Breaking Glass Shower Doors & EnclosuresBy Mark Meshulam
Breaking glass shower doors in the news…
There has been news coverage lately about breaking glass shower doors and enclosures. Here are two, both of which included yours truly as a quoted resource:
Recent news stories on this subject from CBS (left) and ABC (right) quoted Chicago Window Expert.
Thank you CBS and ABC!
Whereas TV news is obliged to hurry up and hit the high points of a story, your Chicago Window Expert can take his sweet time and discuss breaking glass shower doors at length. There is nobody telling him to talk fast because the commercial is fast approaching. Now you can get the full story.
With that introduction, let’s get in the shower together and look around.
I have been involved with three separate matters in which glass shower doors or enclosures have “spontaneously” broken, often while surprised, defenseless, naked people have been inside. All three of these breaking glass shower door matters involved hotels where multiples of such events occurred.
You can imagine the shock experienced by a bathing hotel guest who suddenly finds herself standing barefooted in a sea of shattered glass. While you are busy imagining that, try imagining the chagrin of a hotel manager who works hard to create a positive guest experience, only to find that his nude guest was pelted with sharp broken glass while in the upscale tub enclosure.
All in all, this is a bad situation. A bit of knowledge can reduce the chances of this occurring, and that is what I am here for.
So what causes glass in shower doors and enclosures to suddenly shatter? It’s a number of things, and these things can interact with one another. So if you are looking for a sound bite to explain this phenomenon, take your ADHD tuchas to the top of this page and see what the networks have to say.
Tempered glass shower and tub doors and enclosures
Glass shower doors and enclosures are made from tempered glass. This is because in 1977, due to many horrific* glass injuries, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC – an agency of the Federal Government) mandated that their Safety Standard for Architectural Glazing Materials, 16 CFR Part 1201 become the law of the land.
In the 16 CFR 1201 standard, the highest standard for strength (Category II) was applied to;
- Shower doors and enclosures
- Bathtub doors and enclosures
- Sliding glass doors
- Storm doors that contain any piece of glazing material greater than 9 sf
- Doors that contain any piece of glazing material greater than 9 sf
Tempered glass is defined by the CPSC as, “a piece of specially heat treated or chemically treated glass that cannot be cut, drilled, ground, or polished after treatment without fracture. When fractured at any point, if highly tempered, the entire piece breaks into small particles.” This renders the particles far safer than those of annealed or heat strengthened glass.
So if your shower door breaks and you are nearby, be thankful to the CPSC for enacting 16 CFR 1201. Without this or similar regulations**, your injuries could have been much more serious because the glass shards would have been much more large and dangerous.
Why does tempered glass break in small pieces?
I’m glad you asked. Tempered glass is glass that has been subjected to the tempering process after it was originally formed at a float glass plant.
In the float glass plant, the glass first becomes glass by melting a series of powders including silica sand at high temperatures and “floating” it out on a bed of molten tin to the desired thickness. Farther down the line, the ribbon of glass is slowly cooled, or annealed, to reduce and unify internal stresses in the glass. The glass is then cut into large sheets, crated and shipped to other factories.
These secondary factories perform additional fabrications to the glass such as cutting, drilling, edge polishing, tempering or heat strengthening, coating and insulating. So when the CPSC and other agencies require tempering, this is done at secondary facilities that specialize in tempering. These are known as “tempering plants” or factories with “tempering lines”.
Tempered glass for shower doors and enclosures must be cut to size, edge polished, drilled where holes are necessary before the glass goes into the tempering oven because once it is tempered, there can be no further fabrications. Any further fabrication will bring breakage, as the CPSC definition states.55 Comments
55 Responses to “Breaking Glass Shower Doors & Enclosures”
I really liked your article on tempered glass in shower doors. The “reputation” that tempered glass is obtaining, not just for shower doors but glass balustrades, glass handrails, canopies, etc. is both changing and expanding at a rapid rate.
Attached is a recent article on glass balustrades that was sent to me from one of our engineers in Milwaukee. I wonder what you think about the impact of widespread fabrication techniques in glass and how not all suppliers follow the rules laid out in the ASTM and AGMA guidelines.
Again, great article. You should find someone better looking to do the video on the shower door explanation for more “hits” ( hahaha)
Excellent research and report.
Tom Paris November 1st, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Nice work and tone.
Well made, well produced and very informative , Mark. Good job.
Thanks for reading and writing!
When it comes to railings, no matter how good the glass, the fabrication and the hardware, the glass can still break by
impact and leave a fall hazard. With a filmed or laminated product, this risk is minimized or eliminated.
