Sleek glass showers open up a bathroom, giving a spacious impression. These beautiful enclosures use several different types of glazing. Some are mandatory, while others are more decorative.
Frameless showers use toughened glass, which is five times stronger than ordinary glass. Building regulations mandate this glazing for safety reasons. As well as being extra sturdy, if it breaks, it crumbles into numerous pebble-like pieces rather than dangerous pointy shards. Because of this, injuries are unlikely.
If your shower has full frames around each panel, it might use laminated safety glass. While this glazing is typically not as strong as toughened glass, it's safe in combination with supportive metal framing. This glass consists of two panes on either side of a resin interlayer; you heat and pressure bond the three layers together. If laminated glass fractures, the plastic layer usually holds all the cracked pieces together. And, since there are no flying fragments, everyone in the bathroom is safer.
Low Iron Glass
While the above two glazing options are about safety, these next ones are about aesthetics and privacy. All glass displays a natural green tinge. While it can be very faint, the cast becomes more apparent if you look along the edges. For an ultra-clear glass that sparkles with absolute clarity, you can install low iron glass in your shower enclosure. As the iron content causes the tinge, the cast disappears with less iron in its structure.
While low iron glazing creates sparkling clear shower enclosures, you might prefer a more private enclosure. Frosted glass with a smooth satin finish is one option that obscures the view. You can select from varying levels of transparency to create the privacy you're after. Alternatively, instead of a smooth finish, choose from a range of patterns and decorations. Designs of running water, curling waves, swimming fish or geometric squares are just some of the endless design options that a glazier can produce. Repeat a motif from your tiles or mimic the shape of a mirror within the design to unify the decor.
Another way to obscure the glass and to add a touch of colour to your design is to install tinted glass in bronze, grey, blue or green. Select from deeper shades or more faint tones to generate the level of privacy you desire. Repeat a hue from surrounding tiles or natural stone to create an organic blended look, merging the glass with the other elements.