3115 Albany Post Rd

Rte. 9A

Buchanan, NY 10511

P: 914-941-4230

F: 914-941-4232

E: info@atmglass.com

Westchester County and the Hudson Valley's Leading Architectural Glass Company.

We are asked a great deal of questions about  shower enclosures and have put together this frequently asked question list based frequency.  Of course, please feel free to email us with any questions!  We are happy to help!


Q: What is the difference between a framed vs. frameless enclosure?


A: A framed enclosure utilizes metal around the perimeter of all glass panels and includes a header (or top piece), and sill (bottom). Metals used are generally either aluminum or brass. Glass in a framed shower or tub enclosure is generally 3/16" or 1/4" thick.


a frameless enclosure utilizes minimal amounts of metal however, some metal is required for structural security. The glass panels butt against one another without the use of metal, and depending on application and/or preference, a header (or top piece) is sometimes not necessary. Often there is minimal use of metal along the sill area as well. There is of course, some metal necessary for structural reasons- clamps or u-channel, hold glass panels at either the top or bottom and on sides- but are non intrusive in appearance. In a frameless shower enclosure the glass is 3/8" or 1/2" thick, this is also known as "heavy glass".


A common misconception is that a shower door (either hinged or sliding) is frameless if the door only is frameless.  And this is in actuality, incorrect- this type of door is semi-frameless.  This term is most commonly used with sliding shower doors.  In the professional industry any shower door that has metal surrounding the perimeter of fixed panels but the door only is frameless this door is considered semi-frameless.


Q: I have heard that frameless shower doors can be dangerous.


A: False. Although they use less metal then say a framed door, they are by no means any more dangerous. Glass, although in certain states, can be quite fragile, on its edge is extremely strong. Frameless Shower enclosures (just like framed doors) utilize tempered glass. Once glass is tempered, two things happen: glass becomes incredibly  strong and it also becomes a safety glass. Tempered glass, should it break, will shatter into small parts- thus reducing the risk of injury. Frameless doors also use 3/8" or 1/2" glass, which is exceptionally difficult to break- especially when tempered. So, either a framed or frameless door, when installed by a qualified technician/glass handler, will assure fortification and safety.


Q: I have a shower door that no longer fits in my newly remodeled bathroom, can I have it "cut-down"?


A: Unfortunalty not. Once glass is tempered, it cannot be cut. Should you even be able to score it with a glass cutter, it would break or "blow-up" into millions of little pieces. This is a safety-feature of tempered glass. You would need to buy a new enclosure.


Q: When should I call someone to come to my home to measure for a new enclosure?


A: The technician can come to your home once everything is done. This would include: all tiling and shower door sills (or saddles). The glass business is an exact science. We measure to the 1/16" of an inch, taking into account any areas that might not be plumb or square. This is to not only guarantee a perfect finished job, but to assure that all of the glass panels etc..fit properly. Unlike some other building materials, glass cannot be altered (especially once it has been tempered) nor bent etc. to be "made" to fit.


Q: Can I order glass from you and put in my own frameless enclosure?


A:Of course you can, but we highly suggest not to. There are many variables that must come into play when measuring and installing a frameless enclosure and there is almost no room for error or adjustment- in addition an improperly installed enclosure can be dangerous. A professional glazier makes use of many tools of reference when designing and installing a frameless enclosure, including use of CAD software to ensure structual soundness. Issues such as how walls are constructed, out of square or plumb conditions and properly knowing how to handle glass and its limitations is crucial when designing a frameless enclosure. So crucial are these factors that even building professionals will not chance measuring and or installing a frameless enclosure. Proper installation and design comes from years of experience and education. Frameless enclosures are not something that should be performed in a do-it you-self application.


Q:  I've heard that when a glass company makes their own shower doors, they are "no-name" and aren't as good, is this true?


A:  this is actually a contridictoray statement.  And although we don't know where this statement originated, it is grossly incorrect.  At some point, *every* shower door is made by a qualified glassworker.  Boxed or not.  9 our of 10 times, the quality control is greater in a situation where the glass worker is manufacturing and installing, versus buying someone else's product.  To read our published article on this subject, please click here.  This will help debunk the various myths surrounding this claim.


ATM Mirror and Glass

3115 Albany Post Road

Buchanan, NY 10511

Ph: 914-941-4230  F:  914-941-4232 E: info@atmglass.com


©2011 ATM Mirror and Glass, LLC

©2011 ATM Mirror Inc.