Glass shower doors come in different styles and feature unique properties. Some are hardened and treated to offer better security against knocks. Others hold the pieces together when broken, preventing injuries caused by shattered shards.
Homeowners can also improve safety using alarm systems, sensors, glass security films, and more. Here’s an overview of the safest glasses for shower doors and their key attributes.
Laminated Glass Doors
A laminated glass shower door is a top choice for those seeking the safest glass options. Laminated glass was first designed for car windshields to reduce injuries from accidents, as it prevents the glass from shattering. The construction features a laminate layer made of plastic or polyvinyl butyl (PVB), forming a glass sandwich featuring two panes.
Laminated glass has various uses, including for front doors and windows. They block most UV rays, protect furniture, and work for indoor applications like glass shower doors. Laminated shower glass doors are among the safest options in glass and mirror shops. Two panes and a PVB layer improve the construction’s sturdiness.
The laminate compound also prevents the glass from breaking into loose sharp shards. When laminated glass receives a heavy blow, it granulates and holds the pieces in place. They are generally more expensive than tempered glass and very effective in preventing injuries. In shower setups, laminated glass will likely never break or granulate, making it the safest choice.
Most glasses used for residential shower doors are tempered safety glass, also known as toughened glass. The glass is heat-treated and stronger than annealed glass and breaks into small cube-like shapes instead of long shards. Tempered glass can protect homeowners and building occupants from the hazard of fragmented glass debris.
Manufacturers of tempered glass produce the panels under high temperatures and subject them to rapid cooling. The glass is heated to more than 600 degrees and cooled rapidly to create a rigid, resilient panel. When tempered glass breaks, it granulates into small cube pieces rather than sharp-pointed shards and spall.
Tempered glass is often referred to as safety glass because of its ability to keep building occupants safe when the panel breaks. The manufacturing process also results in a much stronger panel. Tempered glass will last longer and survive several knocks before succumbing, and when they fall apart, the pieces are less likely to cause injury.
Other Safe Glass Shower Doors
Laminate and tempered glasses are the safest and most practical choices for a shower door. Homeowners have many other options, including wired/pro shield safety glass, but such offers are less practical. A wired glass features wire mesh embedded in the constriction to meet the impact and resistance requirements of safety glass. Plastic glazing sheets may also be classified as safe but don’t suit shower doors as much as laminate and tempered glass.
Qualities of the Safest Glass for Shower Doors
Glass is a fragile material in isolation. Procedures such as lamination, tempering, and glazing can fortify and improve impact resistance and longevity. Options like bulletproof glass for high-end applications like combat vehicles are proof glass can be as tough as needed. Homeowners looking for the safest glass for shower doors should review the following qualities:
• Breakage Protection
The safest glasses for shower doors have breakage protection. Tempered glass granulates into cubes rather than sharply pointed shards, while laminates hold all granulated pieces in place. Homeowners can also use a glass security film to improve breakage protection and keep the broken pieces from spilling.
• Impact Resistance
Safe glasses are resilient and can take varying levels of knocks without breaking or cracking. Even to the most careful bathroom users, a slight bump or knock is inevitable. The safest constructions are durable and resilient, capable of surviving everyday use and bumps. Poor installation can compromise impact resistance, even for the most rigid glasses.
• Application Suitability
The safest glasses are the most practical for the bathroom. Shower doors that prevent anyone outside from peeking inside, while allowing the user to see what’s out, are ideal for the privacy provided. Secure glass shower doors suit their application and user needs.
Safety Glass Shower Doors
Homeowners looking for glass shower doors should ensure quality installation and glass products. Working with reputable companies can guarantee safe glass shower doors with breakage protection. Users should also review impact resistance, overall longevity, and manufacturer-described safety properties.