Custom Glass & Frameless Shower Doors – The Open Concept Layout

Open House Plan

More and more architectural plans are based on an open concept layout. Whether remodeling or building fresh, architects are tearing down the walls. For these modern designs, separations between rooms are becoming obsolete. These large open spaces take some of their inspiration from urban artist lofts; basically, uncluttered, vast open spaces. Architects are designing homes with kitchens without barriers, making them part of the dining room or living space, and bathrooms without walls joined to master suites. And where walls are still desired glass is often the material of choice. Custom glass walls and ceilings let the light pour through and add to the feeling of freedom. A frameless shower door enclosure is an essential in an open concept layout.

The open layout plan gets even more daring and open when the outdoors is brought inside, or vice versa. To include nature inside, designers are not only tearing down walls, but ceilings, as well. Of course, a ceiling-less bathroom works best in areas with predictably warm climates. The materials used in these open air bathrooms are those which can withstand the elements; stone, treated wood, and marble. For those people who live in an intemperate zone and need protection from the elements, a glass ceiling and walls can bring the beauty of nature inside while leaving the rain and snow outside. For instance, a room encased in glass within a private garden. With a bathroom like this you will feel as if you are showering in a greenhouse.

Interpreting Privacy in a Whole New Way

People accustomed to complete privacy may take a while getting used to showering in one of these outdoor/indoor bathrooms. In truth, many of these bathrooms only give the illusion of being non-private. They are often built within a walled off courtyard or garden which can only be accessed from the bathroom. But for some of these open and airy bathrooms the lack of privacy is real and intended. For the adventurous souls who wish to hide nothing from their spouse, there are truly wall-less bathrooms with frameless shower doors.

Vacation homes, particularly those nestled in beautiful landscapes, are the perfect places for an experimental bathroom. A bathroom which invites in the scent of pine, or a refreshing island breeze, or the sound of the waves crashing will only add to the spirit of a getaway home. Some homeowners choose to have both an outdoor and indoor shower back to back with only a glass wall separating them. Which shower is used can depend upon the weather.

Walls of Glass

With open layout plans sometimes eliminating all barriers is impractical. When walls need to be erected the material of choice is often custom glass. Custom glass is the closest thing to having a wall-less environment. Glass lets the sunlight pour in, and it also allows you to take advantage of magical views of woodlands, or desert, or ocean. If you are remodeling and considering a daringly open layout, then don’t stop at the shower stall, choose a frameless shower door for crystal clear freedom. Our Dallas showroom can help you with all of your glass needs.

 

The New Gym / Bathroom Combinations

Many people are finding inventive new ways to arrange large bathroom spaces. Some people are turning their bathrooms into entertainment centers complete with fireplaces, refrigerated cabinets for chilling wine, television sets, music systems, wall paintings, and small libraries. Of course, these types of bathrooms really need crystal clear glass showers so bathers can enjoy unobstructed viewing of all the amenities. That’s where our experts in Dallas come in, they can help you choose the perfect frameless shower door.

Another trend leans towards making the bathroom into your own private gym space. Instead of a leisurely, winding-down room these bathrooms are outfitted with equipment to get your heart rate pumping.  Stair-climbers, ellipticals, rowing machines, even large treadmills are finding their way into these bathrooms.

Saunas & Spa Baths
A couple of add-ons that fit the exercise theme; saunas and jet powered spa baths. A sauna can help soothe aching muscles and  flush toxins from your system, while a spa bath can relieve stress with massaging jets. Both make perfect followups to a strenuous workout. In fact, what better way to end an exercise session than with a quick trip to the sauna followed by a refreshing shower to wash away the sweat.

