What Is the Best Shower Door Glass Thickness?

At Handymantips.org, we know that choosing the right shower door comes down to glass thickness, and you do have a choice to make the most of any small bathroom! The thickness of your shower door glass matters everything because it defines the appearance and longevity of your bath. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional bathroom installer for a quality installation.

bathroom with glass shower doors

In this guide, we provide you with details regarding shower compartments, which will help you to select the right thickness for your bathroom.

Standard Glass Door thickness options (Framed & Frameless)

It is a laborious task to create such shower doors whose thickness is enough to both maintain the appearance and structural integrity. Glass doors must be light enough so that we could mount them on a wall. Majorly, most bathroom fitters use two thickness pairs from the range available, depending on the specifics of the particular bathroom and shower glass doors, comment experts from the My Handyman Services. The experts list four options:

  • 1/4″
  • 3/8″
  • 1/2″
  • 3/4″

Size Thickness Comparison Chart

Common or not, just as with standard door sizes, the fact is that we come across different products, that fall but are not limited to the following thickness chart:

Thickness: Strength: Price:
5 mm ~ 3/16″ Minimum Cheapest
6.4 mm ~ 1/4″ Acceptable Budget
8 mm ~ 5/16″ Acceptable Budget​​
9.5 mm ~ 3/8” Stable Affordable
12.7 mm ~ 1/2″ Robust Costly
14.3 mm ~ 9/16″ Solid Costly
16 mm ~ 5/8″ Solid Costly
17.46 mm ~ 11/16″ Heavy Costly
19 mm ~ 3/4″ Heavy Costly
21.4 mm ~ 27/32″ Heavy Costly

3/16” Glass

The minimum possible. Risky. Usually used for smaller doors.

1/4” Glass

It offers a slightly sturdier feel compared to its thinner companion. It’s widely used for being the most budget-friendly option.

5/16”

A standard widely used throughout home stores.

3/8” Glass

We consider it as the standard minimum thickness of the shower door glass, which is efficient to provide stability. It is enough to prove the efficient soundness of the glass door. You can get it at affordable prices. It is easy to install and maintain.

1/2“ Glass

It is thicker than 3/8” glass, as it is more substantial. It is expensive, so you should buy it if you are not low on budget. It provides a better opulent feel and structural soundness.

9/16“  Glass

A non-standard size that is nevertheless sturdy and reliable.

5/8“ Glass

Again, non-standard thickness. Like the rest of the less popular, it comes to availability.

11/16“  Glass

Another less-common standard you could come across open showrooms.

3/4“ Glass

Among the extreme in thickness, this is heavy glass that can withstand quite the hit and shake.

27/32“  Glass

There are very few things that can damage or lift glass blocks of such thickness.

So, the most common question is:

3/8 vs 1/2 glass shower door

Basically, the bigger the glass you install, the heavier, sturdier, and more expensive.

Hire Professional Bathroom Fitters

You can equip a bathroom yourself, but you must hire a professional to get a shower door properly installed on your property. Only an expert will suggest the right shower door thickness and fit it so mold doesn’t get through the fugue. It is because skillful tradesmen can determine how much weight-bearing ability your wall can take. Professional bathroom fitters know the thickness of your glass door according to the weight that could be handled by the surrounding wall, say specialists at Soak Bathrooms. If you install heavy glass doors on weak walls, it can cause serious damage and result in wasting your money too. Bathroom fitting experts make sure that the right thickness per type of glass door.

glass types for glass shower doors

Read: Best Hower Buying Guide.

Source: Etodoors glass doors.

Professional tradesmen also measure the height of the glass doors before installing them.

What is Your Best Types of Shower Glass?

You should select the type of shower glass before getting one installed in your bathroom. You must know about two major types of shower glass, i.e. tempered shower glass and laminated shower glass:

Laminated Shower Glass

It is considered a glass sandwich because it is made up of many glass plies with the interlayer of vinyl. It is helpful in blocking the transmission of UV light. When laminated shower glass breaks, it breaks into large, sharp pieces that could cause injury.

Tempered Shower Glass

It is preferred by many professionals to use tempered glass for your bathroom shower door. It is because it is stronger than laminated shower glass. It breaks into small pieces when something hits it. So, these small pieces of glass are less likely to cause damage or injury than non-tempered ones.

Shower Enclosure Style

The shower enclosure style plays a vital role in the thickness of the shower door glass. So, you should select the enclosure style according to your needs, requirements, and preferences. The common shower enclosure styles are:

Semi-Frameless Shower Enclosures

It is a style in which one or more glass panels are featured. It means that it includes some framed panels and the door will remain frameless. It showed that there is no framing in between. This closure style does not require very thick glass which could save you money.

Frameless Shower Enclosures

There is no frame in this enclosure style of the door. Hardware is used for replacing the framing of the door. “The pieces of glass are joined using the hardware which is helpful for the door to operate. Its not that easy,” comments Shower Doors by TJ. “But looks pretty good in the end. In this case, the glass needs to be heavier and thicker than normal glass to provide efficient structural integrity,” experts add.

Framed Shower Enclosures

It is a common shower enclosure style that consists of framed shower doors. Metal is used for the purpose of framing all four corners of the glass panels. Structural integrity is provided with the help of framing. So, for this purpose, you need thinner glass than usual. It will also save you money.

Prioritize Safety

As we know, the thickness of the glass door matters to budgets, but so does safety, too. It does not take time for a shower door glass to break. And when it breaks, all the pieces of the glass shatter on the floor. These pieces of glass can be dangerous for you and your family and can cause injury. So, you should not sacrifice your safety just to get a glass shower door installed in your house to make your bathroom attractive. If you really want to install one, you must install a frameless shower door. It is because it is safer than other types of shower doors. It is also long-lasting and durable. No doubt, it is more expensive than others but if you buy cheap ones which are thin, you may have to pay medical bills later. So, you should not risk the health of you and your loved ones.

Prefer Choice: Tempered Glass

The use of tempered glass is mostly preferred for your bathroom shower door. No doubt, it is the most popular and famous material in the modern era for shower doors. It not only adds value to your bathroom but is also safer than other types of glasses. When tempered glass gets broken, it does not break into sharp pieces. It is because it is heated to make it soft and when it gets broken, it shatters into smaller pieces. Oval-shaped pebbles shatter on the floor. Tempered glass is available in different styles as it is one of the decorative items for your bathroom. You must hire a professional to get it installed in your bathroom efficiently.

Glass Maintenance

When it comes to good property improvements and bathrooms, condensation is common since bathrooms are usually moist and humid in nature. Without proper ventilation or maintenance, condensation can lead to permanent watermarks on your glass. If your bathroom has a proper ventilation system installed, condensation might not be much of a concern. However, for those who have bathrooms in their basements, condensation can be a big problem and can cause permanent watermarks. A good way to keep your shower glass in mint condition is by regularly cleaning your bathroom and shower. Simply use a squeegee and a microfiber towel to wipe the water down and keep your shower glass dry.

Helpful Guides:

Conclusion

You should select the right thickness for your shower door glass. ½” thickness of the glass door is preferred. But the thickness highly depends upon the closure style of the door. It also depends upon your needs and preferences along with your budget. You should consider your safety while getting a shower door glass installed in your bathroom because if damaged, that’s not only a commodity and budget hit, but you also have to recycle where possible or dispose of appropriately.


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