Starphire Screw Up; Should I Regret Accepting Regular Glass?

KevinMPMay 14, 2012

My glass finally arrived after nearly three weeks of waiting and when they opened it up, it was regular glass, not Starphire, which is how it was ordered and, oddly, marked on the box. They told me it would take another week and a half (at the earliest) to get Starphire, and that they'd give me a $400 refund if I accepted the regular glass.

Against my better judgment (and tired of using a shower curtain after spending $26K on a bathroom), I had them install the regular glass. It's less noticeable during the daylight than at night. The pictures below are taken at night (one with flash and one without).

I could always just pony up more money down the road if it really bothers me. Part of me thinks it looks fine, but part of me knows how it was supposed to look.

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Personally? I think this looks divine ~ ! I'm hard-pressed to imagine how it could look possibly nicer with Starphire. But - different strokes for different etc.....

You did a great job !

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I can't see a thing wrong with this glass! Actually, I thought Starphire glass simply had a coating on it that prevented water spots but that the glass was not supposed to look any different from regular glass.

I applaud your decision and feel your pain at waiting for the glass to arrive. Our 1/2 wall glass was installed a month ago, but the door was 3 inches taller than it was supposed to be. . . so it was returned, and we still wait for the new one. It is insulting to have to shower sans door after having spent so much money on a bathroom!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:15PM
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lizb, Starphire is visibly clearer than regular glass, it does not have the green cast.

I can see the green cast here, but it doesn't look bad--it's still a good-looking bathroom. I would have waited the extra couple of weeks personally--14 days more of a shower curtain vs non-starphire glass for the rest of the bathrooms' life( 20 + years?), but on the other hand, you did not waste the glass, you saved some money and you will get used to it not being Starphire soon enough.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:29PM
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The beauty of that gorgeous stone is obscured by that green glass. After spending that kind of money, I would INSIST on replacing it with starphire.
Had it been any other non-white stone, I would live with the green color, not with a sublime white marble.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Really? I think it looks great! And, I don't notice a big difference between looking through the glass and looking at the marble directly (above the glass).

I can't say whether I think $400 was a great enough discount though.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Yes, I can see it but I don't mind it at all. Your stone still looks great. I think you will not notice it soon. It is a lovely bathroom. We all make compromises in love and life...maybe you wont have to make any for a while, after this:)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:20AM
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The questions is will they still change it or once you accepted it are you stuck with the standard glass? I believe that your shower wood look that much more amazing with the starphire(not that it looks bad now as it certainly does not)but you were obviously looking for a certain look and did not end up with it from my point of view.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:04AM
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Maybe I shouldn't have asked! If I replace it, I'm sure I'd have to pay for the entirety of the glass, but I'd hope that I could reuse the chrome hardware (hinges and the trim on the knee wall) to save money. Obviously, I could reuse the $220 handle, but I have no idea how much I'd save with the other hardware. It would probably cost $1200 to replace. The original quote I received was $1600 for Starphire.

Win some and lose some, I guess. It appears I just lost my patience, however. Thanks for the therapy.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:03PM
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You are entirely welcome, that's what we're for.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:30PM
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I think it is the kind of thing that only you would ever notice.
I think it looks absolutely stunning and the stone looks awesome.

I would keep the $400 and do something else nice with it and rest assured that 99.99999% of people who see your bathroom will say WOW look at that! Not 'oh if only there was different glass'.

Seriously - I know how it is when it's yours, but it looks amazing. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Lynne Reno

It looks great, we got regular glass and we are perfectly happy with it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:50PM
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It looks terrific. Only you will notice that it's not starfire. Everyone else will notice that it's a lovely bathroom.

We got regular glass, too. For us, anyway, it was one of those decisions that we agonized over at the time and never thought twice about once the project was done.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Most people won't notice. I have been in on projects where glass was involved, and even though I have given people the option, I am the only one who have ever used it (in my own house) to most people the difference is not worth the extra expense--you are seeing it because you know the difference.

It's still a great looking bathroom.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:07PM
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May I ask what the faucets And other hardware are in your bathroom? I didn't think I liked chrome until I saw your hardware.

This hardware is really nice and personally I have never even heard of star fire glass, so count me as educated today.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Thanks, everyone. Like I said, it looks much more obvious during the nighttime.

