Shower and Bathtub Glass

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Shower and Bathtub Glass

When performing a bathroom remodel, there is one area in particular where a client’s personal and family safety can be overlooked.  This can have serious consequences.  This area is the shower and bathtub glass enclosure.

It may come as a surprise that there are many unscrupulous contractors and “remodelers” in Orange County.  They think nothing of taking every shortcut imaginable from unsuspecting clients to make more money from the job.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the wrong shower and bathtub glass used.

Shower and Bathtub Glass with tile surround shower and jet tubUsing the wrong shower and bathtub glass can have serious consequences.

An acquaintance at one of the trade warehouses I frequent shared a story with me.  After completing a shower remodel, his son was seriously injured when the glass enclosure shattered.  The bathtub enclosure installed used 1/4-inch glass.  His son simply closed the enclosure and it shattered.  This caused nasty cuts to his feet and legs with the bathtub full of water.

According to the California Building Code, all shower and bathtub glass must be tempered.  In addition, this includes all windows above, inside, or next to showers, bathtubs, and sinks.  All tempered glass has a seal or “bug” etched into one of the corners of the glass.

Tempered Glass BugShower and Bathtub Glass Tempered Glass

What Does Tempering do to Glass?

Shower and Bathtub Glass Tempered vs. Sheet Glass It allows it to shatter into small pellets.  These pellets have few sharp edges compared to regular glass – which breaks into large and dangerous sharp pieces that slice very easily.  If you’ve ever been cut by a sharp piece of glass, you know how easy and deep it cuts.  Now think of a tub or shower enclosure breaking into hundreds of sharp knifes when you’re bathing – not a pretty picture.

Is Shower and Bathtub Glass Safe for an Enclosure?

Yes, however; the glass must be manufactured and installed correctly.  This starts with the quality of the glass itself.  Second, the thickness of the glass is super important.  Lastly, shower and bathtub glass must be tempered.

Shower and Bathtub Glass ThicknessThe thicker the glass the safer it is.  For bath and shower enclosures, there are four thicknesses of glass:

  • 1/4 inch or 6 millimeters (MM)
  • 5/16 inch or 8 millimeters (MM)
  • 3/8 inch or 10 millimeters (MM)
  • 1/2 inch or 12 millimeters (MM)

I always recommend 3/8-inch glass.  The 1/4-inch glass is far too thin – you’re asking for trouble.  The 5/16-inch glass is okay.  However, using 3/8-inch glass provides the measure of safety you want.  For added safety and durability, 1/2-inch glass provides the greatest structural integrity.

What About the Cost of Shower and Bathtub Glass Enclosures?

This depends on seven important factors:

  1. Whom you hire to remodel your bathroom.  Never hire anyone who is the lowest bidder or not licensed.  Moreover, hiring someone who does not have general liability insurance and you’re in trouble before the job starts.  These signs SCREAM you are likely getting involved with a very shady and unscrupulous individual.
  2. Shower and Bathtub GlassFrameless or framed enclosure.
  3. Accessories for the enclosure (through the glass towel bar, robe hook, handles, etc.).
  4. Size and design (panels, cut-outs for seats, hydro slide, etc.)
  5. Enclosure finish (i.e. polished chrome, brushed nickel, etc.).
  6. Glass sealing. Always get this.  Glass is very porous.  If you don’t have this applied by the factory – never on site, your glass will get that grimy, foggy and ugly look fast.
  7. Custom made or off the shelf enclosure. Always go with a custom-made enclosure.  Custom made enclosures fit your space perfectly and are superior at keeping water inside where it belongs.  Above all, you do not want water getting outside and destroying your beautiful new walls, tile, and floors.  Thus, creating dangerous mold conditions.

Is there an average shower and bathtub glass cost?

Honestly, the short answer is no.  Try doing a search on Goggle and you’ll see the variation in average costs are huge!  Why is this?  All companies define their advertising in terms of lowest cost, highest quality, and best service.  The difference with DAD’s Construction is that we have over 45 years of proven knowledge, success, and very satisfied customers.

How Can I Receive More Information?

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at dan@dadsconstruction.com for a free in home consultation.  DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California.  This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.

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Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor, https://www.dadsconstruction.com.  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.