Love the modern look of a see-through glass shower? Before deciding if glass is right for your bathroom, check out our guide for the pros and cons of different types of installation.

By Kathy Barnes
June 08, 2015
Glass Tile Walls

A glass shower can turn an ordinary bathroom into a spalike retreat. These designs lend a light and airy look and can visually expand a small bathroom. Whether you choose just a glass door or an entire glass surround, this modern setup is also a great way to show off beautiful tile and fancy fixtures in the shower.

The most affordable way to create a glass shower is using a glass door on a walk-in shower stall. These doors are available either framed or frameless. Those with framing use glass panels joined by metal and are considerably less expensive. They also create a waterproof barrier around the door to prevent leaks and floods outside of the shower. On the downside, the framing obstructs the view and can also trap moisture and create mold.

Frameless showers have almost no metal for a seamless look. These doors use heavier glass that is mounted directly to the wall with minimal and discreet hardware. Frameless doors need to be professionally installed and cost about 50 percent more than a framed version. Also, water can escape from the shower through the small gap around the door so they work best in larger showers where the showerhead can be placed farther from the door.

For an ultramodern take on the glass shower, many custom designs now include glass on several or all sides. There are also newer high-end looks without doors, where the bather simply walks through an opening into the large shower. These designs are significantly more expensive than simply using a glass door because of the amount of glass and the specialized installation requirements. They also usually require more space around them to show off the glass enclosure and are not a good fit for small bathrooms.

If privacy is a concern, glass shower walls can be transparent, semitransparent or etched for an additional cost. Glass blocks can also create more privacy. The blocks come in several sizes and colors and are installed individually so they can be mixed and matched for a custom design. Glass blocks are more durable than sheet glass and are very versatile so they can be used to create a shower of most any shape or size to fit any bathroom. Depending on the size of the shower, glass blocks can be more expensive than glass panels. 

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