As for finding someone better looking for the video, you said you were busy!
S.S. in Skokie, IL November 2nd, 2012 at 10:27 am
Thank you for spreading the word about the dangers of glass shower doors, and guiding people to the safest practices.
My mother has drilled this thinking into my head all my life, ever since her friend lost a loved one in a shower door accident.
This friend’s father was taking a shower as usual, but this one time he slipped in the tub. As he fell, he somehow hit the shower door. It shattered, and by the time his wife got to the bathroom, he had bled to death. A horrible loss for his family.
So grateful that you are helping to prevent this from happening to anyone else!
– S.S. in Skokie, Illinois
Too bad I didn’t have this info 20 years ago when my shower door and its replacement shattered! Lol.
Fiona Hiron November 10th, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Spontaneous failure of toughened glass is common in all sorts of glazing configurations. Break characteristics of this glass type mean that once broken there is a totally integrity failure where all the glass leaves the frame. As a window film company we often work in care homes and hotels fitting anti shatter safety film to shower screens because of this very problem. Although this film will not necessary stop the glass from breaking, it will help to contain the glass and hold it together so that is does not fall on the occupant of the shower.
Fiona, I believe we will be seeing more and more acceptance of retrofitted films used to hold broken glass together. Have we arrived at any acceptance of this strategy by code/trade organizations?
Fiona Hiron November 10th, 2012 at 1:32 pm
n the UK the safety film we use modifies glass to safe breakage in conformity with EN12600 2b.
Fernando Pulmano November 10th, 2012 at 1:33 pm
Heat soaking for frameless shower enclosures is not highly recommended considering the cost of heatsoaked glass. You could reduce only the occurrence of spontaneous breakage but how about the other factors that will result for glass breakage. (i.e: glass processing defects & installation defects). Safety film could be used but must be applied first prior for the installation of hinges/hardwares & to ensure that the film clamped also by the hinges.
Niels Christian Nielsen November 10th, 2012 at 1:33 pm
Glass in shower enclosures is governed by product standard EN14428 here in Europe. There is however a loop hole in the EN12150 standard for thermally toughened soda lime silicate glass in that it is only applicable for flat glass and not bent glass. So by making shower enclosures with bent glass you can effectivly bypass the EN12500 – not ideal.
I very much appreciate your information on European standards.
Here in the US I don’t think we have a code-accepted way to add film to annealed glass so that it qualifies as safety glass. Anyone with experience on this, please join in.
Fernando. I agree that heat soaking only filters our NiS inclusions and does nothing for impacts and damages that occur post-tempering and your comment about applying the film to the whole piece of glass is right-on.
Niels, thanks for bringing to our attention the curved glass exclusion. We in the glass industry need to be vigilant for situations where public safety is threatened especially when not addressed by codes and standards.
walied kassab November 10th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Dear all, with respect to all mentioned above, first heat soaking is to minimize the percentage of glass breakage due to availability of Ni sulfide in glass but not prevent it which means we can’t guarantee 100 % that this case will not happen. Second, safety film is one way to hold glass during breakage but this depends on glass thickness. Take in your consideration also that you installed that film via self glue with water. Even the detergent used in bath may start to remove the film from the glass surface itself. Client should replace it from time to time which means big cost with time.
Best way is to laminated safety glass 2 X 5mm and professional hardware that can carry the load for that panel so in case of breakage it will stay in its position and will not harm the person who uses it, even kids. In case the client didn’t like the look of 2 glass pane laminated together the weather sealing can be applied as water proofing.
Andrew Shafran November 10th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
I would add that using Heat Strengthened or fully tempered laminated glass would achieve the optimal results of increased psi strength and anti-shatter properties. Heat Strengthened or even annealed lami would be preferable as the panels will remain more rigid in the event of failure. The added plus is the ability to include decorative inter layers to enhance the appearance of the enclosure.
Patric Isacson November 14th, 2012 at 8:38 am
Try to look in to safety film that is used to hold glass together if it breaks.
Breakage is probably due to toughed glass and that is quite a common problem.
Jianjun Yang November 14th, 2012 at 8:38 am
It must be the spontaneous breaking of tempered glass, which is a common sense to many glass manufacturers. To minimize this breakage, the tempered glass must be heat soak tested before release from the factory. But this requires extra cost to do so!
Adrian Dunevein November 14th, 2012 at 8:39 am
Its got to be the edge of the glass making contact with the fasteners. Perhaps rubber spacer blocks were not installed to maintain clearance between the screws and the glass.
