainly because they are much easier to install and to maintain. It is not cumbersome to install a semi frameless shower screen because it comes with fewer frame components.

3. Framed Shower Screens

Framed shower screens are the traditional style you probably had in your family home when you were growing up or remember seeing in your grandparents house.

A framed shower screen has an aluminium frame all the way around the glass. Each piece of glass is edged with the aluminium to provide strength and functionality to the shower screen.

The main difference to semi framed is that the framing is built to hold the glass, this includes the walls of the shower and the doors which slide or swing.

What is a framed shower screen?

Shower screens are mere enclosures of showers which often take the place of shower doors or shower curtains. Today, a shower screen is the perfect option for enclosing a shower room. They are a better option than shower curtains and shower doors in a number of ways. In particular, they provide more space in the shower and also exhibit additional elegance thus making the shower appear more appealing than before. Further, shower screens are usually more durable than the shower curtain and doors.

They are also much easier to clean in comparison to the shower curtains and shower doors. As far as installation is concerned, the shower screens are usually much easier to install compared to doors. These advantages apply to all the shower screen types including framed shower screens, semi framed shower screens and frameless shower screens. The major difference between the framed and the other two types is the fact that the framed shower screens have glass screens that are fully framed in aluminum.

Framed shower screen features

The major features of a framed shower screen are the glass panes and the frame. Usually, the glass type of the shower screen is transparent. The glass screen is held in position by a frame whose size depends on the overall size of the shower screen. Framed shower screens also feature door frames and handles. They also have hinges which facilitate the opening and closing of the doors. Shower doors can either be swing or sliding. The edges of each frame are often sealed to prevent water from escaping the shower. In most cases, the glass used is transparent glass, but opaque may also be used in some bathroom designs. This type is usually used for aesthetic reasons.

Benefits of a framed shower screens

Framed shower screens often offer more space compared to doors and shower curtains. They also have more defined shower corners compared to the other two types. Therefore, they have better profiles that are more capable of eliminating dirt and residue from soap. There are various frame colours that are available and a wide range of glass types to choose from. Due to the presence of the frame, framed shower screens often distribute their self-weight more evenly and reduce additional stress on the shower or bathtub. Due to the added strength of the frame, they are also more stable compared to the other types of shower screens. Although advancements have come a long way and frameless nowadays is a very safe option.

Styles of framed shower screens

  • Single panel

Generally comes out at a 90 degree angle from the wall.

  • Over bath

This is installed on the edge of the bath and runs down the side of it. It can have a swing or sliding door.

  • Wall to wall

This joins two walls either across the bathroom at one end or in an alcove.

  • Corner square

This is a common use din a corner where the frame comes out at a 90 degree angle to join each other.

  • Diamond shape

Similar to the corner square but has 3 sides with 135 degree angles and is also typically in the corner of a bathroom.

How tall is a framed shower screen?

Framed screen showers can be up to 1800mm tall. This is often the tallest height that you can expect to find on the market. On the other hand, the minimum height that you may find on the market is about 1500 mm, although shorter ones may be found depending on your preferences. Custom designed framed screen showers however allow you to design them for your space.

How big can a framed shower screen be?

The sizes of framed shower screens vary. In most cases, the width of most framed shower screens for the bathrooms and ensuite range between 900mm and 2300mm. For single panel types, the width is about 900mm and up to 2300mm width is for a multiple panel option. Smaller or large sizes are not limited to these sizes though as a customer design can achieve the look you are after in the space you have whether it be a small studio apartment or large family bathroom.

What does the price include?

The price of the framed shower screens includes the glass panels and all the assembly parts of the enclosure. The assembly parts includes the frame, doors, joins, seals, handles and rails.

Why are framed shower screens cheaper than frameless shower screens?

Framed shower screens are generally less expensive compared to the frameless type because they are a standard product and generally not custom designed for your bathroom.

Whilst you can save money on a framed shower screen, you should be aware maintenance and cleaning can be more cumbersome. Being a standard product you may need to make some concessions to work around your vanity and toilet.

The 5 shower screen formats

  1. Walk in

  2. Corner

  3. Wall to wall

  4. Floor to ceiling

  5. Over bath

10 steps to your new shower screen

  1. Consultations for both design and practicalities

  2. Design

  3. Measuring


  5. Custom manufacture

  6. Supply

  7. Installation

  8. Commercial grade clean

We also offer two more services for your existing shower screens or your new screen in years to come.

  1. Maintenance

  2. Repair

Our Sydney and central coast shower screen service provides a full package solution. Our 8 step process comprehensively investigates your needs and deliver the shower screen you envisage and to your expectations.

We're proud of our products and work, so when we are looking at your project, we'll be delivering 'more than just a shower screen'. Onsite Glass and Shower Screens Sydney offers a full shower screen design, manufacture and installation service. This is amongst other glazier services it provides such as bathroom mirrors, glass repair, window installation, table tops etc.

All of our work comes with a 7 year written guarantee against faulty workmanship and we provide the following after sales services should you need them at any time in the future.

How do I choose which shower screen type is best for me?

Choosing the type of shower screen (frameless or semi-framed or framed) is the first decision you need to make when choosing your new shower screen for your existing bathroom or bathroom renovation.

