Can Your Shower Door Glass Be Dangerous?


The world is a dangerous place, but you don’t expect your shower to be. We have had many questions from customers over the years but recently I was asked about any risks with glass shower doors. With a basic understanding that all glass is more fragile than say wood or steel, your Atlanta shower will be a safe and comforting place.

Shower glass safety tips for your Atlanta bathroom

Millions of Americans jump in the shower once or twice a day. As a nation, we are blessed to have a shower with running water readily available – a luxury that’s foreign to much of the globe. For some, it’s a way to wake up and feel refreshed before taking on the day’s activities, whether at work, home, or school. For others, it’s a way to freshen up and relax after a long day at work, a hard workout at the gym, or before winding down for bed.

If you had to describe how a shower makes you feel, you may say things like warm, inviting, refreshing, and relaxing. Some words you probably wouldn’t use? Surprising, alarming, and certainly not scary.

However, this was how one woman felt when jumping in her shower, reaching to slide the glass door, and receiving a shower of shattered glass on top of her. After cleaning up the bathroom floor, this woman learned the hard way about spontaneous blow.

On Extremely Rare Occasions Shower Glass Can Spontaneously Blow

Unknown to her at the time, a spontaneous blow occurs due to the way shower door glass is constructed. When glass is tempered and undergoes heat, the tensile strength is changed. The result is a stronger resistance to direct impact but a lesser strength increase to side impact. She shut her sliding shower door too hard causing it to shatter.

Glass shower doors can be a safety risk but are far from the most dangerous glass objects in your home. The same common sense comes into play here that should with any glass door. If you slam a glass entry door it stands a good chance of breaking the glass.

Tips For A Safer Shower

According to Kohler, a leading shower door manufacturer, here are safety precautions for long-term shower door care:

  • Securely attach moving panels to the door.
     
  • Routinely assess shower door hardware for fastener attachment and tighten if loose.
     
  • The glass door should not touch the wall or metal when shut. If it does, check the panel alignment and condition of the bumpers and seals.
     
  • Regularly inspect the glass for deformities like chipping or cracks. Key areas to examine are glass edges, notches, and the surrounding area of hardware holes. Replace the entire glass panel immediately if a crack is noted.
     
  • Don’t put weight on the shower door towel bar by using it as a lift assist or safety bar.
     
  • Don’t slam the door.
     
  • If you have more than one door bumper, adjust the door so all bumpers are impacted at the same time. If you have only one door bumper, move it toward the center of the door edge.
     
  • Buy U.S. glass. America’s glass is cleaner than some countries, which lessens the chance of nickel sulfide entry. Nickel sulfide is related to spontaneous blow.
     
  • Use a film that covers the entire door, hardware included, if in a shower with many glass doors (hotel, apartment, hospital).
     

Though it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience such a shock, take care with your glass shower door. If you are redesigning your bathroom, pay attention to the details, like solid hardware and American-made glass. Details can mean less worry and more options.

It’s important to note that the shower doors we install at Southern Valley, as well as all American made shower doors, are made of special tempered safety glass, required by federal, state, and local building codes and designed to break into small, relatively harmless shards. A shattered shower door will produce a pile of glass chips similar to the glass left in your back seat after a criminal breaks a car window to steal a GPS. We have never ran across reports of life-threatening injuries from a broken shower door.