Houston Shower Glass Enclosures: Clear or Low Iron Glass?

Houston shower glass enclosures in a modern bathroom
Houston shower glass enclosures are a beautiful addition to your bathroom. Make sure you choose the right type of glass for your bathroom’s aesthetic!

When designing Houston shower glass enclosures, you might not be thinking about glass transparency. All glass is clear unless it’s textured or frosted, right? Yes, but what you might not know is that some glass is clearer than others. Two common types of glass you might use for shower glass are standard clear glass and low iron glass. Let’s talk about these two glass options and why one might be better for your shower enclosure.

Standard or Low Iron Glass for Houston Shower Glass Enclosures?

Before you can decide on the type of glass to use for your Houston frameless showers, it’s important to understand the differences. If you want see-through glass for your shower, your two main options are clear glass and low iron glass. Both are transparent, but have some different characteristics. This comes down to how they are manufactured. 

What is Standard Clear Glass?

Standard glass is probably what you think of when you think of clear, see-through glass. However, you may have noticed that clear glass sometimes has a slightly green tint. This is from the presence of iron oxide. All glass is made by heating three basic ingredients: sand, limestone, and soda ash. Iron oxide naturally exists in sand, which is why standard clear glass might have a green tint. 

It’s also important to note that the thicker the glass, the greener the glass will be tinted. Also, the green tint does slightly reduce how much light streams through the glass. Therefore, clear glass isn’t typically the clearest glass available for Houston shower glass enclosures. That is where low iron glass comes in.

What is Low Iron Ultra Clear Glass?

picture of clear shower glass vs. low iron shower glass
Clear glass has a green tint while low iron glass does not.

Low iron glass goes by many names, including ultra clear glass or even high definition glass. As you may have guessed from its name, this glass has less iron oxide in it. To manufacture low iron glass, you still heat limestone and soda ash, but you use low-iron silica sand instead of regular sand. While it’s impossible to create glass without some iron content because it helps provide structural strength, the lower iron oxide content can significantly decrease the green tint. In addition, low iron glass often offers between 5% to 6% higher light transparency. So, you can think of low iron glass as extra clear glass. Low iron glass is commonly used for Houston shower glass enclosures because of its crystal clear characteristics. 

When is Standard Clear Glass Best for Houston Shower Glass Enclosures?

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel with a Houston shower replacement, you might be wondering what the best type of glass to use is. Standard clear glass is commonly used in shower enclosures, but it’s important to consider some factors. For some Houston shower glass enclosures clear glass works beautifully. 

When Using Colors that Complement Green

As you’re designing your new shower, you’re likely choosing colors that you love and work well with your space. If you’re planning to include colors that look good with green, then standard clear glass may be perfect for your shower enclosure. For example, if you choose green or blue tiles in your shower, then a green tint to your shower glass may actually enhance the look of those tiles. Consider whether a little green affects your planned décor at all or whether it might even enhance it. If the answer is yes, standard clear glass for your shower enclosure might work perfectly.

When You Want to Draw the Eye to Your Houston Frameless Showers

Do you want your Houston frameless showers to be the focal point of your bathroom? If so, standard clear glass might help draw your eye to the shower enclosure. Because clear glass is a slightly different color, it can easily draw attention in a very subtle way. Unlike a shower curtain that blocks off your space as well as the light, clear glass panels in your shower enclosure are see-through and let you take in the entire space. So, there’s no worry about closing off parts of your bathroom and making it look smaller. However, clear glass also offers that traditional green tint that makes it distinct from the rest of the room. Therefore, if you want your Houston shower glass enclosures to be the center of attention, then standard clear glass might be the right choice for your bathroom.

When Working with Lower Budgets for Houston Shower Glass Enclosures

Of course, it’s also important to discuss budget when talking about a Houston shower replacement project. After all, while we all would love to remodel our homes where money is of no concern, it is absolutely a concern for most homeowners. It’s important to note that standard clear glass typically costs less than low iron glass. Therefore, if you’re working with a lower budget, you might be able to save a little bit of money without skipping out on your other must-have glass shower enclosure options by simply choosing clear glass. 

When to Choose Low Iron Glass for Houston Shower Glass Enclosures?

Just like sometimes it makes more sense to choose clear glass for your shower enclosure, in other cases low iron glass might be the better choice for your new shower. Much of this depends on your bathroom and your shower remodel plans. 

When Using Colors that Don’t Complement Green

We mentioned color schemes when we were talking about clear glass for shower enclosures. It’s important to talk about it again for low iron glass showers. If you’re going with colors that don’t complement green, then you probably want to choose low iron shower glass. This is because it’s clearer and doesn’t have the same green tint as standard glass, so it may work better for showers that feature colors like crisp white or orange where the green tint in standard glass will detract from the look of your shower.

When The Main Light Source is Near Your Houston Shower Glass Enclosures

Another thing to think about is light sources in your bathroom. In many cases, the only window and source of natural light in your bathroom might be inside the shower enclosure. If this is the case, you want to do everything you can to maximize that light in your bathroom. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, low iron glass is more transparent and allows more light to shine through it compared to standard clear glass. So, if you have a major light source for your bathroom near or in your shower, then it’s probably best to choose low iron glass for your Houston shower glass enclosures. 

When You Want the Glass in Houston Frameless Showers to be Nearly Invisible

Also, you might want the glass doors and panels in your shower to be basically invisible. For instance, if you want to show off the tile work in your shower or if you want the focal point of your bathroom to be the new bathtub. Whatever the case, there are many reasons you might want the glass to be pretty inconspicuous. If this is the case, you want to use low iron glass for your shower enclosure. Because it is clearer than standard glass, it can create a seamless look. 

Planning a Houston Shower Replacement? Expert Shower Glass at Shower Doors Inc.

If you’re ready to create a gorgeous shower enclosure for your home, our team at Shower Doors Inc. is here to help. We offer high quality shower glass installation to suit your needs and budget. Our team works with you to design a shower enclosure that beautifully suits your bathroom and offers competitive prices and friendly service for your project. Get a quote today for your new shower!