As to the hardware. The body sprays are just the regular K-8002's in polished chrome. The shower valves (body spray volume control and thermostatic), shower flange/arm, shower head, shower door handle, tub faucet and valve controls, and the two faucets on the vanity are all Kohler Pinstripe Pure (which is the variety without the pinstripes running on the handles and faucets (if you wanted the stripes, you want regular Pinstripe)) in polished chrome. I got the new Katalyst shower head, which is just a new line Kohler is selling for slightly more money (less than a 15% markup), and it is an aerated shower head that delivers a pretty awesome stream of water. I think they're the best looking cross handles out there. Most are too modern or too nubby/feminine/droopy looking). This line also has a more substantial size. They're expensive, however.

I bought everything online and saved a ton of money; about $1K in savings. You just need to be sure exactly what you need (there are a variety of valves that only mate with certain trim pieces and certain plumbing sizes, and you really need to figure it all out with a professional). I just used Ferguson to tell me what I needed and then bought it elsewhere. I at least got the tub from Ferguson so I wasn't a complete mooch.

If you want to see other pictures of the room/hardware, see below:

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:11PM
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That's a beautiful bathroom, Kevin! I love the bling of your faucets and shower door handle (and the styles too.) And your countertop is still one of my favorites on GW!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Jack Kennedy

Fantastic bath. two questions... what kind of tub and what kind of tub filler?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Tub is Mirabelle Edenton. It's a small footprint, but large interior dimensions. It's 59-3/4"L x 29-3/4"W x 20"H, but the inside dimensions are 44-1/4"L (bottom L) x 19-1/4" (bottom width) and 53-1/2" (top length) x 23-3/4" (top width). Interior depth is 19" (16-1/2" to the overflow drain. Mine is an air bath. You can only get this brand at Ferguson (it's made for them and comes at a pretty good cost savings, compared to Hydrosystems, MTI, and Bain Ultra).

The tub filler is Kohler Pinstripe Pure in polished chrome:

Handles: K-T13141-3A-CP (with which you use the K-302-K-NA, or one of the other similar valves)

Filler: K-13139-A-CP

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Just seeing this. Below is my reply to a recent similar post:

Micro fiber cloths are little miracle workers. I squeegee and wipe down after each use. As for the Starfire, we do not have because I honestly could not see the difference at a friends home. I have truly tried ( silly me) to look hard to see if I made a mistake....I cannot tell the difference looking at MB white and glass tiles or powder room with tan and white tiles...... with door open vs, closed. I'm pretty sensitive to shade variances, but others may have a far sharper eye. Also, I rather like the very slight green cast on the glass itself...somewhat of a spa feel. I see it on the glass, but not reflected on the tiles.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:24PM
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I received a letter from my glass place asking if I was happy with the regular glass and offering to replace it with starphire if I had decided I'd rather spend the $300 that they had credited me for the screw up. I'm taking them up on the offer so that I can put this issue to bed. I'll post new pictures when it's fixed (likely 3 weeks).

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:33PM
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Kevin, in all I honesty I do believe you will be very happy with your decision to switch the glass to the Starphire. No one more question did you have "showerguard" or an equal surface protectant put on the glass?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 7:51AM
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I did not. The glass place told me it was a waste of money because the city water won't give me any problems. And he's right. I squeegee it and it looks brand new right afterwards.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Ok, I tend to agree except in cases of Starphire. As the surface is porous I believe that no matter how well you clean it over time you will still get soap scum and what not in the pores of the glass and that will never come out. I work for a glass shop and sell showers I always offer the "Showerguard" but generally only recommend it very strongly when the customer is using Starphire.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:26AM
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I think that's fantastic that the glass company followed up with you on the Starphire class issue. I'd do exactly what you're doing. $300 is such a small amount in the scheme of things and certainly not worth having any regrets over. I can't wait to see the pictures after it's installed. Your beautiful bathroom will likely be a great example for people who are on the fence about going with Starphire or not... how often do you get to see pictures of two different types of glass in the exact same setting?

Good for you!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:01PM
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I am SO happy that you are switching to starphire. I have agonized over this thread (and its not my shower) :)
I clearly see the green filter on your gorgeous glass and felt bad that others in this thread were urging you to stay with it.

PLEASE post photos when its done to see the clear (pun intended) difference between ordinary and extraordinary !!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Did you get your new shower glass yet? How do you like it?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Should be installed this week. I'll post some new pictures once it's in.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:32PM
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While I'm not sure I would have made the same decision you did (I'm not sold on the Starphire stuff), I'm so glad to hear that the glass shop called and followed up with you! It is very refreshing to hear of good customer service. It's clear that this issue was bothering you and I think you made the right decision for yourself. Can't wait to see new pictures!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:35AM
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It's coming in on Thursday and will be installed Friday afternoon. Hopefully, they ship the right glass this time...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 8:56PM
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