What Is the Best Thickness for Shower Glass?

Shower Door Glass

So you’ve decided your bathroom shower needs some work. Maybe you need to update it to prepare to sell your home. Maybe you just want to upgrade it for your own comfort and enjoyment. Either way, replacing your existing shower partition with a new glass shower door is a good way to start upgrading your shower. There are many things to consider when it comes to selecting a new shower glass, but one of the important things you may not have thought about yet is the thickness you need your shower glass to be. How you choose to frame or not frame your glass shower enclosure has a lot to do with how thick your shower glass needs to be.

Framed Glass Shower Enclosures

If you prefer to use thin glass on your shower enclosure, a framed enclosure is the way to go. The frame offers a great deal of structure and stability that protects the glass. Framed enclosures allow the glass to be much thinner than it would have to be otherwise. Framed glass shower doors can be 1/4 inch thick and still be strong and stable because of the structural support provided by the frame. The relative thinness of the glass will enable framed enclosures to be more cost effective and are lighter. The downside is that framed enclosures are generally regarded as out of style. Framed enclosures are also harder to keep clean since there are more nooks, crannies, and surfaces for water and soap to stain.

Semi-Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures

Semi-frameless shower enclosures are a good middle ground between framed and frameless enclosures. Semi-frameless enclosures should use thicker glass than framed enclosures. The semi-framed enclosure provides an added measure of stability over the frameless option, but not as much as a fully framed enclosure, so the glass needs to be thicker to be more stable than framed glass. Semi-frameless glass shower enclosures tend to be less expensive and lighter than frameless enclosures but more expensive and heavier than framed enclosures. A semi-frameless glass shower enclosure can be a great option if you want the stability a frame offers but want a more modern look to your shower.

Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures

The most modern and sleek design among glass shower enclosures, frameless enclosures require the thickest glass of all the enclosure styles to maintain stability integrity. The minimum thickness you should have with a frameless option is 3/8 of an inch, up to 1/2 inch. In most cases, 3/8 of an inch will be sufficient to withstand normal wear and tear. The metal framing on the corners of the panels and anchors on the walls of your shower provide additional stability. If you want a taller door or you want something with more weight, presence, or strength, the 1/2 inch thickness is the way to go. Keep in mind, however, that because of the increased thickness the glass will be heavier and more expensive. Your framing and wall fastenings and anchors need to be able to support the extra weight that comes with thicker glass.

Whether you need a major bathroom overhaul or you’re just ready for a simple change, upgrading your bathroom is a terrific investment. Replacing your shower’s partition with a new glass shower door is a great way to change the look and feel of your bathroom. With a wide variety of sizes, styles, and finishings, you’re bound to find an option that works for you.

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