Showerglass - Starphire / ShowerGuard...HELP...so confused

piscesgirlSeptember 10, 2013

We have been pricing around for glass for our frameless glass shower. We are looking at low iron glass and possibly a shower glass protectant. I have received quotes from 6 places.

Low Iron Glass: Is all low iron glass the same? Some places sell Starphire, which as far as I am aware is a brand name. Starphire's website states it "contains as little as 10% of the iron content of regular glass". Is all low-iron glass 10% or are some higher...like 20% iron? Any benefits to going with Starphire versus a non-branded low-iron (other than I guess I know what I am getting)

Shower Glass Protectant: So we are also looking at a shower protectant like ShowerGuard. I have called around and the place that gave us the best price on low-iron glass (which happens to be Starphire) had a $22/sq ft upcharge for ShowerGuard. They said it was this expensive because they have to order the Starphire glass with the Showerguard and it is very expensive. Other places that just used low-iron glass (not Starphire brand) had a $9-$10/sq ft upcharge for ShowerGuard.

So if I compare my lowest price for non-protected low iron glass (the Starphire quote above) and the lowest price with ShowerGuard protectant (low-iron non-Starphire brand glass) we are looking at $630 difference ($15/sq ft). Just wondering if ShowerGuard is worth over $600. Thoughts? If it was a $300 or less I may consider it, but this is a lot more than I expected.

If we are diligent about cleaning the glass will we be ok? Any suggestions? I have never had glass shower doors so I have no clue what to expect.

I talked with the company that had the $22 up-charge. We discussed that we have public water and in this area we have slight/moderate hard water (Philadelphia burbs). They basically said that if we are good about cleaning our shower that the ShowerGuard is not really needed. They said a squeegee doesn't get all the soap off and just makes the glass look clean and clear and that the key is to get the soap residue off and at the end at every shower at the very minimal we should rinse down the glass. They said soap is the catalyst for mildew and stains. They then said to give the shower a good cleaning once a week. They also recommended using a self applied protectant and said we could use Rain-X (which they called the poor mans shower guard).

Does this make sense? I just want to make sure we are not making a huge mistake if we don't go with the ShowerGuard.

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piscesgirl

ok...it gets more confusing. I just talked to another glass company and was told that Starphire Glass (which is made by PPG) does not come with ShowerGuard. That to get ShowerGuard you need to purchase Guardian's low-iron "Ultra-White" glass. I was also told that for the most part the low-iron glass is virtually the same. They said that there is a glass from Europe called "Opti-White" that is even more clear but he wasn't sure he could get it.

All said and done my lowest quote for low-iron glass versus low-iron with ShowerGuard is still $600 different.

Also when I told this company I wanted u-channel he tried to talk me out of it. I said I thought it looked cleaner than the chunky clamps. In his words, "if you like my quote, when I come out to template I am still going to try and talk you out of the u-channel". Am I missing something? I personally don't think the u-channel looks bad at all.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 5:14PM
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millworkman

Email me firsthome, I will try and help you.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:19AM
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jacqueline5

Hi

I'm not the original poster, but I have virtually the same questions about shower glass. Is there a difference between the name brand products and generic low iron? What are the differences in glass protectants? This is a huge investment and money is very tight (forced remodel of marble bathroom due to defect in Newport Brass valve leaking). I don't want to overspend, but we are on a well and despite a water softener, we still get hard water stains.

Thanks!
Jacqueline

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:01PM
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jdougjo

Maybe that are full of it buy my glass guys told me the best thing to do is to buy and apply CRL TPC (Transparent Polymer Coating) Surface Protector. Cost me about $15. Takes a little work to apply the 2 initial coats but seems to do a great job.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:47PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

If you use liquid soap or shower gel and spend 5 seconds squeegeeing it, the glass does not get dirty very fast. We got regular glass, so it is definitely greenish, but since the floor is green slate, we pretend that was deliberate! In a white room, I'd spring for the low-iron glass, but not the coating. (Or try the DIY coating, which I hadn't heard of before.)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:21PM
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jdougjo

Absolutely agree with Lori about the liquid soap and squeegee.

And I think even if you get the factory surface protector you'll want to reapply a refresher periodically. In fact, I was told it may be required for any warranty.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:15PM
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millworkman

jacqueline5, if you would like some advice please feel free to email me and I will do what I can to help you.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:31AM
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