Posted on: 26 July 2017Share
Spontaneous can be an interesting word. Sometimes it can be a positive word, such as when you and some friends make spontaneous dinner plans. Other times it can be a rather chilling word, such as spontaneous combustion. Perhaps you've heard of incidents when glass shower screens seem to spontaneously shatter, sometimes when someone is actually in the shower. This can be a terrifying thought, but the incident is not in fact as spontaneous as it might appear. If you are upgrading your bathroom and your designs will feature a glass shower screen, there are a few things you need to know in order to keep the space safe.
Shower screens are generally made from tempered glass, which has been heat treated in order to achieve a greater degree of strength than standard glass. It's first cut to size, and then heated. The glass is blasted with cold air immediately after the heating stage has been completed. This results in a strengthened piece of glass as the surfaces of the glass quickly compress with the abrupt change in temperature. Though less susceptible to damage than traditional glass, tempered glass is still not impervious to breakages. This is particularly true around the edges of the glass, where any small cracks can reach the central section of the pane of glass which has remained in tension (as opposed the glass that surrounds this section). This can result in a shattering that seems spontaneous, but has in fact been building up for some time.
Tempered glass shower screens can be aesthetically pleasing when it comes to bathroom designs, but it's vital to think of them as durable as opposed to unbreakable. Prolonging the durability of the screens might actually result in minor modifications to your original plans. This is particularly true if you were considering a frameless shower screen. Will the shower be regularly used by young children or is it in a guest bathroom? Closing the door too hard on a regular basis can result in those microcracks that might destabilize the glass to the point of shattering. You might wish to consider a thin aluminum frame surrounding the screen (especially the door) in a shade that complements the colour scheme of the bathroom. This small change can make a lot of difference.
Beyond that, it's beneficial to regularly inspect the tempered glass shower screen (such as when you clean it). Look at the edges of the glass, paying particular attention to sections where brackets or bolts have needed to be inserted through the glass. These sections could be where cracks first start to develop. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, professional repairs might be necessary in order to prevent further damage (and even shattering).
Tempered glass shower screens can make a lovely addition to any bathroom, provided you take the proper amount of care.