We also learned that we were limited to a semi-frameless option or a framed door option because we had a fiberglass shower pan (the frameless options were too heavy for our pan). We had contemplated gutting the shower upon learning this, and starting anew, but we did not want to invest the money in this option. Outside of the one broken tile that needed to be replaced, the surrounding tile was holding up, and we just were not ready to make that sort of investment. Therefore, it was a no brainer for us....Work with what we have and save the money on this part of the project.
We decided to go the semi-frameless route because it gave us a more high-end look (although it was a bit pricier). We debated between a chrome and brushed nickel finish, but in the end, we went with the brushed nickel finish because we thought it looked more upscale than the chrome option (this added a bit of cost, but surprisingly, not much). From here, we decided to go with a door that opened into the bathroom rather than have two sliding glass doors like we had with our brass option. Since the previous doors ended up coming off the track all the time, this was a wonderful improvement. Also, our shower door area was a bit narrow where the doors are allowing only 40 inches for the doors. If we went with a two door option, the door opening would be narrow (our previous ones allowed for an 18 inch clearance) which was not comfortable for my broad shoulder husband that needed to enter the shower at an angle to avoid banging his shoulders against the frame. When all was said and done, we ended up selecting to have our shower door be 34 inches wide which allows for plenty of room to get in and out of the shower.
The other big consideration we contemplated was the height of the shower door frame. The brass frame was low at about 68 inches. This was too low for our needs as my husband is a six footer which meant he had to duck to get into the shower door or risk hitting his head on the frame. We selected to go with an 80 inch door height, and we are very happy with this choice.
Next up on the bathroom reno project: hardware fixture selection..... Stay tuned.