Glass Shower Enclosure advice

cburdick1March 15, 2012

Good afternoon,

My family is almost done with a major remodel of our house and it's time to choose a glass shower enclosure and a contractor to install it.

We have received two quotes on frameless shower doors, one at $2,100 and one at $2,900. I'm a big fan of "throw out the lowest bid", so Im looking to get a few more quotes on the job.

To those folks out there who have already gone through this process, can you offer any advice towards this process? (IE choosing an shower door contractor, framed/semi frame/frameless, is upgrading to 1/2" glass worth it etc) Is there anything you wish you had or had not done?


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We are in the process of having ours replaced. Ours is fairly small with only a half-glass above a pony wall and a door. Pricing we received was similar to what you mention, but we came across an independent who has quoted $1600 for 3/8 glass. We'll probably go with him as he has done work for a friend and it looks nice.

1/2 glass will not hold out any more water but does look nice. So I've learned, when going with heavier glass or risking falls/pushing against the glass, a semi-framed is considered the way to go.

We are going to have a short panel at the corner to make the door smaller (lighter) and will have a robe hook installed there. Convenient place for the towel.

We are not getting the glass shield as we are accustomed to cleaning the glass and tiles following use but it might be worth it if you have hard water.

I'll be interested in other tips offered as ours is still in the preparation phase. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 3:17PM
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3/8" Glass is generally more than acceptable unless you have a very large shower than I would suggest 1/2" Glass. If the door is to be hung off of a panel I would recommend using a header (semi frameless), if the panel is 12" or larger you can go with no header. If the panel is small the glass tends to not be very sturdy which out a lot of weight on the hinges and the unit will tend to wobble slightly. For attaching the panels to the wall and floor I prefer "mini-clips" as opposed to channel as it is less obtrusive and less metal to look at on the wall and floor.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 4:18PM
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We used 3/8" glass for our guest bathroom shower (the only bathroom for which we got a glass enclosure). We "up-charged" by using starphire/starfire glass to preserve the whiteness of the tile when looking through the glass, and we added Clear Shield (fabricator applied product vs Shower Guard, which is done as part of the glass manufacturing process). Even though the shower doesn't normally see much use beyond a week or two each yr when my parents come to visit, we have hard water, so an ounce of prevention gives us piece of mind (that the glass is protected against clouding/etching). We keep a squeegee and after shower spray in there when the shower's in use as well.

We also went with a slightly taller enclosure height; the clips would have hit right in the middle of our border tile mosaic at the lower height.

The 3/8" thick glass feels very sturdy, and substantial, not flimsy or rickety in the least. DH and I used that shower exclusively while our other bathrooms were being reno'd, and we were very happy with functionality of the shower door/enclosure.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Lynne Reno

Our GC got 7 or 8 bids on our glass shower enclosure and the cheapest was $1673. It's hard to photograph it, so here are the dimensions:
3/8" clear glass, chrome hardware. Door 24"x68" Return panel (this goes between tub and shower) 50 3/4" x 54 7/8", 12 1/8"x68" inline panel (goes next to shower door).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:01PM
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