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What Kind of Glass Is Used for Shower Doors?

Although there are different types of glass for shower doors, the International Residential Code requires residents to use safety glass in the shower area. You may be wondering, what exactly is safety glass? Below are the different types of glass and the best option for your glass shower door.

Tempered Glass

Enhanced durability and safer fragments make tempered glass the best type of glass for shower doors. While you have probably heard the term, you may wonder how tempered glass differs from “regular” glass (technically referred to as annealed glass).

During the manufacturing process, glass is heated and then rapidly cooled to make tempered glass. This procedure of heating and cooling makes the glass much stronger. Furthermore, the process changes the characteristics of the glass so that it reacts differently to breakage. If a sheet of tempered glass is broken, it will basically disintegrate into many small chunks that are not as sharp and hazardous as shards of annealed glass. 

Related: How Much Do Glass Shower Doors Cost

Tempered vs. Laminated

Laminated glass, on the other hand, is really two sheets of glass adhered to a thin central layer of clear vinyl. It looks like normal glass, but if it breaks the sheet of glass remains intact because the broken pieces stick to the vinyl.

Glass Thickness

Glass shower doors and enclosures can be built from glass that varies in thickness, although this is somewhat determined by whether it is a frameless, semi-frameless, or framed unit. 

Thinner glass can be used on framed shower doors and enclosures, because the frame both adds structural support and safeguards the vulnerable edges and corners of the tempered glass.

Related: Why You Need A Custom Glass Shower Door

Glass Appearance

With such a wide variety of tempered shower glass, homeowners can choose from various looks and textures. Clear glass is currently a very popular choice, but alternatives include:

  • Frosted glass (acid-etched)
  • Patterned glass
  • Colored glass

Privacy glass that obscures visibility by means of frosting or heavy texturing is popular for bathrooms shared by siblings and other high traffic restrooms.

Related: The Complete Guide to a Glass Shower Enclosure Upgrade

Glass Protection

ShowerGuard glass is glass that has been treated with ion-beam technology during manufacturing. This leaves it with a permanently sealed surface, free of the pores where corrosive and unsightly elements so often build up. However, you can also consider a high-end sealant, such as Diamond Fusion, that is applied to the glass after manufacturing.

Diamond Fusion is a solution that bonds to the glass, making it water and oil-repellent, thus protecting it from corrosion and staining.

If you're looking to install a new glass shower door or enclosure, contact Arrow Glass and Mirror today!

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Arrow Glass and Mirror, Inc. has proudly been serving customers in Central Texas since 1994.

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