Design Planning for Frameless Custom Glass Shower Doors

To make the most of a remodel project that replaces a framed shower with frameless custom glass shower doors requires planning carefully from the beginning. Your Image Glass design specialist can work with you and your contractor to ensure that every aspect is considered down to the smallest detail. To prepare for that initial design meeting, here are some design planning aspects that you should be prepared to discuss.



Planning Size, Shape, Door Swing and Location

Shower size and shape impact a frameless enclosure’s effectiveness in managing water splash. It’s common for our design specialist to recommend at least 42” in depth and 48” in width for the enclosure. Neo-angled showers will require a larger footprint that is at least 54”x 54” minimum. Smaller frameless shower enclosures will inherently have water retention problems, so the overall size of the bathroom and how much space you can devote to the shower is critical.

The layout and footprint also heavily impact the door location s building codes require the doors to open outwards. That means that you will need adequate swing room based on the size and placement of the frameless custom glass shower doors. The minimum consideration should be door widths from 28” to 36” wide for single doors and double doors where wider access is desired.

User convenience is always a prime consideration, so plan the door location for easy reach to shower controls as you open the door. Water management considerations include placing the shower head where it doesn’t directly spray onto the door. Ceiling heights from the shortest to the tallest must be considered as well.

To keep this in perspective to the custom shower doors, Shower glass should be at equal or greater height than the shower head. Surround and architectural features may impact the final height for the shower doors. Keep in mind that steam enclosures require glass to go all the way to the ceiling or to a soffit. Water and steam will require this area to be tiled or made of other water-proof material.

Design Considerations (glass, hardware, finishes, ease of use)

Most frameless glass enclosures use tempered 3/8” glass, but for taller enclosures 1/2” thick glass is a better choice. While some homeowners will want the clearest glass possible, others will prefer some type of texture such as frosted glass or etched glass. Today’s glass choices range from transparent, almost invisible glass to frosted pattern design and neutral designs for privacy. Custom sandblasted designs are available to further personalize your space.

Hardware is more than an aesthetic consideration as it also affects the functionality of the shower in numerous ways. Their placement should be considered in the early design phase.

Build Considerations (surfaces, wall angles curb tilt)

Solid surface materials are a given wherever glass is attached such as horizontal planes where smooth surfaces eliminate grout lines that can collect water. Your Image Glass design specialist will work with your footprint to ensure that all wall surfaces intersect with the glass planes at a 90-degree angle. This is especially important in neo-angle showers. Other considerations include shower drain tilt as well as shower seats and benches have a slight tilt to shed water toward the drain.

At Image Glass, our designers and glass installation experts understand all aspects of how to create the type of shower enclosure that you envision. The goal is to ensure your satisfaction and safety today and tomorrow. To learn more about how the Image Glass team can help you to achieve beauty, efficiency, safety, and comfort with each installation, call us at 732-438-8551 to speak to one of our glass specialists.


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