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All Glass Shower Pros and Cons

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

While I can't wait to discuss the projects I've done that I'm thrilled about, I'm not afraid to admit that I've made mistakes along the way. Not only because I know this is probably not the end of making mistakes, but also because I’ve learned so much from them. I am not a contractor, sub-contractor, architect, or anything of the sort. However, I grew up in the bathroom remodeling business. My dad owned a popular franchise which focused predominantly on bath and shower upgrades. I worked home remodeling trade shows on the weekends since age 15 and understood the several frustrations as to why homeowners choose to renovate their bathrooms. Tile that is difficult to clean, moldy grout lines, too outdated, you name it, I‘ve heard it. Which is why I felt fully equipped to make this primary bathroom my masterpiece.

When we decided to renovate our primary bath, expanding the shower was a must. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the actual shower. It was a small 3x3 shower behind the wall pictured. In order to do so, we had to tear down a couple of walls as well as expand a wall that is at an angle (hard to see from photos). So here we are, finding ourselves with a shower slap dab in the middle of the bathroom. Kinda awkward, right?! The tub is on the far right side of the bathroom as shown in the photos. Why the positioning of the two wasn't switched from the beginning when built in the 80's? I am unsure. So, if you have a shower in the middle of your bathroom and you aren't sure what to do, this article is definitely for you!

Although it is a large bathroom, we really wanted to avoid closing it off- especially after all the work we did to open it up by tearing out the walls. The options were as follows: to rebuild a wall, build a half wall and the remainder be glass, or to have an all glass shower. As you can see, we moved forward with all glass in order to make the bathroom look as open as possible and not risking making the bathroom look crammed. In my personal opinion, all glass, or a half tiled wall is the only option for a middle of the bathroom shower situation. Either way, you're finding yourself with a substantial amount of glass. If you're wondering about cost, glass is relatively pricey. So you're not exactly going the cheaper route by choosing an all glass shower. Beautiful yes, but practical, not at all.

The sunlight comes in and every smudge missed during the cleaning process shows through in the daylight. We have tried it all, rain shield, we use a quality squeegee, but there's just no avoiding having to clean the shower glass after each.and.every.use! The water here in Florida is pretty hard, so if you don't, is could potentially stain the glass which we obviously really want to avoid. Water softeners can help however they don't entirely alleviate the situation.

Therefore, if you are expanding your bathroom and/or shower and you find yourself in a similar situation, think practically, and not just aesthetically. If moving the shower altogether is an option, strongly consider going that route- However, it may set your remodeling plans over budget. Consult with a licensed plumber and explore this option and cost to do so. If you are satisfied with the positioning of the shower in your bathroom and still considering an all glass shower, consider the positioning of the shower-head. The rain shower head pictured is called the Spectra by American Standard and it considerably helps with reducing the amount of water that gets onto the glass. Secondly, it saved us a great deal during the installation as there was no need to alter plumbing in order to mount the shower-head to the ceiling. Therefore we still achieved the look we wanted with this kit without having to complicate the installation.

We still have 2 bathrooms to renovate. One is right across the hall from the master bedroom and I intend on learning from this experience and therefore converting the shower into a walk in with little to no glass. We have 2 young kids, so low maintenance is important to us. If, however, you find yourself in the situation we did and it isn’t a frequently used shower or you don’t mind the maintenance, then as you can see, it is absolutely possible to have an (almost) all glass shower. Because this is the bathroom we use each and every day, if I had to do it again, I would’ve compromised my very open vision of the bathroom for a half tile, half glass shower or put a tub where the shower currently is and replaced the deck tub and built the shower there. Pictures of the final product below.

What do you think?! Email me with your comments, questions, similar mishaps, successes, I want to hear it all!

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