Types of Shower Glass

You know you want a glass shower, but you still have to choose the type of glass for the fixture. Your choice of material will significantly affect the appearance of your bathroom. You have to decide whether you prefer pristine clarity through the shower walls at all times or require some privacy while you bathe. Texturing and tinting are other options to change the appearance of the glass. Before you begin to customize your shower door options, look at the various types of glass shower doors you can select from.

Clear Shower Glass Doors

Glass shower enclosure

Clear glass shower doors are transparent but have a slightly greenish tint, although some people don’t notice the minor coloration in the glass. Because they don’t have a specific texture, clear glass doors work well with all décor styles and give your bathroom a timeless appearance. With such a simple look, clear glass remains the most popular choice for shower doors around the world.

If you have a visually impressive shower interior, such as decorative tile or stones, a clear glass shower door lets anyone in the bathroom see through to the wall in the back of the shower. Since you can see straight through the shower enclosure, clear doors can make smaller bathrooms appear more spacious. This phenomenon happens because you can see all four walls of the room instead of having the shower block your view of a wall.

Because you can see through the door, any light you have in the bathroom also can pass into the shower, bringing more light into the room. Light also can move out of the stall and into the bathroom. If you have a window near the shower stall, sunlight from the window can pass through the clear shower door, brightening the space.

When you want more light, the ability to see your shower interior, and a classic shower door style, choose clear glass for your shower door or enclosure. The only downside to clear glass is the extra effort required to maintain a spot-free shine.

Low-Iron Shower Glass

Low Iron Glass Shower Doors

Low-iron shower glass has all the advantages of clear glass with the addition of extra clarity. By using a low-iron mixture to create the material, manufacturers eliminate the green tinting seen in clear glass.

The superior clarity of low-iron shower glass means it lets true colors appear through the door and enclosure. This feature becomes especially important if you have a colorful tile background you want to have visible from the bathroom.

Highlighting your walls is not the only reason to choose low-iron glass. If your shower walls must match the walls throughout the rest of your bathroom, you need the clarity of low-iron glass. The walls inside the shower will show their true colors through low-iron glass rather than the slight green appearance given through clear glass.

Since the glass does not have the slight tinting of clear glass, more light can shine through the low-iron shower glass. You can have brighter showers and more light for your bathroom remodel by choosing this type of glass for your shower door.

As with clear glass, choosing this type of glass may make cleaning more of a hassle. Without a pattern to hide spots, any fingerprints, spots and streaks stand out more. If you want privacy in the shower, this type of glass does not provide any cover.

Frosted and Opaque Glass Shower Doors

For privacy, you may choose frosted glass shower doors. To create the texture of frosted glass, manufacturers etch one side with acid or sandblasting. This etching prevents light from cleanly passing through, creating a translucent appearance.  While this door permits some light, it still provides the privacy you need, blurring shapes and silhouettes. 

Since one side of the glass remains smooth, you can easily clean the surface. Additionally, the frosting keeps fingerprints and smudges from standing out as much as they do on clear glass. In some instances, though, cleaning the frosted side may be more challenging because soap scum can accumulate in the pits of the frosting.

Meanwhile, the frosted section of the shower gives you the freedom for customization. Choose your preferred patterns, whether you like to keep it simple or you want something more intricate. Both the privacy and versatility of frosted showers make them a great alternative to traditional clear glass doors. 

If you live in a home with a large bathroom that you want to make cozier, choosing an opaque shower door does just that. Because you cannot see clearly through the shower, the room seems smaller and more inviting.

Some shower doors are coated rather than etched, so they become completely opaque. Opaque shower doors work well in multiperson homes, especially if you are concerned about someone walking in on you while you shower. Even if someone is inside the bathroom, that person cannot see through the opaque coating on the shower door.

For simplicity and just the right amount of privacy, a frosted glass door may be your best choice. Frosted glass, however, is not the only way to create additional privacy, though.

Frosted vs. Opaque Showers: What’s the Difference? 

