What components go into planning my frameless shower design?

This handy checklist can guide you through the major planning and design decisions to create a frameless shower that suits your style and your bathroom space. We make it easy to understand how all the components come together. Additionally, a Dulles Glass and Mirror project manager can review these elements with you, if you'd like more information.

Even if you know what you want your frameless shower to look like, understanding key components of a frameless shower will make the ordering and installation an easy and understandable process.

Glass Thickness Type: Some people begin by choosing glass thickness for their frameless shower. The strongest glass we offer for frameless showers is 1/2-inch architectural glass. The other frameless shower option is 3/8-inch thick glass. Depending on your shower door configuration (will it be attached to a wall or another glass panel) we may recommend reducing the glass thickness, and thus the weight of the shower door.

Glass Thickness

Glass Style: If you have your sights set on a certain style of glass, such as a color tint or pattern, you may only have one choice for glass thickness: 3/8-inch glass. Half-inch-thick glass carries fewer style choices because most homeowners who choose premium glass also want HDglass, which provides the greatest clarity to showcase tile work. Low-iron is available for both glass thicknesses.

Bronze Glass Clear Glass Rain Glass HDGlass

Hinge Type: Hinge type matters most to clients who want the largest all-glass surface area for their frameless shower. If you fall into this category, see how a pivot hinge works with your shower configuration. Pivot hinges attach on the top and bottom corners of your shower door. So most of the shower door is smooth glass. Side-mount hinges notch into along the sides of your shower door and are therefore slightly more noticeable. There are a few considerations when using pivot hinges. See: What's the difference between a pivot hinge and side-mount hinge? Also see: detailed specs for pivot and side-mount hinges.

Pivot Hinge Full Back Hinge

Connecting Hardware Types: The pursuit of an all-glass shower will also determine the type of connecting hardware you'll want to choose. Glass-to-glass metal clips are only about two inches wide and are notched directly into glass panels. When connecting two glass panels, most of the time, two metal clips strategically positioned provide ample structural support. See: When are metal clips used in a frameless shower? Also see detailed specs for metal clips

Wall Mount Clamp

If cost is the more important consideration, then U-channels, metal rails that slip over glass edges, are a better choice. The U-channels fasten together and offer a continuous sealed connection to the heavy glass panels. With attractive color finish choices, U-channels can elegantly accent your glass shower configuration. See: U-channels

U Channels

Configuration: Your glass shower configuration will first be determined by your existing bathroom space -- unless you are doing a major remodel or new construction. The designated shower area in your bathroom will have at least one wall where your showerhead is, though most bathrooms have two or three pre-existing walls. The open side or sides to your shower area make up your shower opening.

Typically, three shower walls indicate a single-door opening or a wider inline-opening (think sliding doors). Two shower walls will provide a corner opening. Identifying this general space leads to a subset of configuration options that you can choose based on your preferences. Here are some examples:

90 Degree Return Panel Neo Angle Shower

Additional thoughts about your shower configuration: The shower configuration along with the weight of your glass panels and hinge types may bring a few other elements into your design. Here's a quick look at them and why these may come into play.

Glass Transom Header Support Bar Shower Sweep

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