Glass Types Explained
Are you remodeling your bathroom?
Considering a new shower?
What do you know about shower glass?
One of the primary choices in configuring your new shower door is selecting the type of glass used.
A common concern that we hear is whether it’s safe to have all that glass in the bathroom. In fact, it is! All shower glass is tempered, meaning that it has gone through a special heat treatment process that makes it safe for use in a bathroom. Tempered glass is stronger than normal glass, so it won’t break if you bump or run into it during normal use. Not only that, but when broken, tempered glass will break into many tiny pieces as opposed to large, sharp pieces.
There are three main characteristics to consider when selecting your shower glass. These are the color or pattern used, the thickness of the glass, and any special treatments that may be applied to help keep your shower looking great over the years.
Clear vs. Obscure
When it comes to the color or pattern of glass used, you should ask yourself how much you want to be able to see in and out of your shower. There are different types of obscured and patterned glass that provide privacy. The downside to this privacy is that it also obscures the beautiful new tile that you might have recently installed as a part of your bathroom remodel. Most homeowners choose clear glass for frameless showers and use other methods like the bathroom door to maintain privacy, but ultimately the look of your bathroom is a personal choice.
Clear glass allows you to show off your shower and tile while also making the bathroom feel more open. It is generally going to be the least expensive option. Keep in mind that clear glass typically has a slight green tint to it, however, there is low-iron glass available for shower doors that removes most of that greenish tint and allows the true colors of your tile to be seen through the glass.
There are several types of patterned glass used in showers. They provide privacy while still letting light in. The most common patterns in showers are Rain, Aquatex, and Bubbles (pictured below). Another option for privacy is Satin or Acid Etched glass. This glass does not have a texture like the others but does provide privacy for the shower occupant.
Thickness of Shower Doors
Shower doors can come in a variety of thicknesses. Thinner glass is typically used in framed shower doors, while thicker glass is used in semi-frameless and frameless showers. In some cases, you may have the choice between two thicknesses of glass. For example, a semi-frameless sliding shower door may be available in either ¼” or 3/8” glass. Thinner glass will flex more and make more noise when used in the door. Thicker glass is more rigid.
Bath products and the minerals naturally found in water can leave spots and corrode the surface of your shower glass. This can leave the glass discolored and less than crystal clear. There are a variety of treatments available for glass that address this issue. ShowerGuard® is an advanced coating that’s fused into the glass when it is being made. This coating is invisible and covers the microscopic peaks and valleys that occur naturally in the glass surface. This makes glass much smoother and provides less opportunity and space for soap residue and minerals to collect. Because the coating is applied when the glass is made, there’s no need for reapplication, and it comes with a lifetime warranty against visible staining, corrosion, and discoloration.
Your One-Stop-Shop for Glass Shower Doors in Ann Arbor
Whether you have a standard project, want a one-of-a-kind design for your shower door, mirror, or tabletop, or if you’re looking for a stand-out custom or commercial design, we can help. With over 30 years of experience, Wolverine Glass is a reliable source for glass shower doors in Ann Arbor. Stop by our showroom in Dexter or contact us here to discuss your glass needs or to arrange for a free consultation.