What Type of Glass is the Best for my Shower Door?

What Type of Glass is the Best for My Shower Door?

There are many glass options for shower door available on the market. The type of glass you choose will depend on your needs and preferences, for example, is privacy a big concern for you? What is your budget? Do you have safety concerns?

To make it easier for you to select the one that best fits your requirements, we have devised a list you can choose from, taking into account various factors.

1. Clear Glass

If privacy is not a concern for you, clear glass shower doors may be worth your attention. They are transparent and lack any specific texture which makes them compatible with any bathroom design. Although this glass has a mild green tint, it is hardly noticeable, so you do not have to worry about fitting that color in your bathroom palette.

Simplicity has always been appreciated, thus the popularity of the clear glass shower doors has hardly gone down throughout the years. Because of this transparency, your bathroom will appear bigger. Seeing all the walls of the bathroom, plus the one through the clear glass door is what gives this impression of spaciousness. This works really well with any decorative tiles or stones you may have installed in the room.

Your bathroom will also be brighter since the light will not be impeded by opaque glass. Make the best of these qualities by combining clear glass with a classic shower door design for maximum sleekness.

Clear Glass Shower Door

To be on the safe side, you should talk with your supplier about the strength of this type of glass, since it is usually not that durable. Also, to make sure that your clear glass maintains its clean look, you should clean any stains periodically.

2. Frosted & Opaque Glass

Those for whom privacy is a concern may opt for frosted and opaque glass shower doors. The texture results from a process of etching one side with acid or sandblasting which prevents light from having a straight path through the glass.

While the clear side is easy to clean but more susceptible to staining, the frosted side prevents fingerprints or smudges from showing as much as on the clear glass. You may also find cleaning this side a bit more challenging since soap can accumulate in the pits of the frosting.

The opaqueness is preferred in large bathrooms since an unclear view through the shower will make the room seem smaller and cozier. It is also a good option in homes where multiple families live (or just more people in general) because of the privacy it provides.

Frosted Glass Shower Door

Frosted and opaque shower glass doors are a good choice in the scenarios we’ve talked about above, but they are not the only ones.

3. Patterned & Textured Glass

For those who want to make their bathroom unique, textured glass shower doors are the way to go. Multiple designs are available, so you are sure to find one that fits your home’s décor.

Since the texture and patterns are highly customizable, different designs will have different opacities, so the amount of light going through the door will vary from texture to texture and also the general feel of the bathroom.

These are a few of the most popular choices:

  • Rain pattern – perhaps the most popular one, it is appreciated for the friendliness and natural feels it provides. We will talk more about it later
  • Ocean wave – preferred in modern styled bathrooms to evoke memories of the ocean and by people who want to add a touch of style to their bathroom
  • Floral patterns – a bold style usually paired with a bright color palette
  • Lightning texture – comprised of long and slim patterns imitating a lightning
  • Bamboo texture – for Asian-styled bathrooms
  • Bubble patterns – preferred in family homes, children love them
Textured Glass Shower Door

These, and many more are available, so you do not have to worry about not finding the right one for you. The best course of action would be to talk to a designer or supplier who can present you with the available options and the best one for your bathroom. Keep in mind that some designs are easier to clean than others.

4. Rain Glass

Rain glass shower doors have a pattern cut on one side of the glass that resembles raindrops. It is a very popular alternative to frosted glass that can fit most bathroom styles with a preference in contemporary homes.

It is a special pattern that does not distract from other decorative elements in your bathroom, while not being too simple on its own. Rain glass shower doors are meant to simply blend in the background and provide some privacy in the meantime. Because you cannot see clearly into the shower, and thus it does not allow much light in, this design is best fitted for larger bathrooms, making them seem cozier and welcoming.

In contrast to frosted glass, the rain-patterned glass allows a small degree of light in while obscuring the person inside. It is only carved on one side of the glass, and the pattern does not impede cleaning too much, so tidying should be relatively fast.

Rain Glass Shower Door

This option acts as the middle ground between privacy and light, so it is perfect for homeowners who do not lean towards any of those extremes.

5. Tempered Glass

This option is preferred for situations where safety and security are the main concerns, usually in family homes where the parents are afraid their children or pets may break the shower door glass while playing. Tempered glass is a very strong and durable type that disintegrates into small chunks that are not as sharp as normal glass.

So, not only is this type of shower glass door hard to break but when it does, it will not be as hazardous as other types of glass. This type of glass comes with all the benefits of standard (or annealed) glass with the added strength resulted from the manufacturing process.

Patterns are available, so talk to your supplier about the available options.

Tempered Glass Shower Door

Source from Instagram

6. Laminated Glass

This type of safety glass is manufactured by adhering two sheets of glass to a sheet of transparent vinyl. The resulting product can remain intact if the glass is broken, so it is a preferred choice for homeowners with safety concerns.

Depending on the manufacturing process, acoustic reduction and UV-resistance properties can be achieved, but these functions are usually not very popular with regular homeowners.

