Glass shower enclosures are a decorative upgrade for most any bathroom. If you're renovating and adding a glass shower, though, you'll want to make sure that you choose your glass panels carefully. There are many varieties of glass that can be used for shower enclosures, each with unique features and benefits. Before you commit to any design, talk with your shower glass supplier about these choices.
Standard Clear Glass
Clear glass is one of the most common choices for shower enclosures. The crystal clear glass allows plenty of light to filter through and brighten the shower space. Since the glass is free of any obstructions or patterns, it can also make the room look and feel larger, because there isn't anything dividing the space.
The biggest downside to clear shower glass doors is the complete lack of privacy. If visibility into the shower is a concern for you, this may not be the best enclosure choice. Instead, you may want an option that obstructs the view a bit.
Tinted Shower Glass
Tinted shower glass starts with standard glass panels that are treated with a window-tinting product. You can find tinted shower glass in many different colors and tint ratings. Whether you're looking for something smoky grey or light blue, tinted glass is a great way to go. You can even tint standard glass doors yourself if you want a hands-on project.
You can also customize the tint ratio, which means that you'll have some control over how much light gets into the shower. This may allow you to keep the shower space well-lit without having to add additional lighting fixtures.
Tinted shower glass offers more privacy than traditional glass, particularly if you choose a darker tint ratio that blocks visibility more than the lighter tint ratings.
Antique Glass Panels
Despite the name, antique glass shower panels aren't really that old. In fact, they are custom-made panels that are treated to provide the appearance of aging. Most antique glass shower panels have a hazy or smoky treatment, because that helps the glass to appear more weathered. Additionally, these glass panels are crafted to be uneven in thickness, because this is characteristic of older glass. The darker hue to this glass means that you might need to have an extra light fixture outside the shower angling in to help improve your visibility. You'll enjoy greater privacy with antique glass if you choose something that's been weathered enough to create a greenish or smoky hue.
Frosted shower panels are treated through acid etching or sandblasting. The treatment creates an abrasive finish on the surface of the glass, making it look frosted due to the rough, whitish edges that are left behind. The frosted finish will still allow light to filter into the shower, but the white finish on the outside makes it difficult for anyone to see inside.
Etched or Embossed Shower Glass
Embossed or etched glass panels are some of the most easily customized options when it comes to glass enclosures. You can work with a specialist to have the design of your choosing applied to the glass, and since it's done to order, there's little to no limit to what your options are. It's important to remember, though, that since these are custom orders, they are often more expensive than a traditional shower door.
The amount of visibility and privacy offered by an etched or embossed shower door will depend entirely on the pattern that's been put onto the door. The more clear space there is on the door, the more light will filter in. Similarly, though, visibility into the shower is also increased with more clear space on the door. For more privacy, have a full-covering pattern etched onto the glass.
Rain Glass Panels
Rain glass has a smooth, natural surface on the inside of the shower door with a textured, decorative surface on the outside. The smooth finish on the inside makes it a breeze to keep clean, and the textured outer surface blocks visibility into the shower better than some of the other choices. The texture is also attractive, fitting well in most any bathroom design. It is crafted so that it resembles rain falling, which is an ideal design for bathrooms.