Shower Door Glass Thickness Matters

Mark BalabanAll Blogs, Frameless Shower Doors

Glass shower design isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You can get custom shower glass doors in a wide range of glass sizes, types and tints, but what you really want to focus on first is glass thickness. Think you can get by with lightweight, thinner doors? Sure, you can, but you’ll end up replacing them more often. Here’s what you need to consider if you want your glass shower design to go the distance.

Important Components of Glass Shower Design

Shower Glass Panel

As a general rule, a stationary shower glass panel is made out of ½ inch glass. However, for a door that opens and closes, it’s best to use 3/8-inch glass. It’s not about making the shower door thinner; it’s actually making the panel thicker.


Custom shower glass doors rely on hinges that are strong enough to support ½ inch glass. But when only 3/8 inch glass is used for the door, you’ll find that the hinges operate better, easier and longer. Why? It’s simply because they’re not taxed or burdened to their limits.

Hinging to a Wall

Many times, because of a variety of circumstances, the shower door cannot be hinged to a wall, which is generally the best way to support the weight. When this is the case, a professional shower door installer will typically hinge the door off another shower glass panel. Making the shower glass panel thicker, heavier and stronger will effectively support the weight of the door. This way, the door will open and close with ease, and there will be no extra stress on the hardware.

Tempered Glass

Glass shower design is typically made with tempered glass, given its safety value. It‘s made by heating flat glass to approach its softening temperature and quickly chilling it with cold air. This process produces highly desirable conditions of induced stress and results in additional strength, resistance to thermal stress and impact resistance. This means it will never break into sharp, jagged edges, but rather, it forms small oval pebbles.

Decorative Elements

If you’d like to include a decorative accent strip on the inside of your shower walls, select one that does not have heavily textured or severe raises in the finished surface. It’s important to make certain these elements aren’t placed in areas where edges of the glass would come into contact. These types of applications can adversely affect placement of the custom glass shower doors and the type of hinges used.


It only takes one moment for a shower glass panel or door to break or shatter. If you build custom shower glass doors RIGHT from the beginning, they’ll be safer and will last longer no matter how often the shower is used on a daily basis. When you choose to save a bit of money by choosing thinner glass, you’re actually putting your safety at risk.

If you’re renovating your existing bathroom shower or starting from scratch, your best bet is to reach out to a professional shower door installer. Rather than selecting the pieces on your own, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your shower glass door thickness and other elements are not only beautiful, but also safe.