Todd Elozory November 14th, 2012 at 8:40 am
Nice article. You covered almost all of the issues I was contemplating.
One you didn’t discuss, thermal stress, can contribute to the potential for breakage, especially if there was already stress in the fabricated areas.
The old manual or semi-automatic hole drilling can stress the glass by using the wrong type tool, the wrong feed rate and the wrong speed on the drill. The microscopic fissures can cause the glass to break in the quench. Viewing the tempered glass through a polarized lens and you’ll see some of the stressed areas.
The advent of CNC high speed drilling allows controlled to the speeds and feeds. The tools are matched to the fabrication process, and cooled with automatic flooding of the area. The alignment issue also goes away with the more advanced equipment.
For managers that are trying to lessen the probability of breakage, maintaining what they have in place by doing exactly what you advised. A reasonable and prudent manager, that had multiple incidents, would call an expert.
These days, it seems that there are far fewer tempered glass door fabricators that fabricate manually. There may be those facilities that allow the glazier to fabricate his own glass, for tempered only orders, but many are pricing the service higher to discourage the practice.
Mike Goodrick November 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am
Spontaneous breaking of tempered glass, is quit common put tension it into any thing releasing it can be quit interesting. I agree to minimize this breakage, the tempered glass can be heat soak and tested at the factory before installation. This brings the risk of breakage way down. As heat soaking become more popular the cost will come down but all quality has a cost!
Todd Elozory November 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am
I disagree with the assertion that spontaneous breakage is quite common. The term “spontaneous breakage” is misleading. Many of the instances of “spontaneous breakage” are in actuality delayed breakage from stress. Those stresses can be created by any of the issues Mark outlined in his article. Although nickel sulphide contamination does occur, the float facilities are very conscientious of the issues and take precautions to eliminate the contamination.
Jianjun Yang November 14th, 2012 at 8:42 am
Well, I found the articles at last and it was a nice job, Mark!! I ‘d like to add one more comment on spontaneous breaking: not only can NiS stone cause breaking but other stones, like Silicon or Sapphire, do the same. I collected many butterfly particles over last decade and only 1/3 of them were identified NiS, the rest were Silicon or Al2O3 stuff. My conclusion is any impurity formed in hard stones in tension zones with diameter over 200 microns are most likely to cause glass to spontaneously break during service, in addition to mechanical edge damages. It is not difficult to tell the difference between spontaneous breakage caused by embedded stones and mechanical breaking caused by imapct, before disposal of broken glass
Mike Goodrick November 14th, 2012 at 8:43 am
Todd we process 30,000 units a week and for what ever reason mostly material impurities some processing batch problems “spontaneous breakage” is quite common 5 % to 6% is common to us! Some manufacturers are having a lot more problems with new product than is commonly known. Heat soaking reduces breakage in the field,
Todd Elozory November 14th, 2012 at 8:44 am
Mike 5-6% is a lot of breakage. Are you catching it in the heat soaking? The additional cost to heat soak test would be even higher if it caused a loss of 5-6% of production. That is interesting. Spontaneous implies there is no cause for the breakage, where as the proximate cause of the breakage is seemingly defined by impurities. Which float producer is the worst offender?
Denise Blust November 14th, 2012 at 8:44 am
This is a very interesting article, and definitely helps us on the installation end to make sure we are doing everything we can to limit breakage. Knock on wood, but we have very little, and I agree with Todd in that we see very little “spontaneous breakage”. Usually somebody did something they weren’t supposed to! Mark, I’d like to add a page to my website referencing this information if that would be okay with you?
Mike Goodrick November 14th, 2012 at 8:45 am
Todd yes it is seemingly defined by impurities. Which float producer I will let you know privately as we still have to use them we do get 80% credit. And 30-20 higher end heat soak.
Was out of town on assignment and too busy to check this thread but now I am back and gratified to see so much interest and activity on this topic. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
Some responses to individuals:
Denise, thanks for your comments and feel free to link to the article from your website. This goes for anyone else who wants to link.
Mike and Todd, being in the UK and Bermuda respectively, are you seeing variations in float glass purity based on country of origin? Any general comments on which countries are better and worse? (I hope this question is not considered offensive to some readers, and I apologize in advance if it is.)
Jianjun, thanks very much for pointing out the other types of glass impurities. I had to dig deep to find a study on silicon inclusions and this is the first time I have heard about sapphire.If you have pictures of breakage patterns of these, I would be very happy to post them at the article with credit to you.
