phoenix shower enclosure

How much do Frameless Showers Cost?

We design and install shower doors and shower enclosures for every style and budget in the Phoenix valley so cost always “depends”. Still, we would like to provide you with a few general guidelines so you can build your budget according to your needs. 

Knowing that most shower installations average $1,500 by the time you factor in the size and type of glass, hardware finish options, and labor; the quickest way to get a true estimate is to call us. If you’d like to talk to me personally, call me directly at (602) 679-8346 and ask for Phil.

Costs of installing a glass shower door:

No different than the quality of diamonds in your jewelry, stone for counter tops, or fabric of your rugs; there are multiple levels of quality in glass. At Stellar Glass, our glass is a premium quality glass to resist chips and cracks while maintaining its stunning appeal for years to come.

We deal primarily with large frameless or semi frameless shower doors which require a heavier thickness of glass which raises the price from what you’re going to find in a hardware store. The glass treatments also factor into the price, whether you want a crystal clear piece of glass or something that is textured or frosted for added privacy. In providing the best showers for our customers, we craft the best showers we can at the most affordable price we can for our customers.

So let’s jump into a few of the questions about shower doors we get the most often:

Q: If I’m getting the same thing from each place, please explain why the prices are so different – am I getting ripped off?

If there’s a large price variation then you’re not getting the same thing. You have to ask yourself if you want the cheapest shower or a great shower. If you have 3 quotes of $1,200, $1,500, and $1,600; you’re either paying more or less for quality of materials and/or quality of the installer.

Odds are that the $1,200 contractor is selling you cheaper hardware or a lesser quality glass. While the difference between $1,500 and $1,600 is likely the quality of the technician, better glazers cost a little more to employ and hire.

Fore most homeowners you won’t notice a difference. Unless the glass is broken or installed poorly, but that’s rare. What you get with the better glazer is the peace of mind that your shower doors will swing or glide smoothly and form a watertight seal for years to come. As well as the ability to easily handle problems that may arise quickly without a delay whereas a novice is either going to stop or force something that may cost you more money down the road.

What’s the difference between a “U” Channel Method vs. a Clamp Method?

There are two primary methods of bracing shower doors. The “U” channel method, which is more of a semi-frameless enclosure, and the clamp method for a frameless shower. Both can be made to look absolutely stunning, but the fully frameless showers will require more glass work and more expensive materials.

If you have an estimate, will your enclosure be installed with “U” channel or glass clamps at the fixed panel locations? If this is not clearly written out on your proposal, you should call them and ask as soon as you finish reading this. The “U” channel method is significantly less expensive because “U” channel semi-frameless showers can use aluminum materials that are much cheaper than the brass construction fittings of a fully frameless clamp shower. “U” channel enclosures are also cheaper because they require less time to fit and install. As it doesn’t take as much skill to install, less accurate glass cutting is needed. So again, it’s a personal preference that is also a choice between luxuries and budget.

A frameless enclosure installed with glass clamps will typically add about 20% to the cost of the enclosure because of the additional cost of the fittings, and the additional glass work that’s needed. Fully frameless showers are going to require more precise measuring and installation too – which means you’re going to pay more for the time of a more experienced
technician. It’s important to know which style of shower you want before you start, and then you need to ensure that all proposals are being priced the same. You will often see the term “fully frameless” included in the
description when glass clamps are being used.

Do you have a good idea of which type of glass and fittings you want for your shower? We can start putting together an estimate for you so you know what you’re looking at, (602) 679-8346.

Hardware and Materials

Materials are the other primary component of the cost equation. What type of hardware construction are they using? Your main hardware materials are going to be either brass or aluminum. When installing a U channel shower, the entire perimeter of the glass will be secured so using aluminum materials should be okay (but ensure your shower’s structural integrity before construction). When it comes to frameless showers that are clamped – remember that glass panels made of heavy glass are going to be very heavy… And if your shower is not engineered properly, it can create a dangerous safety hazard. Just because a hinge or clamp looks the “same” as what another company is proposing, you need to be sure they’re brass. Then you can have them plated with whichever metal finish complements your décor the best (chrome, nickel, etc.).

Brass fittings are designed to support the heavy weight loads of glass – meeting and exceeding structural requirements. Keep an eye out when you’re comparing proposals and check to see if anyone’s trying to use aluminum fittings as their standard for their frameless enclosures (using terms such as chrome anodized, brushed nickel anodized). Then giving you an add on option to upgrade to brass.

Other factors that can affect cost:

Configuration variations – glass to glass hinging is more expensive than wall mount or pivot hinging. Header-less designs such as a Frameless shower are more expensive than with a header, say a framed shower. If your enclosure has a return panel, such as a 90 degree or 135 degree, how are these panels being “tied” together? Glass clamps are more costly than “sleeve over” clamps that fit over the top of the glass. Though the glass is a higher end look and requires more expensive hardware fittings and additional glass processing.

1/2″ glass is more expensive than 3/8″ – also, be sure to find out if you are getting regular clear glass or the more costly low iron, starphire, glass which is a much clearer glass, but also more expensive.

Installer – a senior level technician is more expensive than someone who is at entry level

General things to watch out for:

  • Low tier labor without experience or customer service.
  • Any company without proper insurances/warranties.
  • The use of flawed glass, be sure to check for impurities or scratches.
  • They’re not licensed and bonded to perform the work.

We’re all for you getting the cheapest deal you can get on your new shower enclosure, all I’m saying is that you may want to look real closely at what you’re getting and do a little research into who you’re getting it from. You need to do what’s best for you.

Browse the internet, look around Pinterest, and search for a few pictures of what you would like, then work with your estimators to create the shower you want, that’s going to be everything you want. Your estimator will be able to advise you on the options and adjustments you have to deliver what you want and stay within your budget, if at all possible. Some seemingly small details can make a big difference in cost without altering safety and integrity.

Also, verify what you’re getting, there may be a more costly company, but they’re proposing a much higher end product – you want to define what you want and ensure that your contractors are pricing the same shower enclosure. Then, at the end of the day, see how they compare and what details are most important to you. Homeowner- Contractor Tips: Don’t be afraid to ask for proposals to be compared or for a spec list. Most companies will take the time to specify the part numbers that will be used for the construction of your enclosure with the manufacturer name so you can validate the offers. You can also ask for a layout drawing so you can see what it is they’re actually proposing. When you have the details put in writing with a drawing and you know you have multiple offers who can do the job you want, right. Then it’s up to you to choose who you believe in the most.

Stellar Glass Works specializes in frameless shower door installations and if you’re looking for an estimate for your shower remodel in the Phoenix, Arizona are – don’t hesitate to call. (602) 679-8346.

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