Ultimately it is up to you, but our consultants will help you through the process by using their years of experience and knowledge to explaining the different types. They will also ensure you consider every aspect so you are sure you have made the right decision

Your Onsite Glass and Shower Screen consultant will guide you through the process and help you decide which type is best for your bathroom.

The things you should consider when choosing a shower screen type

  • Your individual style

  • The overall look of your bathroom

  • Resale value of the property

  • Rental return

  • Cost

    • The investment in the different types do vary

  • Strength and safety

    • With advancements in glass manufacturing, this is not as much of an issue as it once was as frameless shower screens are now very strong. All glass installed in a shower screen must be current approved safety glass.

  • Glass thickness

    • This can vary between 6mm to 10mm

Are there different shower screen fittings and hardware options?

There are a wide range of shower screen fittings to compliment and add to your shower screen and bathroom design. These provide modern clean lines by accessorising your shower screen whilst also providing their practical functionality such as a door handle or shelf.

Discuss your design with your modern glass design consultant.

Shower screen fittings and hardware

  • Glass fixing brackets

  • Door hinges

  • Door handles and knobs

  • Shelves

  • Soap trays

  • Hooks

  • Mobility aid support bars

For a full range of options, consult with your Onsite Glass consultant for your best solution.

Shower Screen tip

For the best way to clean shower screens

Why choose Onsite Glass and Shower Screens Sydney?

  • Over 15 years experience

  • 7 year written guarantee against faulty workmanship

  • Custom design and build

  • You’re getting more than ‘just a shower screen’

  • FREE quote with no obligations

  • All glazing done to Australian standards

  • All glazing completed by one of our fully licensed glaziers

  • OH&S accredited

  • The same glazier consults, designs and installs your shower screen so you can be sure your requirements aren't lost in translation between many different people completing your project.

Shower screen FAQs

Which shower screen services to you provide?

Onsite Glass and Shower Screens provides a full service shower screen service from design ideas to concept to manufacture to installation. We find being involved in the whole process delivers the best end result. A manufacturer won’t have been in your bathroom and understand the way the door swings in your bathroom or where the window is or that you have a sloping ceiling which may all effect where and how your shower screen is designed.

Do you do different colour shower screens?

Typically all shower screens we install are clear. This is because so much thought and effort goes into designing a bathroom and selecting the colour palette you will use for tiles, vanity, paint, fixtures and fittings.

Coloured glass either changes the appearance of these when you look through tinted glass or detracts from the look and feel you are trying to achieve.

If you select a semi-frameless or framed shower screen, the colour of the frame can vary and your glass consultant will be able to advise the options available for your shower screen type and style.

What are the best shower screens?

Technically, frameless shower screens are currently the best option. This is mainly because they are very easy to install and they offer more space and additional bathroom elegance compared to the framed and the semi-frameless choices. They also offer an unlimited range of design choices thus enabling householders to have a variety of beautiful selections to go for. The glass that is used for the frameless shower screens is also associated with a very good finish for additional elegance, easy cleaning and durability.

Can you take my old shower screen away?

Yes, when we have removed your old shower screen to install a new one, we can take the old one away for you.

When should I make a decision about my shower screen type?

You should decide as early as possible. Talk to your builder, plumber, tiler and glazier as early as possible as one decision can affect the other.

The shower screen type needs to be an early decision in your overall bathroom design as the type you decide on can impact on other decisions such as:

  • Bathroom layout

  • Drainage type

  • Drainage position

  • Shower head placement

  • Frame colours to match other bathroom fittings (taps, faucets, hooks, rails)

  • Matching the shower screen style and fittings to the rest of the bathroom (mirrors taps, faucets, hooks)

What are shower screens made of?

Shower screens are made of glass and if it is framed or semi framed it also has an aluminum frame. The actual glass comes in several types. It can be either transparent or opaque. The standard shower screen glass is toughened or tempered glass because it is safe to use.

Which bath shower screen types are available?

If you are looking to buy a shower screen that goes over your bath (a bath screen), you have the same options available to you. So you can choose between frameless, semi-frameless or framed.

Do you provide a shower screen Sydney service?

Yes we service Sydney. We service the North Shore, Hills area, Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs and other areas of Sydney. We also service the Central Coast.

What styles do frameless, semi-frameless and framed shower screens come in?

Each type can be used in a variety of ways to create an overall different style. Onsite Glass and Shower Screens can create all styles for each of the different frame types.

Who do you provide a shower screen Sydney service for?

  • Homes

  • Rental properties

  • Investment property owners

  • Real estate agents

  • Architects

  • Builders

  • Designers

  • Developers

How tall are shower screens?

Shower screen heights can range between 1500 and 1800, although higher heights may be possible with custom-made shower screens. Speak to your glazier and glass designer to custom design your shower screen.

Is toughened or laminated or wired glass better for a shower screen?

Toughened glass is best for shower screen glass. This is also referred to as tempered glass. It is safe for showers because it is tougher and does not break down in a manner that leaves behind sharp-edged particles. The old style wired glass is rarely used these days for shower screens as glass can be manufactured much tougher and hence safer than it used to be.