Chris Hogg November 16th, 2012 at 3:54 pm
I have been in the glass industry since 1967 and have never seen spontaneous breakage of toughened glass. I have seen a very few breakages from inclusions but most breakages I have seen have been caused by ‘external’ factors. Bad handling, poor edgework, glass to metal contact etc etc.
Good quality float glass has a low incidence of inclusions and I would worry if I was getting 5% ‘spontaneous’ breakage from my production.
Todd Elozory November 16th, 2012 at 4:53 pm
Mark I am a project manager in Bermuda. I have seen no “spontaneous breakage” since I’ve been in Bermuda. My previous experience, we were losing glass in the quench, but not all because of float impurities. We tempered float from almost all of the melters.
I have purchased tempered glass from Columbia, China and other countries over the years. There is no discernible difference in the quality of the shower door products. Last year I did ESPN’s Superbowl portable soundstage. The 1/2″ tempered lites were roughly 60″ x 132″. I chose to buy the glass from Columbia, SA. The quality was excellent.
I had a conversation with Rischer Hall about “spontaneous breakage” some years ago. He felt the occurrence was very rare. His idea “something was the proximate cause of the stress that eventually made the glass break”. He sited the damage done by a bird in flight, the bird hits the glass, falls to the ground and a cat takes the bird. The glass breaks and falls to the ground. There is no apparent cause – must be spontaneous breakage.
Bert Weiss November 17th, 2012 at 12:35 pm
Mark, I read your article and find it an excellent description of the glass and it’s properties and issues. I have one question. You mention that the glass is 1300ºF. In my business I kilncast 10mm glass to give it a decorative texture. I then take it to a tempering factory for tempering. I have had the good fortune to observe the tempering line at work. When the glass exits the heating chamber, there is an overhead optical pyrometer that reads the temperature of the traveling glass. It reads 600ºC (1112ºF). From my testing, I know that float glass begins to change shape at 1100ºF. So this temperature makes a great deal of sense to me. It is just soft enough to begin to change. The temperature nuances are critical to my understanding of how the glass works. I get it that that temperature is not critical to understanding the process.
I have been experimenting re-fusing broken tempered glass, to make art objects. This glass behaves strangely to me. There seem to be quite a bit more internal stresses in it than when working with sheet glasses.
Paul Bastianen November 18th, 2012 at 11:02 am
I disagree with Chris Hogg, it’s know by nickel sulphide inclusion leads to spontaneous breakage of toughened glass and glass industry calculate with 7%. I have seen it in façades, sport centres (during the night without any reason of stress). That’s the reason Europe has in its EN norms the heat soak test as standard, which is a semblance security, because 3% breaks spontaneous still. Balcony and roof glazing I would always go for laminated and depending of stress load chosen for heat strengthened of full tempered glass use. why not for showers, most for the obvious reason is money, single tempered is much more cheaper the laminated-tempered, but more save, also by any breakage for personal injury.
Todd Elozory November 18th, 2012 at 11:03 am
What is a reasonable amount of protection from injury? The end user, the developer/hotel owner has to decide what the acceptable risk should be. The use of monolithic tempered in showers seems to meet the expectations of the general public. If the injuries sustained became problematic, the economic impact on the hotels would cause the issue to be addressed.
The seemingly “spontaneous” failures “at night”, “no-one around”, “un-occupied rooms” may all be delayed reactions to earlier mishandling of the glass. see the article linked below:
Bert Weiss November 18th, 2012 at 11:04 am
How exactly is a heat soak test conducted?
We know that microstarts on the edge, from wheel cutting, or caused by drilling or sawing defects can cause the glass to fail in the quench. Do these flaws show up as possible causes for spontaneous destruction, or only at the quench?
Todd Elozory November 18th, 2012 at 11:05 am
Bert I think that some of the stresses that the cutting, drilling, sawing, etc. create can survive the quench process. Overtime the glass may be subjected to additional stress that literally pushes it to the breaking point. It may seem “spontaneous”, but the failure might really the result of the initial stress.
Here is a link to Guardian’s Heat Soak Testing description:
Interesting to note, both the article form USGlass and Guardian’s site state the HST is not 100%.
You might think of heat soaking as an accelerated aging test where destruction indicates failure. It will do a reasonable job of filtering out initial flaws, including inclusions but it is powerless to address events that occur in the future.
With products, such as shower doors and balcony railings, that function in a dynamic environment, especially with edges exposed, I don’t think we will see a time where a form of lamination will not be needed to hold the pieces together for safety.
