Archive

Archive for April, 2015

Shower Glass De-lamination

Hello,

Your help with this issue could save me a lot of time and money.

We remodeled our bathroom over a year ago and had a frameless glass shower unit installed.

Following the installers advise, we applied Rain-X to the glass before using the unit. Over a short period of time, we noticed a checker-board pattern appear between the double pane glass when using a hot water shower. This progressed with the appearance of water spots between the panes. We reported the problem to the installer and they came and replaced the glass partitions. The installer told us this time to use glass cleaner containing Rain-X before using the shower, which I did. Within a short period of time the same issue returned. The installer instructed us to use a buffing pad to remove the spots. That didn’t work so I wanted to completely rule out hard water spots on the surface of the glass and cleaned with a lemon juice- vinegar/baking soda-vinegar/water protocol. The surface of the glass sparkled but did not remove the water spots.

I believe this to be material and/or installation defect that allowed moisture to collect between the double pane glass resulting in the checker-board appearance following a hot shower and the subsequent appearance of water spots, none of which is on the surface. Unfortunately, we may have waited too long for another warranty replacement while pursuing installer recommendations to remove ” hard water spots”. Bottom line,something has to be done as it is getting worse.

How do you suggest we proceed and how do we prevent this from occurring again on the next glass replacement?

HELP!!!

Rob Hailes

glass delamination glass delamination

Hi Rob,

Laminated glass is basically two pieces of glass that are laminated together with clear plastic. It is impossible to tell this by looking straight through the glass with the naked eye. This is the type of glass that is used in the windshield of your car. It is a type of safety glass, and meets code for showers (unless the local authority having jurisdiction says otherwise).

The problem is that the manufacturer and supplier of the glass will not give you a warranty for use in a shower enclosure. The edges of the laminated glass need to be protected from being exposed to water directly, like in the case of a frameless shower enclosure. These panels will normally work out fine when the edges are captured (framed), but when the edges are exposed they are vulnerable to what is known as “delamination.” The glass begins to pull away from the plastic lamination and vice-versa.

Without seeing your glass, that is what I am guessing is happening in your situation. The solution is to replace the laminated glass with tempered.

I hope this helps,

-Chris

Frameless Shower Enclosure Channels

Chris,

I have seen frameless showers with the glass resting in metal channels where it contacts the tile, you have also discussed recessing the channel into the tile (butting the tile up to both sides of the channel). Are there any pros and cons to having the channel on top of the tile vs recessed. I can imagine if on top, the channel weep holes will drain water, but if recessed it seems it wouldn’t and enable mold growth.

Thanks for all the great advice.

Connell Smith

shower-1     shower-2

Hi Connell,

I think that your assessment of the options is pretty good. It’s actually kind of unusual for people to do the recessed channel with shower enclosures… there are some issues with preventing water infiltration. If you do imbed the channel, you are going to need to add a lot of silicone to prevent any water leaking into the floor below. Once water gets in, there will be no way for it to get back out again. On the other hand, having the channel on top of the tile will allow for weep holes (as you described), and go a long way to prevent water damage in the future.

Thanks!

Chris Phillips