If you’re thinking of enhancing the appearance of your bathroom, a well-chosen shower door will do the trick. However, selecting the right one can be a challenge as you’ll have to factor in your privacy needs, budget, and preferences. Knowing about the different types of glasses and which one best fits your requirement will make selecting the ideal shower door easier.
What Kind of Glass Are Shower Doors Made Of?
The kind of glass used in shower doors has evolved. The former standard is now considered to be a safety hazard and a violation of building codes. Let’s take a quick peek into the different types of glasses used and which is the best.
Annealed (Regular) Glass
Annealed glass is a softer glass that’s produced by heating the glass, and then slowly cooling it to relieve internal stress. They were once the accepted standard for shower glass.
However, since it is soft, it is prone to breakage. Annealed glass also tends to break into longer, jagged shards that can cause significant lacerations.
In 1961, building codes mandated that safety glass be used for shower glass productions. There are different types of safety glass, but here are the three most common types:
During the manufacturing process, the glass is heated, and then rapidly cooled to give tempered glass. This process of rapid cooling gives the glass greater strength. Moreover, it changes the glass’ characteristics, causing it to break differently when compared to regular glass. When broken, tempered glass disintegrates into smaller blunt chunks, making them safer than broken annealed glass.
With this enhanced durability and safer fragment, tempered glass is the BEST kind of glass for shower door applications.
Laminated Glass/ Laminated Tempered Glass
Modern shower doors can also be made from laminated tempered glass. This safety glass is produced by joining two layers of tempered glass with a thin layer of transparent vinyl. When this glass breaks, the tiny fragments adhere to the vinyl rather than fall off into smaller fragments. This gives an added layer of safety.
Shower Guard Glass
This glass is manufactured by treating glass with ion-beam technology. The result is a permanently sealed surface, free of pores, thereby eliminating any space that can potentially harbor corrosive and unsightly elements. This makes the glass more resistant to stain and easier to clean.
Types of Tempered Glass
In today’s world of shower glass, tempered glass is the most commonly used. It is also the best because of its unique and superior properties. However, tempered comes in a variety of designs. Here are the most common types of tempered shower glass:
- Clear Glass
A clear glass shower door is transparent. However, it has a subtle greenish tint, which isn’t noticeable to everyone.
Because of its neutral appearance and texture, clear glass is compatible with a wide variety of home decor styles, enhancing the aesthetics of your home. Its simplicity makes it the most popular type of shower glass.
Since they are transparent, you can see through your bathroom. This is a useful advantage if you have a particularly beautiful bathroom. It also gives an illusion of bigger space because you can easily see the four walls of your room. Finally, it allows both natural and artificial lighting to pass through, brightening up the entire space.
- Ultra-clear (Low-Iron) Glass
The greenish tint in clear glass can be reduced by reducing the iron content of the clear glass. The result – an ultra-clear or low-iron glass.
The lesser tint means the glass is more transparent, allowing for even more clarity and lighting. However, cleaning an ultra-clear glass is more of a hassle than clear glass because stains are more highlighted.
- Acid-etched (Frosty) Glass
To create a translucent appearance, glass manufacturers etch one side of the glass with acid or sandblasting. This frosted texture prevents light from cleanly passing through. The other side of the glass, however, remains clear.
The frosted texture makes fingerprints and smudges on the glass unnoticeable, though cleaning this surface may be challenging because of the accumulation of soap scum in the pits of the frosting.
- Tinted Glass
If you’re searching for a contemporary appearance, then tinted glass is right for you.
With multiple colors to choose from, you practically get to design what works best with your bathroom decor, as well as your personal preference. Although you can still see through tinted glass, it drastically cuts down the amount of light getting in. And as a general rule of thumb, the darker the color, the more privacy the glass provides.
- Patterned Glass
Patterned designs are a great way to improve your bathroom design without overdoing it. They come in a variety of designs; from flowers to plants, and even abstract designs. You’re guaranteed o find one that suits your taste. Furthermore, they’re relatively easy to clean.
In smaller bathrooms, patterned glass can make the space feel cramped. That’s why it is better suited for larger rooms.
- Rain Glass
Rain glass gives the illusion of rain trickling down a clear glass surface. This effect makes the glass translucent, just like frosted glass. Again, like frosted glass, the rain pattern only appears on one side. The decorative rain pattern makes them attractive.
Rain is better suited for larger bathrooms because it has an obscure pattern that naturally makes the room feel smaller.
While there are different types of glass used in shower glass production, tempered glass is the best. Tempered glass comes in a variety of styles that gives you greater choice.
However, other factors like glass thickness also play an important role. While thicker glass shower doors can be frameless, thinner glasses are usually framed to give added structural support, and the protect the vulnerable edges of the tempered glass door.
With a variety of designs and thickness options, the flexibility when it comes to selecting the right shower door is unparalleled. If you’re currently residing in the Salt Lake area and need more assistance with your glass shower doors, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!