What Portland Homeowners Need To Know About Glass Shower Doors

If you’ve been thinking about installing a glass shower door in your Portland Oregon area home, you probably have some questions about the types of shower doors available and which is better.

To help you, we are going to address the issues we typically get asked from customers making inquiries about glass shower doors.

3 options for glass shower doors

1. Frameless shower doors

The finest you can get!Portland Oregon glass shower doors
3/8” or ½” glass
Glass is custom cut and fabricated for perfect fit
Select from a variety of clamps, hinges and door handles
Contemporary to traditional look

2. Partial frameless hinged and by-pass doors

Elegant yet affordable
3/16” and ¼” polished edge glass
Standard, arc or Victorian-style towel bar to match fixtures

3. Framed hinged and by-pass doors

(with or without side panels)

Fits all budgets
3/16” and ¼” glass
Swing door customized with variety of handles
Option for towel bar/handle combo

Which shower enclosure  is better?

Of course, that is somewhat a matter of opinion though frameless shower doors last longer.  The glass in a frameless shower door is heavier (3/8” or ½” thickness) while a framed shower door has thinner glass (3/16” or ¼” thickness) because it relies on the metal frame for strength.Portland Shower Door

Most customers like the look of a frameless shower door as there’s no metal frame and offers a much cleaner look.

Attaching fixed panels for glass shower enclosures

90% of the enclosures we install use the “U” channel as it provides a cleaner look though some customers still prefer the clips or clamps.  While both methods are equally attractive, they offer different looks and varying costs.


The fixed glass panels are mounted in U-channels for clean, uninterrupted lines.  No holes need to be drilled into the glass so we pass that savings on to our customers.


Glass clamps (or clips) are mounted directly on the wall or floor and screwed through a hole drilled in the glass. The clamps can be matched to the style of your hinges. Some shower enclosures can look cluttered depending on the number of clamps needed to secure the panels.

Portland shower door

Sierra Glass installs many shower doors and we always offer our expert opinion as to which method is better for your situation.

Glass options for shower doors

For heavy glass or “frameless” installations, we normally use 3/8″ glass and most clients choose clear glass.

While we offer a couple of options for obscure or patterned glass, most customers wanting a frameless shower enclosure want to highlight the tile work and would prefer not to have an obstructed view.  Therefore, they choose clear glass.

Customers with a framed hinged or by-pass door may choose obscure or patterned glass as they are not needing to showcase any tile work.

Keeping your glass shower door clean

We offer a protection product called Aquapel, which forms a chemical bond with the glass to increase water repellency, causing it to bead and shed.  While it resists the buildup of water spots, you’ll still need to squeegee or wipe down your stall after each use.

It’s warranted for 3 years and can be reapplied.  We also offer Bio-clean, which is a water spot remover and works well.

Free estimates on shower door installation

Glass shower doors are a beautiful way to showcase tile work in your bathroom and can increase the value of your home.  Sierra Glass has been installing custom glass shower doors for many years so we’ll offer our professional recommendation for the style that fits best with your needs.

Contact us today for your free estimate.  While we’re taking measurements, we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.  As with all our services, all work is done by Sierra Glass employees to ensure high quality and we guarantee you’ll be happy with your new shower enclosure.

Nov 19, 2018