The most common question I get when doing our free in house consultations is “What thickness of glass should I use?”. To answer that we need to consider a few things: Unit type, height, and budget.

Let’s start with the fact that all of our glass is tempered in shower environments, so there is no difference between thicknesses here. Our glass will also all be polished the same on the edges no matter the thickness.

1/4″ glass is used primarily in prefabbed sliding units, it would be what you would see in big box stores. I have not built a custom enclosure out of this thickness of glass due to it’s frailty.

3/8″ glass is the most common thickness you will find in shower enclosures. It is a solid thickness for structure, and much lighter than 1/2″. We use 3/8″ glass for all heights, but would like to note that there is a much higher chance for bowing in the glass after 84″ tall (it doesn’t happen all the time, but the chance increases).

1/2″ glass is the typical choice for interior decorators and units requiring tall glass. It is thicker, heavier, and gives off an overall feeling of strength. The weight of the glass limits the height and widths of the doors. It is also the most expensive per square foot.

Overall I believe 3/8″ thick glass is the right choice in most scenarios. It will save you some money over the 1/2″ glass, take a few extra pounds of weight off of your beautiful tile walls, and the only person who would truly notice the extra 1/8″ of glass is a glass professional or that one friend who spent the extra money for 1/2″ and wants to brag about how theirs is better. Do you really care about that friend’s opinion anyway?

Find answers to other typical questions such as “Is there really a difference in glass quality?” and more on this site

Jason Kins
Shower Doors Unltd.
Serving South East Florida, tri-county.
Call 561-547-0702 for a free in home consultation