Since both frosted and opaque doors offer obscurity for improved privacy, the two have different capabilities that make them unique. To help you decide between frosted or opaque doors, here’s a comparison guide for reference:

Choose frosted if you:

  • Want some light to transmit through the glass
  • Prefer a translucent appearance
  • Love some embellishments while maintaining privacy

Choose opaque if you:

  • Prefer full privacy 
  • Want a cozier bathroom ambiance
  • Are living in a multi-family home

Tinted Glass Shower Doors

Tinted Glass Shower Doors

For an unusual, contemporary appearance to your shower, choose tinted glass. With multiple colors to choose from, you can match your bathroom’s décor with the glass. Like clear glass, tinted shower doors allow you to see through the material. However, the darkness of the tinting will reduce the amount of light that passes through them.

If you want a unique look for your bathroom, choose tinted shower glass. This shower glass trend remains on the cutting edge, and integrating it into your home will upgrade your bathroom quickly to a modern style. Some colors, such as shades of blues and greens, pair well with beach-themes. If you have an older home or a rustic style, blacks and grays prevent the contemporary shower from ruining the old-fashioned look you’ve worked so hard to achieve in the bathroom.

Just as the greenish hue of natural glass affects how your shower looks, so will the tint you choose for a shower door. If you have a simple stall that you do not mind hiding from view, you can install tinted glass for the shower enclosure or door. Before finalizing your decision, consider how the interior of your shower will appear when seen through the tinted glass. The color of the glass will add to the shade of your shower’s interior.

The color choices give you options that vary from light to dark tints. The darker the coloring, the more privacy the glass provides. Ask about the variety of shades available and how much light they filter out to find the right tint for your shower door. The major downside to tinted glass is its bold contribution to your bathroom’s appearance. If you decide to redecorate your bathroom with a different color theme in the future, you may need to replace your shower enclosure or door glass.

For a unique shower that pairs with your decor, nothing can beat tinted glass on the door and enclosure.

Rain Glass Shower Doors

Rain glass has a pattern cut into one side of the glass to resemble raindrops. The raindrop design offers a decorative alternative to frosted glass that remains neutral in any bathroom style. Some prefer this with contemporary bathrooms, though.

What sets this pattern apart from other forms of textured glass is its small size, which does not detract from the surrounding décor. This type of design allows the shower to slip into the background. Unless you want your stall to act as your bathroom’s centerpiece, which you might if you have an extra-large walk-in shower, a rain pattern reduces its appearance as a plumbing fixture in the room.

Because the pattern prevents you from seeing clearly into the shower, it works better in some bathroom sizes than others. If you select it for the shower in a smaller room, the room may appear too tiny because the visible dimensions shrink. Larger bathrooms benefit more from rain-patterned glass shower doors because the showers still let in light without making the room appear too spacious.

Instead of frosting, the glass has a pattern, which still allows light through while obscuring the person inside the shower. Like frosted glass, the rain pattern only appears on one side of the glass to make cleaning faster.

For the best of privacy and light, a rain-patterned glass shower is an ideal choice.

Textured Glass Shower Doors

Textured Glass Shower Doors
Types of Shower Glass

The rain pattern is one form of textured glass, but it is far from the only option you have. With multiple designs, you have a wide range of textured glass doors to choose from. Regardless of your home’s décor, you can find a texture to match.

Because textures vary, you will have different opacities with the doors. Some will let in more light than others. Like the rain pattern, most textured glass has the pattern on only one side. Be sure to talk to your design consultant about the specific textured glass you want to use, about the light it lets through and where the texture is.

As with tinted glass, the pattern you choose for the texture can affect your bathroom’s overall appearance. If you have a forest or Asian-themed bathroom, the bamboo texture fits in well, but this same texture may not work as well in a rustic country bathroom. Universally appealing textures that have timeless quality will work well if you plan to sell your home or redecorate it soon. Such surface designs include bubbles and similar geometric forms.

If you need help choosing the best texture for your shower door glass, talk to your design consultant, who can walk you through your options and help you find the best choice for the décor you have.

Stained Glass Shower Doors

Add color and character to your bathroom with a stained glass shower door. The unique style of this shower creates a unique appeal to homeowners, especially those who love fancy and decorative elements. It often features an aesthetically pleasing pattern with vivid hues that elevate the feel of the entire bathroom. 

