Whether you have a magnificent, big bathroom or a basic, small one; the interior of this confined space will always have a major role to play in the overall representation of your house. And what can be more refined than a glass door as the ultimate solution to your upmarket bathroom? With frameless glass shower doors, you can go well beyond the limitations of a definitive space, while being able to accommodate more unique and disparate design elements into your bathroom. When it comes to adding poise to the interior, not even the shower curtains come close to these doors, let alone the fact that glass doors are much more durable and easy-to-clean.
If you ever bumped into a glass door before, you must have wondered, “what if it breaks?” A shower door breaking may seem unlikely, but imagine a bathroom filled with broken glass pieces. Sounds scary, right? If it was the old system of safety glazing with wired glass, then you should be afraid. According to an article published at the Global News, there have been at least 114 injury claims reported by the Ontario School Board’s Insurance Exchange (OSBIE), between 2001 and 2005, thanks to wired-glass. Due to this, the Canadian General Standards Board (CHSB) updated the standards for safety glazing materials, for both tempered and laminated glass. And accordingly, conventional wired glass is not permitted anymore, in the new version of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC).
You can rest assured that a lot of research has been put into making these products secure and reliable for your use.
Usually, tempered glass and tempered laminated glass are referred to as safety glass. When it comes to using safety glass for framed or fully frameless glass shower doors, tempered glass is a definitive choice. The glass is put under extreme heat while being prepared and then gradually cooled. The way the residual internal stress is relieved is called annealing, and it is often referred to as annealed glass as well.
However, when the glass is cooled down after being heated, it has a tendency to break even from a tiny scratch. Thankfully, this is not the case with tempered glass, as it is treated in a special way for maximum damage control. This material is about four to five times stronger than regular or annealed glass. In fact, these are so impressive in preventing accidents, that Nelly Zaia, the owner of a leading company that deals in frameless glass shower doors in Toronto, has even recommended them for automotive as well as construction and infrastructure. Nelly Zaia explains,
“This type of glass derives its strength from its interlayer which is made from polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and is fixed between two or more glass layers. The strength of this glass is directly proportional to the number of interlayers between the glass layers.”
Manufacturing and Treatment
Quite ironically, the process that makes tempered glass so invulnerable also is the reason behind its weakness. Though this glass is manufactured to withstand all types of direct impact, they are not impervious to side impacts. Simply stated, if it lands on its edge, it will shatter. Almost instantly.
You may be wondering about the reason behind this strange phenomenon. From incorrect glass shower door installation to misplaced rubber stoppers, and damaged door slide runners of a double sliding bathtub door, there are many causes to this.
But when it happens, tempered glass is turned into tiny, oval pebbles of glass instead of the sharpened edge of broken glass. Therefore, the risk of getting injured is reduced to a great extent. This happens by compressing the outer surface of the tempered glass while creating tension on the inner surface. The annealed glass is heated at about 620° Celsius (1,148° F) and then run through a furnace and cooled with forced air drafts. Sometimes tempered glass is made through some chemical process too.
Since the stress is evenly spread on the glass, trying to drill it after the treatment can break it. That is why the drilling always takes place before the heating or chemical process.
There is a common notion that glass doors are dangerous. In reality, frameless doors pose no more threat than the framed ones.
As mentioned earlier, the glass is made more impact-resistant for your safety thanks to the “tempering” process. And even if it breaks on some rare occasion, you can be certain that it will not have any sharp-edged pieces lying around. In fact, the edge of a broken tempered glass-piece is so smooth, that it minimizes the chance of you getting cut from it. Of course, purchasing high-quality genuine shower glass doors over cheap alternatives is also a big assurance if you are still concerned about the safety of your home.
Although these glass doors appear to be nearly invincible, it still is a good idea to handle them carefully while opening or closing. When getting frameless glass shower doors from Toronto’s dealers, make sure to get products from reputed brands only.