When designing a glass shower there are numerous properties you can consider such as different tints, and sizes, but what you should be considering above anything else is the thickness.
The thickness of the glass you use is key to the strength and durability of your shower door; choose a thinner glass and you could be replacing it sooner than you’d hoped.
When it comes to frameless garage doors and enclosures the thickness is even more critical. The glass must be strong enough to support itself without a frame. This is why thickness is one of the first decisions made when designing an enclosure, as this affects many of the decisions such as hardware use to support it.
Typical glass door thickness
Glass doors and enclosures typically come in 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ thickness.
1/4″ is used for single-pane, framed shower doors.
3/8″ is the more common, budget friendly option. This thickness is typically used for frameless glass doors which open and close. As this thickness is slightly lighter, it puts less pressure on the door hinges and may mean they are able to operate better for longer.
1/2″ is the standard for static shower enclosures and offers greater durability. It is most commonly used to give off a more premium look. 1/2″ is the same thickness you will find in commercial glass storefronts.
How much can thickness support?
When it’s not possible or desired to hinge to a wall, glass thickness is even more crucial as it is then used to support the weight of the glass door.
- For 3/8″ thick glass: two hinges can support a maximum of 80 lbs and door width of 28″. Three hinges can carry a maximum of 120 lbs and 34″
- For 1/2“ thick glass: two hinges can support a maximum of 80 lbs and door width of 26″. Three hinges can carry a maximum of 120 lbs and 30″ door width.
Glass showers are commonly made using tempered glass which is much safer in the event of a breakage.