Due to this layering method of manufacturing, different color variants and styles are available for this glass, a feature lacking in tampered glass shower doors.

While both laminated and tempered glass are situated on the expensive side, laminated glass shower doors are a bit more high-budget than the other. This makes sense since this type of glass is preferred in commercial uses to prevent break-ins.

Laminated Glass Shower Door

7. Tinted Glass

A high-customizable variant, in terms of color availability, the tinted glass shower door can perfectly match most bathroom decors. While being a see-through material, this type of glass has a dark tint that reduces the amount of light passing through it.

It is preferred in modern homes, usually with shades of blue or green which fit well in this style. For a more rustic approach, black and gray nuances are preferred. In general, the darker the shade, the more privacy the tinted glass shower door can provide. A unique contribution to your bathroom, you can choose to either make the glass door the center of attention or place it more in the background, depending on the tint shade.

The downside is that if you decide to redecorate your bathroom (change the style, replace the tiles, etc.), you will probably need to also replace the glass door since it usually fits uniquely in that environment you first put it in.

Tinted Glass Shower Door

8. Low Iron Glass

Using a low-iron mixture for crafting, manufacturers can eliminate the green tint seen in clear glass, making low iron glass shower doors even clearer and clean-looking. This superior clarity allows the background colors to be visible through the door, a feature important for those who have incorporated a colorful tile design in their bathroom and want it as visible as possible.

This variant is the optimal way to highlight your wall colors or designs, allow unobstructed views and undistorted colors to your design. Light can penetrate even in larger amounts through low iron glass shower doors, making your bathroom look brighter and more spacious, ideal qualities for smaller rooms.

As with clear glass, you will need to pay attention and clean it every time you see any stains or fingerprints on it if you wish to preserve the cleanliness and sleekness this type of glass is known for.

Generally, people who order low iron glass shower doors wish to maximize aesthetics while not concerning themselves with privacy.

Low Iron Glass Shower Door

9. Bronze Glass

Bronze glass shower doors provide a tinted coppery look which bronze is known for. They are opaque and represent a unique choice for shower doors in terms of design.

This type of glass Is usually seen in contemporary homes and is appreciated by people who wish to mix privacy with comfort and the unique feel it provides.

Paired with lighter shades in the rest of the bathroom, the shower door can become the main attraction of the room. This is usually the case, as the popular pairing choices are white or greyish floor and wall nuances.

Stains or fingerprints are harder to spot on this model, so it is possible to lengthen the period between cleaning operations.

Bronze Glass Shower Door

On the downside, this color may seem too bold for some people. Bronze glass shower doors are definitely unique and do not fit in all bathrooms, so meticulous planning may be necessary if you wish to incorporate this type of door in your room.

10. Gray Glass

Another privacy-focused variant, gray glass shower doors are tinted with a smokey look, preventing light from passing through them. As with the other types of tinted glass, this style is preferred for contemporary and modern bathrooms. Not as bold as bronze glass shower doors, but still providing a unique look, gray glass shower doors can fit in more styles while being the most eye-catching feature in the room.

Cleaning can be done rarely, as most stains will be hard to notice and no particular hardship will be encountered during this process. On the downside, you may find it difficult to fit this type of shower door in other styles besides contemporary.

Bronze Glass Shower Door

To help you further narrow down your options, consider the type of frame you want to install in your bathroom.

Framed, semi-frameless or frameless shower designs do make a difference in the type of glass you choose. Not all types of glass fit with a specific type of frame, thus you may have fewer choices of glass style or texture.

11. Framed Glass

Framed glass shower door is usually equipped with a metal frame around all the sides and edges. The metal is usually aluminum and has the role of protecting the glass and add a touch of style to the bathroom. Various styles are available, such as round shaped, sliding door type, neo-angle, pivot, etc. They are usually more affordable than the other types and they represent a good option if you want to add a bit more detail to your room.

Framed Glass Shower Door

12. Frameless Glass

As the name implies, frameless glass shower doors lack a metallic frame around the edges. They give the bathroom a clean, spacious, and sleek look and fit especially well in rooms equipped with natural stone walls and floor tiles. You can choose between sliding doors, rolling, or pivot. They are usually rather expensive and keep in mind that thicker glass is usually necessary to provide reasonable levels of security.

Frameless Glass Shower Door

13. Semi-frameless Glass

This type of door is equipped with some metal edges on the top and bottom of the door, but they are usually designed to not stand out. Semi-frameless shower doors are a good middle option that provides your bathroom with a modern, sleek, and clean appearance but does not cost as much as frameless doors.

Semi-frameless Glass Shower Door


Many types of glass are available on the market, so you are sure to find one that fits your tastes and requirements. Keep in mind that the background of your bathroom should play a big role in your choice of a glass shower door. Additionally, depending on your situation, take into account how much you value privacy and how you can balance that need with aesthetic designs.

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