Neutrals & Chrome
A workout room suits a bathroom with a sleek modern appearance. Large spaces of cream-colored tiles, pale walls, and wood cabinetry with purpose. For instance, ceiling high shelves loaded with plush towels, or a glass fronted cabinet stuffed with aromatic blends and herbal infusions for a revitalizing, hydrotherapy bath. A no fuss setting, as you would expect to find in a gym, is probably the best approach to one of these gym/bathroom combination rooms. Taking the personal gym one step further some homeowners are including a wall mounted waterproof LCD set to give them something to occupy their minds as they ride their stationary bike or run the treadmill.

The Ultimate Layout
Depending on the amount of space available the workout equipment can be separated from the rest of the bath behind a glass wall or perhaps a waist high barrier. Some people prefer a more wide-open approach with no barriers to slice up the space, and the equipment out in the open. A spacious open floor plan lends itself to a doorless recessed shower with perhaps only a panel of glass to keep water from making the tiles slippery. An exerciser can step off the exercise equipment, toss his or her clothes in the hamper, and walk right into a multi-spray shower for the ultimate showering experience. A surround shower system, though once considered a luxury, is becoming a common addition for new, upscale home construction projects. It is also becoming a popular choice for those remodeling their bathrooms.

A personal workout room with gleaming tiles, chrome fixtures, and a crystal clear glass shower stall, provides the perfect excuse for both a weekend warrior and a gym rat to stay home. Our Dallas showroom can help you turn an ordinary bathroom into an extraordinary one with beautiful glass walls and frameless shower enclosures.

Frameless Shower Doors | Home Theater with a Shower!

TV in Bathroom

Glass Shower Doors + TV = Home Theater with a Shower!

The popularity of including a sleek, flat screen TV in your bathroom design is trending upward. Having a television in your bathroom may sound frivolous, but it’s perfect for people who enjoy a long soak in the tub. Imagine being able to luxuriate in bubbles with a glass of chilled bubbly while watching a romantic comedy. Or grabbing a shower without missing a playoff game or your favorite sitcom. And if your days are often so hectic that you barely have time to watch the news, a television installed in your bathroom can let you catch today’s headlines while brushing your teeth.

If you do decide to install a TV you will want crystal clear glass walls and a frameless shower door for an unobstructed view of the set.

Taking it one step further, a television and dvd combination unit will let you pick the movies which suit your mood. If you have a storage unit which takes up an entire wall it can be outfitted to hold a small LED television, and only minor cabinet space needs to be used to hold a small dvd library.

A Television Hidden in a Vanity Mirror
If you really want to keep your TV hidden, there are companies specializing in innovative mirrors with inset television sets. The TV is only visible when it is turned on, when turned off the rectangle where the TV is situated becomes a mirrored surface again. These integrated TVs come with small but powerful speakers.

Certain versions are quite decorative and can include a lighted frame making it easier to put on makeup or shave neatly. You will want a TV which will be able to withstand the occasional sprinkling of water droplets and steam, and a remote control which is not only waterproof but can float.

Portable vs. Stationary
Televisions can be hidden and unobtrusive, or flashy and take center stage. Since they are available in various dimensions you can find one to fit any size bathroom.

A television can be placed on a swiveling frame to be easily viewed from any angle of the room. Wall insets can be built to hold the set and the insets framed to match the decor or the TV can be hidden behind a wall cabinet with a door

If you are not completely decided on having a television set in the bathroom you can start with one on a portable stand which can be moved around to find the optimal spot.

Shower Enclosures for Crystal Clear Viewing
If you decide to add a TV to your bathroom we can help make certain that you will be able to view it clearly. Etched or patterned glass won’t do. What’s the point in installing a state of the art entertainment unit if you are watching it through blurry or nearly opaque glass? Come visit our Dallas showroom to see our beautiful crystal clear glass shower enclosures.

Medicine Cabinets…Everything Old is New Again

Medicine cabinets are in again. You may wonder when they were ever out of fashion. Actually, for the past few years designers have been leaving them off bathroom remodeling plans while concentration on shower door enclosures and other modern amenities. There seemed to be consensus among designers that medicine cabinets were old hat and that mirrors or other wall adornments were the hipper way to go.

