3/8" or 1/2" thick glass on frameless steam shower enclosure?
We have a steam shower that is set into an alcove. The opening is 57" wide x 92" high. We plan on having a door in the center, with fixed panels on each side, and venting transom glass over the door to let steam out. The website for our GC's glass guy says that 28" x 72" is the standard door size, but that sounds narrow so I might ask for 30" to match our room doors.
The bid is $1875 for 3/8" low-iron glass, or we can have 1/2" low-iron glass for $150 more. The price difference isn't huge, so if 1/2" is really better, I'll pay for it.
Old posts mention 1/2" as having better stability for the fixed panels, but it also adds to the weight of the door. I know some people use 1/2" on the fixed panels and 3/8" for the door, but I think the difference would drive me nuts. I am going for a sleek, modern look. (The side walls of the shower are covered in large sheets of 1/8" thick Kerlite with no grout lines.)
We also have to choose between clips and U channel (bid was for clips -- I believe U is cheaper because of less glass cutting). The original design called for the U channel to be "buried" in the mud with tile butting up on each side of the channel to mostly hide it. I thought the hidden U would be a lot less visible than clips. The installer went too far with the mud bed, so now the channel would sit on top of the mud with only the 1/8" thick Kerlite hiding the side of the 3/4" deep U channel. My designer thinks they should use a shallower 1/2" deep U channel so only 3/8" will show, but there is some debate over whether that will be sturdy enough.