Day after day you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and step into the shower. You slide the wet shower curtain from the night before and discover that mold started to accumulate in the corner of the curtain. When you’re done, you find yourself busy directing water back to the shower drain. It is inevitable, you need a new shower screen. Looking for a shower screen sounds easy, just pick something you like, pay someone to install it and Bob’s your uncle. The truth is that there are lots of parameters you need to take into consideration.
First glass, first class
One of the most important aspects of glass shower screens is obviously the glass itself. High quality glass is the basis for an amazing shower screen. In this global age, consumers are looking to lower their costs by compromising on low quality materials that in the long run, can cost much more. Shattered screens and weak hinges can be dangerous to yourself and the rest of the house members when you are the most vulnerable and unprotected. For that reason, Australian made glass is the perfect solution. Australian manufacturers are bound to the strictest regulations by the BCA (Building code of Australia) to ensure a high quality glass product.
The recommended standard shower screen glass is 10mm toughened safety glass. As its name suggests, toughened glass is extremely tough and designed to withstand extreme pressure and unlike other kind of glass, it can be mounted without the support of a frame – frameless. The safety part of the toughened glass comes into practice in the rare times that it shatters. In this scenario, the glass splits to tiny fragments in order to inflict minimum amount of damage to the user and keep them safe.
Each to their own
After we set the standard of good and reliable glass, it’s time to move on to the design of the shower screen itself which varies from person to person and holds endless options and designs that come into play in custom made frameless shower screens. The main focus on a custom-made shower screen is the matter of comfort. The space that each person has in their bathroom dictates the limitations and restrictions in regards to the shower screen. In some situations, its better to have a sliding door instead of a regular door, and in some cases it’s better to not have a door altogether. If there are kids in the house, access to the shower must be taken into consideration in a way that will be easy for them. Patterns or colour is a matter of taste. These days, a shower screen is viewed as a decorative piece and holds in itself a variety of different patterns and that is the reason it’s important to remember that the shower screen is in your house for a long period of time and it’s important not to compromise.
In order to make sure that your custom-made frameless shower screen is up to standard and as close to perfection as possible, it’s important to contact experts in the field. Cutting and toughening the glass and installing it is a very precise process. Choosing the right person for the job is necessary to guarantee a finished product to your liking. Compromising on professionalism and experience may cost you more in the long run. Choosing the right person for your shower screen can ensure the best product and proper installation that will allow the customer to have peace of mind and satisfaction for years.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE: WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH A SMART GLASS?
In a few years from now, we will ask people to “turn off the window” and this day is not to far away. In the last few years technological powers are trying to make our living environment smarter. Autonomic vehicles are driving themselves on the street and the air con starts working in the house before we get home from work. This advancement in our life style is also felt in the glass industry that’s catching up and providing solutions that before, up until about a decade ago, was merely a dream.
How does it work?
The technology of the smart glass (also known as Privacy glass or switchable glass) is based on liquid crystal, the same material that is being used in LCD screens, which has the properties to change it’s level of transparency and be more dynamic. The liquid crystal gel is trapped between 2 sheets of glass (in it’s most basic form) and once you connect the smart glass to a source of electricity, the molecules of the liquid crystal become smarter. As current runs through the glass the molecules shift it’s position in the glass and align in a way that light can move from one side of the glass, to the other. When electric current is prevented from the glass, the molecules shift back to it’s original position and light can no longer go through the glass. Instead of clarity, a milky and murky pattern appears.
Another innovation in the smart glass universe is thermochromic glass. This glass is self-tinted glass which is designed to cover gradually and in a linear fashion, according to the sun’s ray of light as it comes in contact with the glass. A layer of PVB is located between 2 sheets of glass and it’s properties are to react to the degree of heat that’s inflicted on it. This method is designed to isolate heat from the interior of the house as much as possible.
Who uses this technology?
Smart glass companies enjoy a variety of clients who are interested in their products. Refrigerator manufacturers are using the switchable glass in their designs to prevent users to open the door too often, which in turn leads to a worn out rubber on the refrigerator’s door seal and thus, losing coldness. The automobile industry is also interested in combining smart glass technology on their future designs to allow privacy and reduce over heating inside the with a thermochromic glass. Offices use the privacy glass for their glass partitions or conference rooms to create an instant mask on their sensitive information.
In the residential glass realm, the use of the smart glass is far and wide. It starts with fancy doors and windows that create privacy and lower room temperature. It continues in the bathroom as it works safely on the glass shower screen and even on the balcony balustrades it serves it’s purpose by giving the residences privacy.
Let the professionals do it
If you are interested in smart glass installation let the professional glaziers use their skills. Smart glass is basically programable and requires knowledge to do so in a way that will satisfy the users. Whether it’s for commercial use or residential, choosing a professional to install this technology is the safest and smartest choice.