Perhaps homeowners were the first to realize that they were missing the practicality of having a wall cabinet. Or perhaps it occurred to designers that furnishings and decor elements with no useful applications may not be the best use of space, particularly in what is usually the smallest room in the house. For whatever reason, designers are starting to include medicine cabinets again and it’s a good thing.

There are so many things we are used to stashing in a bathroom such as cosmetics, shampoos, dental supplies, bandages, antiseptics and medications. To do away with a cabinet which can hold at least some of the smaller items, makes the bathroom less user friendly. How annoying it would be to search through the house for items you would normally store in the bathroom, for instance cotton balls or dental floss, just because you don’t have cabinet space in your bathroom.

Styles to Suit Any Decor

Of course, you can go for the old fashioned utilitarian cabinet with metal or glass shelves that most of us are familiar with, but why would you, when the options are nearly endless? These cabinets come in a variety of styles to fit any bath decor. Whether you are looking for Art Deco or Victorian inspired cabinetry, or any other era for that matter, chances are it’s available. Often you can find components to match the medicine cabinet, such as a towering shelf for towels or a ceiling high cabinet. And any style of medicine cabinet will work seamlessly with a sleek, frameless shower enclosure.

In addition, you can go as elaborate or as modern as you wish for the medicine cabinet’s mirrored front. Consider Venetian glass, or a mirror set in an ornate baroque frame, or a sleek modern mirror.

Innovative Cabinets

There are ultra-modern styles available which incorporate unique elements. For instance, there are cabinets which instead of opening from the side, lift up from the bottom. There are ones which are basically micro-refrigerators, for keeping your cooling eye creams chilled. And you can keep a water bottle on hand for those nights when you don’t want to walk all the way to the kitchen. For those people who get up at night but hate flipping on the overly bright bathroom light, there are medicine cabinets with motion activated lighting. The lighting is usually subtle like a nightlight. You can see just what you need to without being startled by too much brightness.

Of course, once you’ve gone ultra-modern with your cabinetry, you will probably want to update other parts of your bathroom, such as your shower enclosure. Think frameless, because nothing says modern like crystal clear walls of glass. Come visit our Dallas showroom to see all the options available to you.

Hardware for Your Shower Enclosure

Frameless Hardware

Dallas Texas Frameless Shower DoorThough the hardware needed for a frameless shower door is fairly minimal it is an essential design element. You will need wall mounts, hinges for swinging doors, metal clips to connect two panels of glass, and possibly u-channels for fixed panels. The hardware can be chosen to match and blend with the tint of the glass and the tile work or it can stand out and add a color accent. The hardware required for a frameless shower door comes in many color variations and finishes. A variety of metallic hues are available; brass, chrome, nickel, bronze, copper, gunmetal, and gold. Most metals come in a variety of finishes as well; brushed, polished, satin, ultra-bright, oil-rubbed, and antique. For those who prefer a bolder look there are painted fixtures in red, white, and black. Custom colors and finishes are also available.

The handle to open a swinging door is usually a knob or a pull, and these are normally double-sided. They are lined up back to back and secured together through holes drilled in the glass.

A towel bar and robe hook can also be affixed through the glass. These can be single-sided or double-sided depending on what works best for you. A double-sided towel bar would be placed on the outside and then have a twin on the inside of the shower to hang washcloths. A double-sided fixture basically gives you two fixtures yet they virtually take up the same amount of visual space. Fixtures should be chosen with an eye for minimalism. Too many fixtures or oversized ones will defeat the purpose of a frameless enclosure by detracting from the glass walls.

Semi-Frameless Hardware

For those homeowners who love the high-end look of a frameless enclosure but find it too pricey, semi-frameless can be the ideal compromise. Though the stall is supported by metal framework on the top and along the sides, it does not have the more obvious metal trim of the standard framed shower. Instead, all framing, including the channel that secures the glass, has a narrower, cleaner look. The minimal amount of hardware will put emphasis on the glass and not the frame. The metal finish of the hardware can really make a difference. For instance, a slim and sleek gunmetal frame paired with a blue-gray tinted glass or a bronze tinted glass with matching brushed bronze fixtures would make for elegant enclosures.

