Whether you’re upgrading to a glass shower door or you already have one, it’s natural to wonder what kind of glass is used. According to the International Residential Code, it is required to use safety glass for shower doors and windows in the shower area. However, what exactly is safety glass? Are there different kinds? What makes them so safe? Below are the different types of glass and what the best option is for your glass shower door.
What is Safety Glass?
Safety glass is constructed with specific safety features that make it stronger and less likely to break. If it does break, it’s made to be less dangerous than standard glass. For glass shower doors, there are two main types of safety glass you might use: tempered and laminated.
Tempered glass is made to be four times stronger than standard, annealed glass.
How is tempered glass made?
It is made by heating and rapidly cooling it, so the internal part of the glass remains fluid longer, making it very strong. This process ensures that if the glass were to break, it would shatter into small pieces, that are not sharp.
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One of the biggest misconceptions about shower doors is that they can easily shatter. Glass shower doors are usually made with tempered glass and are unlikely to break. Due to the manufacturing process, if the shower door did break, it would break in tiny pieces that are relatively harmless.
What is tempered glass used for?
Tempered glass is mainly used in situations where safety is a concern. For example, glass shower doors and car windows are made with tempered glass.
Laminated glass is a safety glass that is made to hold glass together if it breaks.
How is laminated glass made?
Laminated glass is made by surrounding a piece of glass with two vinyl layers. This ensures that if the glass breaks, the glass will be stuck between the layers and hold together.
What is laminated glass used for?
Laminated glass is used in situations where safety and security are a concern. For example, it is mainly used in car windshield windows and retail display windows. It can also be used in glass shower doors if you want.
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What is Not Safety Glass?
Normal, standard glass is not made with safety measures in mind.
How is annealed glass made?
Annealed glass is made by heating and slowly cooling. When it does break, it’s likely to break into sharp shards because it was not made with safety features in mind.
What is annealed glass used for?
Annealed glass is used in situations where safety is not a concern. Mostly though, annealed glass is used as a base to form other types of glass, such as tempered or laminated.
For your glass shower door, the tempered or laminated glass would be your best bet. Don’t forget that it’s required that you use safety glass in your bathroom.
Do you live in the Dallas, TX area? If so, we would love to help you find the right glass shower door for you! Call us at (214) 821-2886 to get started.
Alamo Glass and Mirror is a full service residential and commercial glass company. We have an extensive inventory of glass and glass related products.
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