The Optimal Thickness For An Atlanta Frameless Glass Shower Door

We are often asked by our customers what size thickness is your glass shower door or enclosure? It seems many people are obsessed with size and why it is important when it comes to your glass shower door? Let’s take a couple of minutes to look at thickness options for your Atlanta frameless shower doors.

Some shower glass enclosures would not perform to their fullest potential and the life span of the product would decrease if the thickness and weight were too much. The quality and design of the parts are crucial, if you get a thicker glass enclosure you must question will the rollers/ pivots/ hinges and screws be able to carry the additional weight with ease? Have the mechanisms for the shower door and enclosure been built to withstand the additional weight and how will the lifespan of the product be affected?

Frameless Shower Glass Thickness Diagram

There are typically two thickness options for Atlanta frameless shower door glass: 3/8″ and 1/2″.

  • 3/8″ glass is the minimum thickness that will provide the necessary stability and soundness of the glass door. This is a popular choice because it is less expensive than thicker glass.


  • 1/2″ glass looks and feels more substantial than 3/8″ glass. If you choose 1/2″ glass shower doors, you will pay a premium for the additional structural soundness and opulent feel. This is the same glass thickness that you will find in most commercial storefronts.

*It is also worth noting for comparison that ‘Framed’ shower door glass also comes in three other common thicknesses: 3/16”, 5/32″ or 1/4”.

With a frameless glass shower, the supporting metal is not present. The thicker glass weighs at least 5 lbs per square foot and provides substantially more support. When you open a 3/8″ thick Atlanta frameless glass shower door, you do not notice any wobbling or glass vibration.

The difference between 3/8″ heavy glass and 1/4″ glass is clearly noticeable by just opening the shower door. However, by upgrading to 1/2″ glass, you will not notice a huge difference over 3/8″. Sure, the door is going to feel more solid and will be slightly heavier to open, but it’s not like a 3/8″ door is flapping in the wind.

The Debate On How Thick Shower Door Glass Should Be Is Not New

We believe at Southern Valley Shower Doors of Atlanta that the thickness of glass is dependent on the type of shower enclosure you require. You must consider that increased thickness is not always best for every practical application. Glass does weigh a considerable amount so is a 1/2″ shower glass the best… the answer is simple… no. Structurally, you are not really gaining any advantage over 3/8″ by using 1/2″. Reputable glass shops (ourselves included) will never sell you and will never install a 3/8″ frameless shower that is not absolutely structurally sound.

Beautiful Georgia frameless shower doorSo why pay the money to upgrade to 1/2 glass? From a value perspective, you’re not gaining anything for your money by getting the thicker glass. However, some people may simply prefer the upgraded look and feel as well as the premium price they paid to get it. And there is nothing wrong with that.

It is best to consult with a glass professional to help you determine how much weight the surrounding walls can bear before you decide on a shower door thickness. Since thicker glass doors are heavier, mounting them on a weaker wall could cause serious damage, costing you money and remodeling delays.

*All shower door glass is tempered, making it up to four times stronger than regular glass.