With a semi-frameless enclosure only parts of the shower will require framing. For instance, you could have a metal channel header, supporting the top of the shower, and a metal clip holding the glass at the base. The door can be connected by hinges to the stationary panels of glass like a frameless shower, and the edge of the door does not require metal trim. So there is basically a wall of glass secured by unobtrusive framework.

Visit our Dallas showroom to find the perfect glass for your frameless or semi-frameless enclosure.

Great Ideas for Showers and Baths

Perfect Solution for Small Bathrooms
Tub and shower combinations can be the answer to limited space. Many modern bathrooms set the bath apart from the shower. But not all bathrooms have enough space to accommodate both as separate units. Besides being a space saver a combo unit offers other advantages. For instance, a bather can follow a leisurely soak with a shower without having to drip their way across the bathroom floor to get to the shower stall. If both units are included behind the same wall of glass and share the same tiled floor, complete with drain, then the bather is free to step from shower to bath without worry.

A Hybrid Bathing Experience
Some people enjoy climbing out of a steaming hot tub and stepping right into a brisk shower. The ease of having the shower behind the same glass wall may encourage even unadventurous bathers to try the reviving benefits of a hot and cold bathing regime. The heat of the tub opens the pores and the icy shower closes them. It is said that this type of bathing increases circulation.

Not Your Father’s Tub and Shower Combo
If you are envisioning the old-fashioned cramped porcelain tub plus shower with a metal framed sliding door you might be surprised to discover how modern and attractive this combination has become. Certainly, in smaller bathrooms it works best to have the bathtub as the base of the shower, but these are not the utilitarian units we are used to seeing. Designers are coming up with imaginative ways to turn these bathing alcoves into the ultimate relaxation destinations. Some of these bathing/shower units are only partially hidden behind glass. Just enough of a glass panel is added to the shower region to keep water from splattering on the bathroom floor. It’s far less claustrophobic than the fully enclosed frosted glass containers of yore.

Or in the case of a large soaking tub, a rain shower head placed exactly over the center of the tub will send the water straight down into the tub. A rain shower head rains the water down on the bather’s head instead of at an angle, which keeps the water from spraying everywhere. In fact, with this sort of a setup you may not need any kind of enclosure at all.

Perfect Solution for Spacious Bathrooms
For those people who have a bigger bathroom to work with, but who still want to enclose both units in one area, then a side by side installation is the answer. Architects are coming up with unique layouts such as placing a shower stall next to a tub sunk so deep that the rim is level with the floor, or a built-in tub with sides so steep that it requires steps. For a decidedly quaint look there is always the free-standing clawfoot tub, which looks incongruous yet inviting behind a modern partition of glass. And for those who want their bathrooms to capture the serenity of a forest, an ofuro wooden soaking tub can be paired with a waterproofed wooden shower stall. Basically any type of tub you can imagine is being paired with a shower stall. Frameless glass is the enclosure of choice to surround these innovative bathing areas. Visit our showroom in Dallas to see how frameless glass can modernize your bathroom.

The Modernity of Glass

Most people would agree that light and fresh air are always welcome in a house, particularly in the bathroom. Anytime glass can be utilized in a bathroom it should be. Windows positioned to look out on a flower garden or a pine forest invite in the sun and the fresh scent of the outdoors. They will give your bathroom a spacious, modern appeal. Skylights are windows offering a different perspective, of the blue sky and the tops of trees. And certainly if you’ve made the point of opening the view then you would want to enjoy it while showering. A crystal clear frameless shower enclosure will allow you an unobstructed view.

