Do Frameless Shower Doors Leak?

It's time for a bathroom update, and you're tired of your worn-out shower curtain. The right kind of glass doors for the shower can add a touch of glamor to your bathroom and give it the gorgeous modern look you desire. A frameless shower door lets your tile and fixtures really shine, but you're worried about keeping all the water in your shower. Do frameless shower doors leak? We've done the research for you and have the answer you need.

Frameless shower doors will not leak if installed and used properly. The chances of water escaping are slightly higher than with a framed shower door but still less than with a shower curtain. As long as the water stream isn't directed toward the doors purposefully, and the shower floor is tilted slightly down toward the drain, there will not be an issue of water escaping your shower. 

Now that it's been established, frameless shower doors will not leak if installed properly, let's go into some detail about that proper installation. We'll also discuss other steps you can take if you still fear excess leakage. Read on to find out more!

A modern bathroom with a dark marble countertop in the lavatory section and frameless shower door, Do Frameless Shower Doors Leak?

Don't Direct the Flow of Water Toward the Doors

The first thing to know about frameless shower doors is that you should never have your water stream directed at the doors. Frameless shower doors are thick panes of glass attached by hinges. If you are spraying water haphazardly in their direction, then some water might escape your shower.

The same rule goes to shower curtains. However, standard fixtures are not going to be positioned in a way that has the water directed toward the entrance and exit. For this to be an issue, the shower head would have to be detachable and purposefully pointed toward the doors.

If you're worried about water droplets being flung in every direction, there are shower door seals that can snap easily onto the panes of glass through which the water could sneak. These are easy to install. However, they can affect the sleek look you're going for with frameless shower doors, so keep that in mind when purchasing.

View this shower door seal on Amazon.

Additionally, you can use clear silicone caulk to assist in waterproofing the gaps. 

View this silicone caulk on Amazon.

The Floor in the Shower Must Slope Inward

This is perhaps the most important part of ensuring your frameless shower doors don't leak. Just about any shower manufacturer or installer knows the shower's curb and the shower floor need to have a slight slope to direct the water to the drain. If there was a manufacturing defect or installation error and the floor slopes outward, you're going to have an issue with water seepage. The good part is, most contractors and manufacturers will try to make this right and replace your interior at no additional cost.

How Are Frameless Shower Doors Installed?

There are a few different ways in which to install frameless shower doors. The most popular is with hinges, similar to the way a regular door is installed. There are hinges on one side and a handle for you to use to open and close it. These hinges are designed to blend in and help the "seamless" look as much as possible. These types of hinges generally allow the door to swing inward or outward.

Installation can also be done on a fixed point where there's a point at the bottom and top of the door frame that the glass attaches to. The glass then pivots from this point when it is opened and closed.

Additionally, you can opt for semi-frameless and have a track installed at the bottom and top of your shower for sliding glass doors. This takes you more into "framed" territory with glass shower doors and does take away some of the advantages of going totally frameless.

Is a Frameless Shower Door Worth It?

A frameless shower door is definitely worth it if you're going for a minimalist or utilitarian look in your bathroom. If you're looking for a spa-like clean, decluttered space, frameless is the way to go. It really lets the fixtures and tile in your bathroom take center-stage.

Not only do frameless shower doors give you a less cluttered space, but they are also easier to clean than framed shower doors. The metal tracks used for the frames are breeding grounds for mold and mildew and are notoriously difficult to clean. Without a bunch of metal frames, you just have to focus on cleaning the doors and hinges.

It is worth noting that frameless shower doors are made of thicker, heavier glass, so some fear they have more chance of falling. Though this might be true, the glass used for shower doors is designed to break in circular chunks as opposed to shattering into tiny pieces. Even if it were to break, the danger of getting cut is lessened because of this safety feature. Because the glass is thicker, a frameless shower door will be more expensive than a framed one.

Get some great ideas for your upcoming bathroom remodeling project, and read "9 Large Bathroom Layout Ideas."

What's the Best Way to Clean Frameless Shower Doors?

The best way to clean frameless shower doors is with a simple vinegar and water solution. Spray the doors and fixtures with a mix of one part vinegar to every three parts water. Allow the mixture to sit on the glass and fixtures for a few minutes, then rinse away with warm water. Wipe the surface with a lint-free cloth, paper towel, or newspaper for a streak-free shine! If there's anything stubborn around the door's hinges or fixtures, a toothbrush with the same solution works wonders.

If you don't want to mix your own cleaning solution, there are tons of commercially produced products available for showers. Rejuvenate works on all shower surfaces--fixtures, glass, tile, etc.

View this cleaner on Amazon.

How Thick Should a Frameless Shower Door Be?

Frameless shower doors must be thicker to provide stability they lack from being frameless. The minimum thickness is 3/8", but options are also sold at 1/2". The thinner option of 3/8" tends to be more popular because of the lower price. The thicker the glass, the more expensive it becomes. The thicker the glass, the more stable and less likely to break it becomes should it happen to fall. Consider all these options when shopping for your frameless shower door.


View these frameless shower doors on Amazon.

Are Glass Shower Doors Dangerous?

If there is any danger to frameless shower doors, it is minimal. Yes, they are made of glass panels. As long as they are correctly and securely installed, there will be no danger. Should the doors fall, even if they break, there are safety measures to ensure the risk of being cut on the glass is very low. All glass for shower doors is made of tempered glass or safety glass, which makes the glass shards less sharp and dangerous when the glass does inadvertently break. 

In Conclusion

Frameless shower doors can be a beautiful addition to your bathroom. Having a glass shower door makes your bathroom look bigger and classier. If you have it installed correctly, you don't have to worry about your shower leaking because of the frameless doors. Ditch the more traditional frames and tracks of the past and go frameless, and really let the other details of your bathroom shine!

Want to read more about which shower door will be best for you? Find out more by reading "What Type of Shower Door is Best?"


One comment

  1. I have had a frameless sliding barn door style shower door installed on a curbless opening. I have been experiencing water leakage at the bottom of the sliding door. I believe it was installed incorrectly because the sliding door is outside the shower pan. The installer says frameless door are not water tight. What is your opinion?

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