Getting Clarity: Answering Your Questions About Clear, Frosted, and Other Glass Considerations

We’re shedding light on widely-available glass glass options.

Image of glass shower screen from up close with a subway tile background.

Your shower door is comprised almost entirely out of glass, and is an important consideration when shopping for a shower door. We'll shed light on glass in general and demystify your options.

A side-by-side comparison of standard clear and low-iron clear glass options.
Comparison of Clear (Left) and Low-iron clear (Right) glass options.

Your Glass Options

Clear Glass

Clear glass is an affordable, no-frills glass that's adequate for most shower doors. If your shower space has earthy tones, or you're budget conscious, this is simply glass as you know it. 9 out of 10 shower doors we install at Clairon feature clear glass. It's simply the right choice for most shoppers.

A shower screen in standard clear glass shows its green tint against a white tile backdrop.
This shower space with white tiling would have been better served by low-iron clear glass.

Low-iron Glass

Low-iron glass, also known as Starphire or Ultra-clear glass, is fabricated from silica with a minimal percentage of iron content, resulting in little to none of the greenish tint or hue you'd find in regular glass. It's especially noticeable along the edges of glass panels.

Whilst it's more expensive than standard glass, it might be worth the upgrade for shower spaces with gray-tone or white tiling, as the higher degree of transparency offers very little to distract from the tiling work.

A large shower screen with thick half-inch glass show off the transparency of low-iron glass.
This shower screen features 1/2" low-iron clear glass.

Frosted Glass

Frosted glass, also known as satin glass, is an option for customers who might prefer more privacy in the bathroom. A drawback of frosted glass is that it often fails to open up a bathroom space as clear glass would, but on larger bathrooms this may not be a concern.

Glass frosting can be achieved through acid-etching, sandblasting, or adhesive vinyls. At Clairon, we utilize acid-etched glass, which offers the same visual characteristics as sandblasted glass, without the added porosity. Applied vinyls are an inexpensive alternative, and can allow for a frosted patterns or specific section of glass.

Other Considerations When Shopping for a Shower Door...

Glass Thickness

Glass thickness is also an important factor to consider. At Clairon, we utilize 3/8" glass for most shower doors, as it offers just the right balance of weight and rigidity. We also offer 1/2" glass, a necessity in larger shower spaces, and a worthwhile option for those who might enjoy the increased heftiness of the thicker glass.

As a word of caution, most store-bought shower doors will be comprised of thinner, 5/16" or even 1/4" glass, which is fragile, flimsy, and carries little visual depth.

You can read more about glass thickness in our other article, Comparing Glass Thickness Options for Your Shower Door.

Glass Fabrication

Fabrication plays a large role in the glass quality you can achieve. The best method is through a computer numerical control cutter, which offers an exacting finish, and is how Clairon glass panels are fabricated. All long cuts, perforations, and hardware cutouts are done with the outmost precision and finish.

We cut glass edges at an angle to fit the off-level flooring and out of plumb wall conditions found in most, if not all, homes. We can also fabricate panels to be exactly as tall as desired, to match grout lines, and even control the positioning of all hardware component cutouts for the best look.

Some budget installers will opt to purchase prefabricated panels that come in standard sizes. These standard-sized panels will not offer the right fit, leaving gaps when a wall is out-of-plumb or floor is out-of-level, presenting water seepage and finishing issues. This is a common workaround for a lack of fabrication capabilities and to save cost. Other installers will offer custom-sized panels, but which are cut with hand tools, resulting in subpar finish and glass integrity.

Glass finishing can also be done on glass panels. At Clairon, our panels are machined polished to what’s called a flat polish – it features one flat, smooth face with chamfered edges. We also have the capability to perform miter, or off-angle polishes, used when two glasses will fit into one another, common in corner and neo-angle configurations. Machine polishing renders the best results, and marks a huge difference from panels which are edge-polished with hand tools.

If you're still unsure, or have other questions, we welcome you to contact us, or get started with a quote or consultation. Clairon is a shower door and mirror installer serving South Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Serving Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach for over 18 years!

Clairon designs, manufactures, and installs completely frameless custom glass shower doors, sliding doors, and walk-in shower screens.

Why Choose Clairon?

Miami’s Trusted Glass Shower Door Experts, for Over 19 Years.

We've completed thousands of quality installations across Miami, Broward, and Palm Beach, and spent nearly two decades perfecting and providing an unmatched frameless glass shower door experience. When you choose Clairon for your custom glass shower door, you're getting the skill and service of Miami's premier experts with over 18 years of experience exclusively designing, fabricating, and installing shower enclosures for local homeowners.

Florida Licensed & Insured

Clairon is a certified Glass & Glazing Specialty contractor (SCC131151077)

We handle your project from start to finish

A seamless experience, from design consultation to custom manufacturing and expert installation by our own technicians.

Serving homeowners since 2005 —

that's 19 years serving South Florida.

A Clairon technician performing a repair on a glass sliding shower door.
A finger pull in brushed nickel finish on a sliding glass shower door.
A collage of many images of glass shower doors.

Inspire Your
Shower Space

From sleek frameless designs to modern matte black finishes, each shower door we install tells a story of craftsmanship and style. Let our gallery of past projects spark your imagination and guide your bathroom transformation.