While most stained glass doors come with vibrant and decorative designs, there are now many variations to complement different aesthetics. The versatility of these showers accommodates traditional and contemporary bathroom styles. 

Beyond its sophistication and aesthetics, this type offers innate privacy in the most stylish manner. Stained glass doors combine beauty and privacy in one custom design. Tailor them according to your preferences, choosing your ideal patterns and colors. 

Which Shower Door Is the Best to Clean?

Cleaning is a key factor to consider when choosing a shower door. Some showers may require extra time to remove soap or mineralized buildup. Other doors may need regular cleaning because of their surface. 

Textured and stained glass showers are the best shower doors to keep clean. The decorative designs seamlessly hide smudges and fingerprints on the glass, so there’s no need for frequent cleaning. Although stained glass showers conceal streaks and spots on the surface, it may be challenging to remove the dirt. 

On the other hand, fixed clear glass and low-iron shower glass doors are easy to clean because they do not have texturized patterns. The only downside is the visibility of marks on the surface. Frameless and semi-frameless showers are also a breeze to maintain.

Does Framed or Frameless Make a Difference When Choosing Glass?

Framed and frameless shower designs do make a difference in the type of glass you choose. You may have fewer choices of glass style or texture, depending on your preference. Also, the hardware could impact how the glass looks. The thickness of the glass in framed and frameless showers differs, which could affect your choices for the glass patterns, colors or textures. If you have questions about how your decision to have a frame around your shower makes a difference, let us know.

What Is a Framed Shower?

Types of Shower Glass

The design of framed showers is a classic, having been around as long as glass showers have. For traditional bathrooms, this is your best design choice. Don’t forget the impact the frame will have on the appearance of your shower. Framed showers offer you the option to choose the finish of the hardware, giving you innumerable options for matching glass and finishes.The wide range of choices for framed showers allows you to adapt them to your bathroom’s color scheme.

Because these frames securely hold the glass in place with less need for special installation, framed showers are ideal for saving money. Compared to frameless showers, they cost 10 to 15% less. The frames support the glass, so the glass weighs less than with frameless doors.

When it comes to framed doors, pivoting and sliding are among the most popular options. Pivoting doors swing open along hinges on one side. Sliding doors do not move out into the room. Instead, they slip sideways along a track. These doors work best in small bathrooms that do not have space for a door to pivot open. If you want your choice to be a sliding one, though, you must select framed glass. The frame allows the door to move safely within the track.

What Is a Frameless Shower?

When it comes to design choices, frameless shower doors fall closer to modern styles than framed showers. Without a frame to outline the walls and door, frameless showers make your bathroom look open and airy.

Frameless Showers

While you cannot choose a sliding frameless shower door in a frameless shower, you can get a pivoting one or choose a doorless, walk-in shower. With pivoting doors, you will need enough space for the door to open wide into the room and for you to move around it. If you do not have enough space, consider alternatives, such as a framed shower with a sliding door.

Contrary to what you might think, a doorless walk-in shower requires more space than a standard shower. The average size for these units is 4 feet by 5 feet to ensure the shower spray stays within the stall. However, if you want the most open appearance possible, a walk-in shower choice is best. While you won’t have a door to clean, you will still need to keep the walls of the enclosure clean.

Frameless shower glass has no lines, allowing for perfect view through the shower. Many people select a clear glass or low-iron glass with this type of stall because the design of the shower encourages you to see through the structure. For a shower that will help to open your bathroom and make it look more spacious, frameless glass showers are the ideal choice.

Customize your shower doors at Garrety Glass today

Get Your Customized Glass Shower From Garrety Glass

To get the glass shower you want, contact us at Garrety Glass. Our teams are experts in glass installation, ensuring whatever glass type you choose for your shower enclosure or door, you will get professional results. With our customized showers, you have several choices in addition to the glass type, including size, style and finish. Since you have so many options with our custom showers, you can feel assured that you have the perfect shower for your lifestyle and décor preferences.

Even if you need help customizing your shower, contact one of our professional designers for a free consultation to start the process of getting a unique shower installed in your home.

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