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Tempered Glass Shower Doors 101

Tempered glass isn’t mentioned much in home improvement but it’s used a lot more than you’d realize. It’s probably all around you or even in your hand if you’re reading this on a smartphone. 

 It’s also used in cars, campers, cabinetry, furniture, and, homes. 

Glass has been a recurring theme since I started remodeling our 1978 single wide last fall. I need new windows but I’m ready to buy a corner shower unit for the walk-in shower I just started tiling. Since I’m on a tight budget I’ve been researching for cheaper alternatives and in the process I’ve learned more about glass. Thought I’d share it with you.

I quickly learned that glass, or more specifically tempered glass, has a ton of great qualities and it’s a workhorse in home design because it can be used in so many different ways. 

 But first, what exactly is tempered glass?

What is tempered glass?

Tempered glass is also called toughened glass or safety glass. It’s regular glass that has been heated and cooled in a special way. 

To get tempered glass you take a sheet of regular glass and heat it close to its softening point, approximately 1100°F/600°C, and then cooled rapidly in a process called ‘quenching.’ This process creates a compressive stress layer on the surface of the glass.

Technological process of glass tempering using thermal equipment
Technological process of glass tempering using thermal equipment

Bathroom Design Trends

In recent years, bathroom design trends have undeniably embraced a sleek, minimalist philosophy. Out go fussy details and heavy materials, replaced by clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and an overall sense of lightness. Tempered glass emerges as the star player in achieving this modern transformation. Beyond its visual appeal, this remarkably engineered glass offers a host of practical benefits, making it a true workhorse in contemporary bathroom renovations.

Its incredible strength and resilience fit seamlessly with the desire for long-lasting, low-maintenance design solutions. Additionally, its light-enhancing properties and unique safety features elevate both the form and function of any bathroom it graces.

Durability and Scratch Resistance

When we think of traditional glass, a certain fragility comes to mind. However, tempered glass defies those expectations. It undergoes a rigorous process of heating and rapid cooling, fundamentally altering its internal structure. This treatment makes tempered glass several times stronger than its untreated counterpart, ready to face the rigors of daily bathroom use.

Those accidental bumps from busy mornings, stray toiletries, or the enthusiastic cleaning sessions won’t leave lasting marks.  Your custom shower doors will retain their pristine appearance much longer, ensuring your investment in their beauty pays dividends for years to come.  This inherent resistance to scratches, chips, and everyday wear and tear translates to a significantly lower chance of dangerous breakage – a key consideration in bustling households. Unlike regular glass, which might shatter with a startling impact, tempered glass is designed to handle the unexpected.

Increased Light Flow and Open-Space Feel

Bathrooms, especially smaller ones, often battle the perception of feeling cramped and enclosed. This is where tempered glass cleverly combats the illusion of limited space. Replacing opaque walls with expansive tempered glass shower enclosures instantly opens up the visual flow of your bathroom.  The uninterrupted passage of light, whether it’s flooding in from a window or bouncing off well-placed fixtures, creates a sense of breathable space that feels far grander than its actual dimensions.

Think of it as extending your sightline; instead of hitting a solid wall, your eye is drawn further into the room,  tricking the mind into perceiving a larger area. This effect is especially dramatic when natural light is involved. Sunlight, filtering freely through the transparent enclosure, transforms a once-confined space into one that feels bright and inviting.

If privacy is a concern, don’t despair. Frosted or patterned tempered glass still allows ample light transmission while providing a degree of obscurity. For greater design impact, consider laminated glass Chicago options featuring decorative interlayers. These specialized products offer visual depth and interest without hindering the open, airy feel that tempered glass is so well-known for.

The Smokie Ridge Master Bathroom

Safety Benefits for All Ages

When it comes to the mobile home bathroom remodel, safety should never be an afterthought. This is especially true in households with young children or older adults, who may be more susceptible to slips and falls. Thankfully, tempered glass steps up as a superior safety solution. Its unique way of breaking is what sets it apart from regular glass. In the unlikely event of an accident, tempered glass will fracture into small, relatively dull pieces instead of the dangerous, razor-sharp shards of untreated glass.

