Ultimate Guide to Shower Door Glass Thickness: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", and More

Explore the best glass thickness for your shower door with our comprehensive guide. Compare 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 8mm, and 10mm options to find the perfect balance of style and durability.

Image of a sliding system with thick half-inch glass as seen from up-close.

1/4" vs 3/8" vs 1/2" glass. Choosing the right thickness glass for your shower door can be tricky. Our quick guide can help you make the right decision.

A shower screen in regular 3/8" clear glass.
Shower screen in clear 3/8" glass.

Common Questions Surrounding Glass Thickness

Is 1/4 inch glass Sufficient for a shower door?

For frameless shower doors, 1/4 inch and even 5/16 inch glass is not sufficient. It doesn't provide enough rigidity to make for a safe and structurally sound enclosure. You'll experience wobbling, and an overall flimsy feeling anytime you open and close your shower door.

1/4 inch (6mm) is the glass thickness you'll find on most mirrors, cabinet glass, and small shelving. In shower doors, it's what you'll find on older framed shower doors. They rely on its metal frame for rigidity, as the glass offers very little to be functional on its own.

5/16 inch (8mm) glass is what you'll find on most store-bought shower doors and sliding systems. It's utilized for its lower cost and lower shipping weight. It can be adequate for these systems given the excess of hardware they're matched with, but when frameless is the goal, we recommend opting for 3/8 inch glass.

Is 3/8 inch glass good for frameless shower doors?

3/8 inch glass (10mm) is where you'll find the best balance of weight, rigidity, and price point. It's what you'll find on most frameless shower doors. In most shower spaces, the panels will weigh between 80 and 120 lbs, which is what most frameless shower door hardware is rated for, and will provide the rigidity necessary for most shower doors.

At Clairon, 9 out of 10 shower doors we install are comprised of 3/8" glass. It's right for most of our customers, and we recommend it anytime our thicker 1/2" glass isn't necessary.

An Essence sliding system featuring thick 1/2" glass.
This Essence bottom sliding system features 1/2" glass.

When should a shower door feature 1/2 glass?

1/2 inch glass (12mm) is what you'll often find in shop windows and storefronts. It's a tad thicker than 3/8" glass, and offers greater rigidity, albeit at a greater weight. For larger shower spaces, where very tall or wide glass panels will be necessary, we will recommend 1/2" (12mm) glass, as the flexing of the glass material will often be too noticeable for comfort, or exhibit bowing (a circumstance in which glass will appear curved at the center when seen from it's side). 1/2" glass will often be coupled with heavier duty frameless hardware rated for its heavier weight.

1/2" is nevertheless available for smaller spaces as well, if you prefer the added heftiness, or more premium feel of the thicker glass.

What is the best thickness for frameless shower doors?

For frameless shower doors, 3/8 inch is often best, followed by 1/2 inch for very large enclosures. You might be wondering why thinner is better, and it comes down to weight. 1/2 inch glass often puts a heavier strain on shower door hardware with a sometimes unnoticeable difference in rigidity. That's not to say 1/2 inch glass doesn't have its place in large enclosures with tall glass panels, but it would then be coupled with heavier-duty hardware to match.

Can you mix glass thicknesses in a shower door?

At Clairon, we sometimes combine both 3/8" and 1/2" glass in one frameless shower door – often when hinging a door panel from an adjacent glass panel instead of a wall.

For some price conscious customers, the visual difference between different thickness glass panels is negligible, even when they're next to one another, and it avoids the added cost of fabricating the entire enclosure in 1/2" glass.


For most frameless shower doors, 3/8" is the right call. It'll feel adequately sturdy at a good price point, and give you the most options in terms of hardware. If your shower space is very large, or you'd enjoy the greater heftiness of 1/2" glass, it remains an option for any shower door.

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.