Why go frameless? Just check out these streamlined wash spaces and it will become, ahem, clear…
Houzz UK deputy editor. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for the… More
A frameless shower enclosure or screen has so many design benefits. It can help a small bathroom feel more spacious, or give a large one a real air of boutique hotel luxury. It can even give your bath a boost. You might be surprised at the many different ways you can use one in your own shower space.
Scale it up
With a bathroom as gloriously spacious as this, clean lines and lack of clutter help to create a tranquil, spa-like mood. Part of what really emphasises – in fact, boosts – the size of this wash space is the seamless join between the pale floor and walls.
Going frameless for your shower screen in this aesthetic context really is the only answer, as you want to avoid adding any unnecessary lines or breaks. On that topic, note the inset (ie, invisible) shower tray: this, instead of a raised tray made from, say, acrylic or stone resin, gives a wet room effect.
A fixed screen design is perfect, as there’s plenty of space to get in and out, plus you don’t want to be moving a sheet of glass that size around. Particularly as it’s fitted floor-to-ceiling, you’ll be looking at buying a bespoke piece of toughened glass – pricier than an off-the-shelf design, but it’ll look incredibly classy.
Rethink traditional positions
This is an interesting idea for a small-ish bathroom where you want both a bath and a shower.
Here, building in a conventional cubicle would have been tricky without losing the bath, but by positioning a frameless screen strategically – enclosing both tub and shower – the space has been used extremely economically.
Your floor in this context will almost certainly need to be fitted as it would do in a wet room, so ensure your contractor is tanking it and installing suitable floor drainage.
Read expert advice on what you need to know when choosing a shower enclosure
Keep your small space open
Frameless enclosures are minimal, but they don’t have to be entirely featureless. In a small space like this, that’s pretty key information, since an open, walk-in shower wouldn’t fit.
Instead, slim fixed panels sit on the right and left of a shower that has a luxury, walk-in feel, but is in fact a cubicle. In the middle, a door with a chrome handle swings outwards. Hinges and fixings are kept to an absolute minimum, which – by making the shower enclosure so barely there – enhances the sense of space in this little room.
Where natural light is limited to just one window, as it is no doubt in most of our bathrooms, here’s a smart idea. To share the light around from the window next to the shower, a half-wall has been built and tiled to support an exposed-cistern loo. Above it, the wall becomes glass and has a hinged, frameless door to the right to enclose the shower.
Discreet shower storage is at play here, too: the corner provides just enough space for a few daily bottles, and keeping the tiny triangular shelves the same colour as the tiles disguises them.
Enjoy hinge benefits
To free up floor space in this compact attic shower room, the frameless enclosure is hinged, allowing it to fold inwards and out of the way when not in use.
Do consider using negative space for storage when building a new shower area, rather than hanging a protruding set of shelves or a caddy; you’ll find a slim wall niche incredibly useful.
Double up in style
By reducing visual clutter, a frameless screen can also elevate the look of an over-bath shower, which – though it absolutely shouldn’t – can feel like a poor relation to the stand-alone shower.
Again, tile and colour continuity here (the white grout tying in with the sanitaryware) enhances the smart look of this arrangement.
Note, too, the ceiling lights over the bath/shower – after dark this will boost the luxury feel even further.
Check out 15 ways to make your over-bath shower look beautiful
Take care with colour
Rather than a wet room effect, as seen in the first two rooms, the shower here has a visible (though very discreet) tray. Its raised edges mean it’s only the shower area that needs to be waterproof, leaving the wooden floor beyond only to have to cope with splashes and drips.
This is proof, also, that a different, more budget-conscious approach can still leave your bathroom with a clean-lined look. Rather than a bespoke, full-length screen, this design is off-the-shelf and kept in place by a horizontal bar at the top, which barely shows.
Keep your tiles, tray and walls the same colour if you want to emulate this look and maximise the sense of space.
What kind of shower enclosure do you have and what are its pros and cons? Share all in the Comments section.