Frameless Shower Enclosures: An Insiders guide
First, let me tell you a little about myself. I married into the glass business over 15 years ago and have gained extensive knowledge on frameless shower enclosure design. I, along with my husband Mike Hood and his brother Steve Hood, work with homeowners, designers and contractors to make sure each frameless shower enclosure exceeds expectations and adds beauty, function & value to the home.
It seems like new companies are popping up weekly offering discounted prices on frameless shower enclosures, but does it really matter what company you choose? YES!
It is nearly impossible to compare frameless shower enclosure estimates in apples to apples style comparison. So ask questions and make sure everything is in writing.
Here are a few things to compare and key questions to ask.
PRODUCT: Compare glass type and glass thickness; hardware manufacturer, finish, and handle, knob or towel bar selections; Are 135 degree glass corners mitered? What height are they quoting for the shower enclosure? Are there any configuration options? Are Clips or U-channel being used to secure panels? Where will clips be placed? Are they drilling down through your shower liner? Will they “point cut” if needed?
COMPANY: How long has the company been in business for? Do they have a showroom that you can visit? Do they have liability insurance? Are the installers employees or contract workers? What is the warranty? Is it a reputable company? Don’t be afraid to ask for references!
INTANGIBLES: Product knowledge, experience, customer service, integrity, reputation and attention to detail… These are what make apple to apple comparisons impossible.
Story #1- Importance of Integrity: We were called to repair a broken shower panel. Upon arrival, our estimator found a shower panel in a child’s bathroom that had a large crack down the center of the panel and there was not a “tempered” logo on it. First, all glass in shower enclosures must be tempered by code and for safety. If tempered glass breaks, it breaks into thousands of tiny “safe” pieces. But when annealed plate glass breaks, it can have very sharp large pieces that could cause significant injury. Cutting corners is unacceptable especially when it is a safety hazard. The original installer was focused on getting the job completed and not on doing it correctly.
Story #2 – Importance of Quality & Product Knowledge: The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is definitely applicable for custom frameless shower enclosure installation. Quality and knowledge of the product and its limitations are crucial. Frameless shower enclosures must be measured accurately and professionally installed with the correct hardware. We have seen it all from hinges installed with out anchors to incorrect hinges used for the door size and weight to different height glass panels. These are not just cosmetic issues, these can be safety hazards. Choose wisely!
FACT: Liberty Glass has been installing custom frameless shower enclosures for over 16 years in the DFW area but the experience of the owners spans over 25 years each!
OWNERS: Mike Hood and Steve Hood are the business owners and frameless shower enclosure experts. They learned the glass business from their Dad growing up, so they have literally been in the glass business since they were kids!
Call or complete an on-line quote request if you have any questions or would like a free in home estimate on your shower enclosure project.