If any of the variations of lamination are used, it would then probably be the most cost effective solution to forego the heat soaking in favor of the lamination.
Todd Elozory November 20th, 2012 at 7:53 am
Mark, if I am reading your comment above correctly, I think the popularity of exposed edge designs will limit the use of laminated products. The exposure of the interlayers to the environment set-up potential delimitation issues. The fabrication of the component tempered lites can create alignment problems during the laminating process. Not to mention the price difference.
Chris Hogg November 20th, 2012 at 7:54 am
Its a question of semantics. If Nickel Sulphide or any other inclusion creates the breakage
then it is not spontaneous.
I have also seen toughened glass broken in strange circumstances but not always found the
Whilst Heat Soaking has an EN Standard its is not mandatory. It is also worth mentioning that the thicker the glass the greater the post installation problem risk. Inclusions in thinner glass more often than not cause breakage in the toughening process.
I agree with Paul on using laminated Heat Strengthened to give a slightly stronger composite glass but I believe that impact loads, preventing water ingress, weight and overall thickness are just as problematical as cost.
Chris Hogg November 20th, 2012 at 7:55 am
I think this comment from Todd is right on target
Mark Meshulam November 20th, 2012 at 7:59 am
Hi Todd and Chris,
Our industry has a known problem with edge delamination when laminated glass is exposed to moisture and weather. Yet we see a trend toward more exposed edge designs.
This says to me that we need to develop laminated processes that are more weather resistant.
Does anyone out there have experience with any laminated or applied-film processes that are weather resistant?
What about edge deleting the PVB and filling the space at the edge with silicone?
Todd Elozory November 24th, 2012 at 10:59 am
Mark the lay-up of the sandwich doesn’t really allow the edge deletion of the p.v.b. If the p.v.b. doesn’t get good adhesion as it pass throughout he pinch rollers there can be delimitation issues. Also, silicone is not a good sealant for stopping water vapor. I recall there being a compatibility issue with p.v.b. and silicone as well. There are different types of interlayers, even different p.v.b’s. There are also different types of silicone. Serious compatibility issues could be avoided by some compatibility testing.
Chris Hogg November 24th, 2012 at 11:01 am
I have never been involved with sealing the edges of a laminated product with PVB, EVA or lonoplast interlayers but know it is being done.
However, Todd is correct in that there are definitely compatibility problems with some silicones and PVB as have personal experience of that in glazing situations.
Other materials are involved in the sealing and I seem to recall mention of a butyl edge sealant being used, perhaps in Germany, but I’m not sure.
I assume that the interlayer manufacturers must have some knowledge as I understand that edge seal is not uncommon in specialist automotive applications.
William Smith November 24th, 2012 at 11:02 am
The Sentry Glas laminates seem to perform well in the exposed edge aspect, maybe worth looking at?
We have found them to perform quite well in the testing environment and I have not witnessed any silicone migration issues that tend to plaque the PVB products.
Todd Elozory November 24th, 2012 at 11:02 am
Hey Bill. The SGP product may be an alternative with less drawbacks, except for the cost differential between it and monolithic tempered. Again, the reasonable and prudent level of protection, will guide the decision maker. (Limiting the discussion to interior bath enclosures with high humidity and hotel, or multi-family housing.)
John R. Barber November 26th, 2012 at 8:49 am
Mark -the use of glass shower doors in hotels has been around for years. The installation is all about price, many contractors have adopted out sourcing from regions that have less demands on regulations. This is causing an influx of Nickel sulfide inclusions in glass leading to spontaneous breakage.
Heat soaking is the test of choice to find such issues.
In the US and Canada companies are also adopting a manufacturing process where they fabricate glass after it is tempered. We are seeing a lot of this and it is an issue. This is an issue that is also causing spontaneous breakage.
Hardware, there is a lot of hardware on the market. That is not well designed, and when the hinge is not installed properly the glass will release from its mounting.
SGP is a solution however the look and expense will cause people to move from this solution. Safety films in a shower application will not last . Silicone is not recomend to be used with PVB .
Thank you so much for this article. A panel in my children’s bath/shower did this yesterday and I am so thankful that I didn’t get around to giving them a bath yesterday morning!! We had not even touched the door for at least 2 days as we hadn’t been home. Nobody was even on the same floor as that bathroom when it happened. I believe that a bus may have driven by just prior, we get quite a bit of vibration from traffic behind the house.
