Frameless vs Semi-frameless Sliding Doors

frameless sliding door

What are the differences between a frameless and a semi-frameless sliding door?

While there are several differences between a frameless and semi-frameless sliding door, the major ones are the cost and what the final product looks like.

The system that is used to achieve a frameless sliding shower enclosure is called a CRL Serenity, the hardware including the rollers are made of stainless steel.  It’s available in polished stainless (which matches chrome), brushed stainless (which matches brushed nickel), and the newest finish that they just added is matte black.  At the top there is a rectangle bar (the track) that runs across the top which attaches to the sides, a couple of track holder fittings that get secured to the stationary panel, and (4) rollers which measure 1-1/2″ in diameter.  At the bottom there would be (2) clips to secure the stationary panel, and a door guide.

For a semi-frameless enclosure there would be a lower curb, (2) side jambs, and a header going across the top which the rollers on the glass operate on.  All of the hardware is made of extruded aluminum, and then completed to the desired finish.  The most common and standard finishes are chrome, brushed nickel, and bronze.  Both clear and rain glass are available on the semi-frameless enclosures at no additional cost.

Frameless Sliding Door Options

Frameless sliders are constructed using 3/8” thick glass and have a very sleek and modern look to them. They are a great product to use to finish off a master bathroom, consequently however sometimes their cost can make it prohibitive to consider for a secondary bathroom.

One thing to keep in mind with the frameless sliding option is that only one of the panels is operational, while the other panel(s) act as a structure to support the top track.  This frameless system can also be used both on a full shower, as well as sitting on top of a tub.

On average, the price ranges between $2000-$2300 installed using standard clear tempered glass.  Low-iron and ShowerGuard glass options are both available on the custom frameless enclosures at additional costs depending on the overall square footage of the opening.

crl serenity frameless sliding door
semi-frameless sliding door

Semi-frameless Sliding Door Options

The semi-frameless are close to 1/3rd the cost of the frameless options. They are great for kid’s or guest bathrooms where you may not want to spend the type of money as you would in a master bathroom.

Both glass panels on a semi-frameless enclosure are operational and bypass one another.  Clear or Rain glass is available as standard options, so unlike with the frameless, the cost is unaffected.

The final cost depends on the size, as well as the desired finish.  On average the price ranges between $800-$1100 installed.

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