Frameless shower screen Vs Semi-frameless shower screen, which is the better option?

If you’re renovating your bathroom or building a new one, there are many exciting choices to be made. One of them is deciding whether to pick a fully framed, frameless, or semi-frameless shower screen. Frameless and semi-frameless are popular choices for several reasons. If you are on the fence and unsure which one to get, this article is for you. Here we will explain both to help you choose which is the better option.

What is the difference?

Frameless shower screen

Frameless are the front runners in terms of aesthetics. Why? Because they are essentially a free-standing pane of glass that provides an uninterrupted view into the shower itself. It has no frame surrounding it, it’s held into position using metal clamps and joints. No other shower screen can offer the transparency that a frameless shower screen can.

Semi-frameless shower screen

A semi-frameless shower screen provides a sleek and stylish look without breaking the bank. They are a great alternative to fully framed bulky shower screens. Semi-frameless screens have a thin integrated frame running around the edge of the glass which gives them a seamless appearance.

The cost

Understandably, the cost can be a deciding factor for some. When it comes to affordability, you can’t go past a semi-frameless shower screen. They are considerably cheaper than a frameless shower screen. Frameless screens are around 50% more than their semi-framed counterparts, and this is primarily due to the need for costly fixtures to keep the glass secure and into position. The frame supports the glass in a semi-frameless screen, so you don’t need special hardware to keep it in position. Frameless shower screens start at around $350 plus installation and semi-frameless shower screens start at approximately $200 plus installation.


If you’re like most, cleaning your showers isn’t a job you love to do, well the good news is both frameless and semi-screenless showers screens are a breeze to clean. A frameless screen is slightly easier as there are no frames at all, however, a semi-frameless screen is far easier to clean than traditional framed shower screens that are notorious for collecting junk in their many nooks and crannies. Both semi-frameless and frameless shower screens require virtually no ongoing maintenance over their lifetime. To keep them looking at their best, ensure they are cleaned weekly to remove residual soap and watermarks.


Installing a shower screen is a simple exercise for a qualified glazier. A semi-frameless screen usually takes a little longer to install than a frameless screen because there are more pieces to put together and they need to align precisely. A frameless shower screen also needs to be installed to precision, there are just fewer pieces to put together.

Glass thickness

The glass is usually thicker in a frameless shower screen than other framed types of screens for added durability. The minimum thickness for a frameless shower screen is 4mm and the minimum for a semi-frameless shower screen is 6mm. The glass used for both is toughened glass and it is around 4 to 5 times stronger than regular glass. If it does happen to break, it breaks into thousands of tiny blunt pieces which can drastically reduce the risk of injury. A shower can be a slippery environment, so your glass must be toughened, meet the minimum thickness requirements and be in line with Australian Standards AS/NSZ 1288 and 2208.


There are many ways you can customise your shower screen glass to suit your preferences. Some glass companies offer curved glass shower screens and round edge shower screens. You can have them coloured, tinted, and pick the frame or fixture colour of your choice. You’re spoilt for choice which makes it easy to find the perfect one for your shower.

Why you should choose frameless.

  1. Can add value to your home! Bathrooms are a big selling point for buyers.
  2. Looks sleek and contemporary.
  3. Provides an uninterrupted view into the shower.
  4. Easy to clean.
  5. Perfect for small showers as they create the illusion of space by not encroaching on it.
  6. Thicker glass is used which is highly safe and durable.
  7. Can make the shower look brighter as there are no shadows from framing.
  8. They have a soap scum resistant film which prevents unsightly build-up that is difficult to remove.

Why you should choose semi-frameless.

  1. They are an ideal choice if you have a limited budget yet still want a modern looking shower.
  2. They can make the shower appear bigger than if a framed shower screen were used.
  3. They can be altered to sit flush with uneven walls.
  4. The framing comes in an array of colours.
  5. You can customise them to any size you like.
  6. Work well with angled installations.

Deciding on a shower screen

For some, the additional expense of a frameless screen simply isn’t worth it, but for others, they can’t look past the aesthetic appeal that a frameless screen can offer. When it comes to choosing between a frameless or semi-frameless screen, it’s ultimately up to you and which you prefer. The layout and design of your shower can influence the need for a semi-frameless or frameless shower screen. It is best to speak to a professional glazier for advice. Our team here at True Blue Glass specialise in all facets of glass and would love to help you find the perfect shower screen for your bathroom. Contact us today!

Was it worth reading? Let us know.