Windowless Bathroom

Windowless bathrooms, those without an exterior wall, depend on fans and vents for airflow and lighting fixtures for illumination. Homeowners often find windowless bathrooms dim and dank. With limited air-circulation you might find you have issues with dampness and mold. If the roof is accessible then a skylight can be a unique solution. Nowadays skylights are not just fixed units, there are models which open, thus providing both ventilation and light for a windowless bathroom. An attic bathroom can be particularly cramped and dark; a skylight will help brighten it up.

Skylights once had a poor reputation because they were known to leak. But with today’s new and improved seals rain is no longer an issue. If you are worried that the light pouring in might create too much heat or be squintingly bright, then blinds can be installed or smoky-colored glass used to cut the glare. Glazing can help neutralize temperature spikes and drops. Since heat rises, a venting skylight has a chimney effect allowing the heated air to be drawn up through the opening. Obviously, the placement of the skylight, whether north facing or south, will determine the strength of the sunlight allowed in.

Skylights can be operated by remote control. Blinds and the venting system can be activated electronically.

Firelight

An exciting trend is installing a fireplace in the bathroom. These are usually placed near the tub so a bather can appreciate the toasty heat. A frameless shower enclosure with crystal clear glass will allow a person taking a shower to appreciate the blazing fire. With windows frosted in snow, a crackling, wood-burning fire would provide the ultimate luxury.

Decking the mantelpiece out with candles will add another level of ambience.

Unique Window Ideas

Dramatic arched windows might seem better suited for your living room, but they can add a touch of unexpected elegance to your master bathroom. Porthole-like windows can be used for smaller areas and give your bathroom a nautical look. Walls of windows looking out into a walled off garden will allow you to enjoy nature while bathing in complete seclusion.

Visit our Dallas showroom to discover the versatility of glass. We can help turn your bathroom into a retreat.

Bathroom Mirrors and Vanities; Ideas for Eloquence

The vanity and mirror are often the focal point of most bathrooms. Because there is normally very little furniture in a bathroom beyond the vanity, it carries a lot of the weight in terms of decor. The mirror you hang above the vanity is as important as the cabinetry.

If you are going for a regal theme, consider a baroque inspired, gilt frame, the type of frame you might use to showcase a prized oil painting. The overhead lighting fixtures should be modeled after the same time period. Some people go so far as to hang a chandelier. Add an equally antiquish faucet, a gold-veined marble top to a vanity with curved, scroll legs and a gold-tinted frameless shower enclosure and you’ve got a royal setup.

Another bow to elegance is a Venetian mirror. These mirrors are unique because their frames are usually made from artfully cut, etched and assembled mirror pieces. The frame is usually ornate and is often floral in design. If you like the look of a mirror which is all glass including the frame, but you don’t want an intricate design, you can find simpler more geometrical designs available. These mirrors look particularly nice in all white bathrooms with white cabinetry. A crystal clear frameless shower enclosure would complement the expanse of white.

If you favor a more rustic look, then consider an unpolished wood cabinet plus a vessel sink. A vessel sink is often bowl shaped and sits atop the cabinet instead of being inset. Vessel sinks are made from a variety of materials, such as tempered, colored glass, hammered copper, and porcelain. There are porcelain sinks available with patterns to make them look like the ewer bowls people set on washstands in centuries past.  A mirror framed in distressed or rough-hewn wood would probably add additional rustic charm to this decor.

For a thoroughly modern look consider pairing a long sleek vanity with a long sleek, frameless mirror. No ornate frames or fussy details for this type of decor. And the lighting above the mirror should be recessed and efficient. There is nothing more modern than a walk-in shower behind a frameless wall of glass.

For a truly eclectic look you could mix and match the styles of mirrors. Bathrooms with eclectic decors often combine modern with antique elements. In this type of bathroom you can expect to see the unexpected such as a stained glass window, a brightly painted vanity, or even an entire wall covered in mosaic tiles. Other unique elements you might find; pendant lighting, a clawfoot tub, wallpaper with a pattern more suited to an old-fashioned parlor, or a small picture gallery. Though it seems like anything goes with this type of decor it really takes a practiced eye to know which pieces complement each other.