My concerns are now that the others in our home may shatter as well; they are all from the same mfr and presumably all installed by the same person. Can you recommend an aftermarket film to help minimize this? I will likely tear out the whole enclosure in the kids bathroom, I would much prefer a shower curtain for them knowing this now. I never noticed and cracks, no looseness on its track, nothing before it happened.
Thank you for bringing attention to this issue.
As a result of its safety and strength, tempered glass is used in a variety of demanding applications, including passenger vehicle windows, shower doors, architectural glass doors and tables, refrigerator trays, as a component of bulletproof glass , for diving masks , and various types of plates and cookware. In the United States, federal safety laws require that window glass be tempered if each of the following criteria are met: sill height within 18 in (0.457 m) of the floor, top edge greater than 36 in (0.914 m) from the floor, area greater than 9 ft² (0.836 m²), and horizontal distance to nearest walking surface of less than 36 in (0.914 m).
This is a tempered glass problem, so it involves various door manufacturers and the ages of glass. If this happens to you, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the door manufacturer.
Due to the recession, I finally have time to tackle things around my own house, so after three years, I’m finally finishing the upstairs bathroom. To save money, I’ve opted to install my own shower door. I bought a frameless, 3/8″ shower door that’s pivot mounted. I have to drill three holes in the bottom of the door in order to accept the baseplate. I’ve always thought you couldn’t drill through tempered glass without it breaking into a million pieces or shattering like car glass. What’s the best technique for this task?
Very informative. Having a frame will less the breakage of glass.
Thank you for this blog. My wife and I live in PA and built our house 4 years ago. We had hanging tempered glass shower doors installed. 4 weeks ago, one of my son’s shower doors burst. The cleaner stated he sprayed windex to clean the outside of handprints and the minute he sprayed the door it exploded. His hands and legs were cut up from the breakage. We called the installer and person who sold us the doors. He swore that the cleaner must have banged the doors or slammed the doors. The cost to replace $350. Today, the same cleaner was spraying the glass doors of my other sons bathroom and this bathroom door shattered as well. This time, however, were bigger and heavier doors. He called us and we came home, his hands were bleeding profusely and he was clearly shaken. He told us that he sprayed the outside and the door burst again.
I called the installer again. Of course, what did I get as an explanation? The house must have settled? What??? Then it was the cleaner must have slammed the doors? We have the remaining glass doors in those bathrooms as well as in all of our other bathrooms. I do not know what to do. Should we replace the broken doors? Do remove all of the glass completely? Are there other alternatives?
I have 4 young sons ( 10,9, 6, and 3) The thought of any of them being in the shower or around the shower doors when they explode is very scary to us.
Any help of advice you could offer would be great.
I have a custom 3 piece glass shower enclosure in the corner of my bathroom, 3/8″ glass. Two of the pieces have chips at the bottom corner where they meet over the bathtub surround. I’m having the smaller of the two pieces replaced as it has some chips at the top and bottom corners. The larger panel that forms the wall of the shower (5′ x 6′) has a chip 1/2″ long on the vertical side of the corner, 1/8″ deep over the beveled edge of the glass. Do you think the panel needs to be replaced also?
What would cause the edge of the glass to be chipped like that? No one has ever used the shower and that portion of the shower is stationary. Is it likely to be caused by installation or maybe someone kicked it while standing on the tub surround to install things on the wall nearby?
I’m concerned about the danger this corner chip might pose to the integrity of the glass structure.
Archie May 4th, 2014 at 5:18 pm
Hi Mark, I really learned a lot from your article. I am going to install a glass door or glass screen on my bathtub as part of a remodel. I want to apply a film like you suggested. I have a few questions.
1. What brand of film is best, and where can a homeowner buy it ?
2. Would it help to film both sides or is it best to do the dry side only ?
3. If I doubled the film would that be better ?
4. How do I know when to replace the film.
5. What can I do to increase the life of the film and it’s adhesion.
Thanks for your info in advance.
3M has a safety film that should work. Just apply it to the dry side, but make sure to remove all hardware, cover the glass, then re-apply the hardware.
Replace the film when it looks bad. Don’t use abrasives when cleaning.
Without seeing the chip, the 1/2″ one sounds bad and worthy of replacement. The tensile zone of the glass is just 21% in from the surface so if chips are deep, they are just waiting for the right moment to fail. Hopefully nobody will be nearby when that happens. Replace chipped glass or coat it with a safety film.
I have never heard of Windex harming glass and I don’t think this situation fits that description.
The glass probably had some concealed flaws. If you don’t want to involve lawyers, have a safety film applied to the dry side of the glass.
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