If you look at any newly built or modern home, you’ll notice one thing about the bathroom shower doors – they’re frameless. A quick trip down the timeline will give you a snapshot of their history, how they came to be, and why people love them so much.
History of Frameless Shower Doors
Glass shower doors didn’t become popular until the early 1960s. Frameless glass became possible with the invention of tempered glass (which was much more durable and therefore safer than standard glass) but these large panes of glass required a metal frame to add stiffness and stability. Prior to that, most people bathed in tubs and used a fabric curtain for privacy. Then, it wasn’t until the invention of heavy glass in the early 1970s that frameless glass shower doors became available. They were rare and mainly found in upper class homes. Fast forward to the turn of the century and heavy glass finally made its way into the mainstream. By 2010, it was not uncommon to see heavy glass shower doors in new homes and used to update older homes in remodeling projects.
What Is Heavy Glass?
Shower doors used to be made of thin and flexible glass. They required a metal frame for support and safety. Heavy glass is significantly thicker (3/8” to 1/2” thick). Because they are thicker, “heavier”, and more rigid, they can stand alone without flexing and breaking. There is no wiggling when they are opened and closed. But there are plenty of other reasons you’ll love heavy glass shower doors:
Framed Shower Doors Look Dated
If your goal is to update your bathroom, installing framed shower doors is like taking a step back in time – the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. Heavy glass shower doors will create a sleek, modern look and will keep it looking current for the next decade or two. But that’s not the only advantage.
Less Hardware Provides a Sleeker Look
Unlike thin glass doors, heavy glass doors need much less hardware. Instead of a frame all the way around them, all that is required is simple clips, handles, and channels. Minimal hardware almost makes the doors disappear from a design standpoint. This is also beneficial if you have upgraded your tile work. Now it is clearly on display and it becomes the focus, not the hardware.
Frameless Shower Doors Make Bathrooms Feel Bigger
Heavy glass doors will give your bathroom more of a modern look but that is not the biggest impact they have. Installing heavy glass will give an open feeling and actually make the bathroom seem bigger than before. The lack of a frame really opens the space up visually and can make cramped rooms feel more open and average size bathrooms feel spacious. The smaller the room, the bigger the impact.
Heavy Glass Shower Doors Are Easier to Clean
Frameless designs also make cleaning a breeze. No more gunky, moldy tracks to try to get into. There is less mold, mildew, and even fewer water spots because the smooth surface of the glass doesn’t provide anywhere for them to accumulate.
If you’re updating your bathroom, we highly recommend heavy glass shower doors. We have many beautiful styles to choose from. Give us a call and we can help you decide which ones work best for your remodel or addition. We can also custom design a shower enclosure to fit your space perfectly.