Whether you have two sinks at either end of a long vanity or two sink stands separated by a dressing table you might consider a series of mirrors rather than a single mirror. Above each sink you could place a vertical mirror and for the dressing table perhaps a wider mirror with a matching frame.

Visit our showroom in Dallas, we have a broad selection of mirrors and frameless shower doors to suit any decor.

Shower Glass: More Variety than You Think!

Shower glass comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Glass in its traditional state has a greenish tint which is the result of the iron used in the manufacturing process. The greenish tint, though subtle, adds a splash of color from the cool end of the color spectrum. If you like the idea of a tinted glass, but prefer a shade that is more dramatic then you might want to consider a rich bronze or a smoky gray tinted glass. A dark, sultry tint can add glamour to your bathroom. For a frameless shower, you will want hinges and handles in a dark metal such as bronze to match the hue of the glass and make the shower installation appear seamless.

If you love the color of your shower tiles and your fixtures complement those tiles to perfection then you might not want the shower interior obscured by tinted glass. Because iron is the substance which gives the green hue to standard glass, less of the metal is used to produce tint free glass. The result is crystal clear glass. Combine this sparkling glass with a frameless enclosure and your shower will be open and airy.

Shower Doors

For some people clear glass is just a little too clear. Acid-etched or frosted glass has a satiny finish which allows in a diffuse, mellow light while affording privacy. Sandblasting is another way of achieving a frosted look. Practically any pattern you can imagine can be etched on glass. For a bathroom with antique accents you might consider Victorian wallpaper inspired patterns. Stripes, floral designs or repeating ornate patterns will enhance and reinforce the vintage look. For a child’s bathroom the shower door could be sandblasted with fantasy or fairy-tale murals. The pattern is usually on just the outside of the glass and the inside is smooth for easier cleaning.

Though frosted glass will give you privacy, it does have a drawback. The opacity of the frost will diminish the light that can penetrate the shower stall. To compensate you can have light-emitting diodes (LED lights) placed in strategic places within the stall, for instance in the ceiling and even embedded in the shower walls. Think a sexy, red ambience, or the cool aqua of a waterfall. Or consider having a strip of red, green and blue LED lights installed along with a color driver and you will have a rainbow of colors at your fingertips. If you are going with the vintage theme then you might consider installing a gaslight inspired sconce outfitted with a glowing LED light. Because you can buy waterproofed LED lights you can put the sconce directly inside the shower.

If you like the look of rain streaming down a window, rain glass duplicates that effect. This textured, rain-beaded glass offers some privacy. Rain glass, because it evokes the poetry of nature, looks beautiful set against tiles made from rock such as slate and marble.

Casting is another glass producing process. The glass is molded into raised abstract patterns such as swirls or geometric designs or objects in nature such as fish or plants. With casted patterns, if you run your hand over the glass you can feel the pattern. Because of the sculpted look of this type of glass it has an artistic presentation.

We invite you to visit our Dallas showroom to see just how beautiful and varied glass can be.

Feng Shui for the Bathroom

Feng shui, as applied to home design, is the practice of building and/or decorating your home to be hospitable to positive energy. Though an ancient practice, it has become a very popular way to arrange houses because it emphasizes light, energy, cleanliness and an uncluttered lifestyle. In the past, practitioners of the ancient art of feng shui often overlooked or disregarded the bathroom. Long ago, of course, bathrooms were hardly the elegant spaces they are today.

It was assumed that bathrooms sucked the life energy or chi out of the atmosphere so those who practiced feng shui felt it best to shut the door on that room and try to ignore it. Those bathrooms were cramped, dark places, nothing like today’s bathrooms with their sleek tiled surfaces, frameless shower doors and beautiful natural stone and wood surfaces. And speaking of inviting the light in, our Dallas location has a showroom devoted to the beauty of glass. Continue reading Feng Shui for the Bathroom