Friday, November 14, 2014

How Does Glass Thickness Effect the Quality of a Shower Enclosure?

How Does Glass Thickness Effect the Quality of a Shower Enclosure?

Shower enclosures these days are available in a variety of glass thickness. Does the thickness of glass necessarily effect the overall quality or safety of a glass shower enclosure?

In the last few years we have seen shower glass thickness increase from around 3mm up to 10mm in some products. All glass used in the construction of shower enclosures for sale in the UK must have Toughened Safety Glass fitted as standard. This is regardless of the country of manufacture and is intended to reduce the risk of injury should the glass be broken or shattered in any way. Toughened safety glass (also known as tempered glass) is a form of glass treatment which will ensure the broken glass in a smashed glass shower pane will not break into sharpe fragments. Instead it will literally shatter into thousands of very small pieces without the cutting ability of non treated glass. This is not to say that a shattered glass unit cannot cause injury, only that it is much more unlikely to do so.

Many people think that the actual thickness of the glass is a direct indicator of its safety. This is not the case in the UK as all showers will have toughened safety glass which shatters in the same way regardless of thickness.

However, is the thickness an indicator of quality?
Well, in terms of actual 'feel' and movement, the thicker glass showers do have a more weighted feel. Sliding doors for example may wobble a little with use when constructed using 3 or 4mm glass. Whilst a 6 or 8mm glass sliding shower door might be more solid and move less when opened or closed. This is not to say that the glass is of any better quality itself, only that the movement of opening shower doors may benefit by using a thicker glass. Another factor that will increase the solid feel of a moving shower door is its hinges or sliding mechanism. As thicker glass means an increase in weight, it stands to reason that the mechanisms used to move the shower doors need to be more heavy duty in construction than those needed for thinner glass. This will also help to give a thicker glass shower door better 'feel' in its opening and closing action.


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