This inherent safety feature provides much-needed peace of mind for parents and caregivers. The playful energy of a young child might send errant toys or elbows flying toward a glass enclosure – with tempered glass, the worry of catastrophic breakage is greatly diminished.  Likewise, for older adults who may experience changes in balance or mobility, tempered glass surfaces offer an additional layer of protection in an often-slippery environment. Should a fall occur, the potential for severe injuries is significantly reduced, helping to preserve independence and well-being.

Heat Resistance for Hot Showers

Imagine this: after a long day, nothing tops the idea of a luxurious, steaming hot shower. You step under the spray, ready to envelop yourself in warmth and wash the stresses away. But just as you find that perfect blissful temperature, an unsettling creak emanates from your shower door… Regular glass, not designed for those dramatic temperature swings, can become stressed under the onslaught of heat. In the worst-case scenario, thermal shock can leave you with a shattered enclosure and a major headache.

Tempered glass, on the other hand, takes these indulgences in stride. Its unique fabrication process, involving controlled heating and cooling, makes it far more tolerant of rapid temperature changes. It can effortlessly handle the shift from cool to scorching without those worrisome signs of strain. If you tend to enjoy a long, luxurious hot shower, Chicago tempered glass is practically a necessity.  No more feeling anxious about potential damage or tentatively adjusting the temperature to avoid stressing your shower enclosure – simply revel in the soothing warmth and leave those worries behind.

Easy Maintenance and Cleaning

The modern bathroom isn’t just about design; it’s also about embracing those moments of respite and relaxation. The last thing anyone wants is a cleaning routine that eats into precious downtime or adds another layer of stress to an already hectic day. This is where tempered glass shines – offering a welcome reprieve from the endless scrubbing that traditional glass often requires.

Because of its smooth, non-porous surface, the soapy residue and stubborn mineral deposits that cling stubbornly to regular glass find it harder to take hold on tempered glass. This means a quick wipe-down after your shower is frequently all you need to keep your custom shower doors sparkling.  You’ll be surprised at how those water droplets simply glide away, leaving minimal traces behind.

Of course, sometimes life gets in the way, and even the most diligent of us can occasionally find ourselves with a less-than-pristine shower enclosure. Thankfully, a wide range of specialized glass cleaners are on hand to help you tackle any stubborn buildup. These products, combined with tools like a squeegee or a microfiber cloth, will quickly banish any signs of neglect.  Your gleaming tempered glass will look virtually brand new with minimal effort, allowing you to focus on the far more important task of enjoying your beautifully redesigned bathroom space.


When all the pieces come together, it’s easy to see why tempered glass has become synonymous with modern bathroom design. It’s the perfect marriage of form and function.  Its clean lines and minimalist elegance complement any contemporary style, while its inherent strength and resilience ensure peace of mind for years to come.  The added boost of light and visual space will make your bathroom feel instantly larger and more inviting.

Perhaps most importantly, tempered glass offers a level of safety that goes beyond simple aesthetics. It’s an investment in protecting yourself and loved ones from the ever-present danger of shattering glass. Add to that the ease of cleaning and resistance to heat, and you have a clear winner for your next bathroom renovation project.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and explore the incredible possibilities of custom tempered glass shower doors, start by researching reputable installers in your area, like Apex Tempered Glass. They can help guide you through selecting the perfect glass type, hardware finishes, and enclosure design to bring your dream bathroom to life. Additionally, look for suppliers that specialize in providing the highest quality tempered glass, ensuring your investment stands the test of time.

A big thank you to Apex Tempered Glass for helping us understand tempered glass. We always try to get an expert involved when a subject is either over our heads. They were a big help and as always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living®️!

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.



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