Glass Door and Windows

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between monolithic (single pane) glass and insulating glass (double pane)?

A: Insulated glazing (IG) also known as double glazing are double or triple glass window panes separated by an air or other gas filled space to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope. Unlike monolithic glass is not as efficient and it is conformed of only one layer of glass.

Q: Why are only silicone sealants used for structural glazing? 

A: Due to their unique chemical structure, silicone are highly resistant to degradation by sun (UV light), wind, water and temperature extremes. The chemical structures of organic products such as urethane, on the other hand, make them especially vulnerable to degradation by sunlight. With time, they can harden, lose their flexibility, or even revert to their original, uncured consistency. And when the only thing preventing a piece of glass or other substrate from falling off a building is sealant, nothing but the best will do. That is silicone.

Q: Can silicone sealants be used for insulating glazing as well as structural glazing? 

A: Yes, silicone sealants are intended for use as a secondary sealant in a dual-sealed insulated glass unit. The primary seal, typically being polyisobutylene mastic, is required to prevent moisture vapor from transmitting into the airspace of the insulated glass unit. Silicone sealants can also be used as a secondary edge seal in an insulated glass unit that will be structurally glazed. Please refer to our web section on insulated glass.

Q: Approximately how much time is required, from the day an order is placed, for Genesis Glass Installations to install a heavy, glass shower enclosure? 

A: Five to seven business days. The actual time-frame will depend both on the availability of the hardware and on the current back-log at the glass fabricator. Once we receive the materials we will schedule an installation date. Installation itself can be completed in two to six hours, depending on the configuration of the enclosure.

Q: Master bathrooms seem to be the primary place people install extravagant, heavy, glass shower enclosures. For less expensive, secondary bathrooms what types of enclosures does Genesis Glass Installations recommend? 

A: Genesis Glass Installations represents a full line of enclosures from several of the top manufacturers. These lines range from basic sliders to complicated neo-angles and ninety-degree units. Many come in both frameless and semi-frameless. Whatever your needs Genesis Glass Installations has something to fit your budget.

Q: What is a heavy, glass, frameless, shower door? 

A: Heavy glass refers to the thickness of the tempered glass used; and frameless refers to how the door and fixed panels are attached to the shower enclosure walls. The thickness of the glass can be either 3/8" or 1/2". The door of a frameless shower enclosure is attached by hinges only--meaning there is no metal framework around the door itself. The only metal on a frameless door is in the hinges and the handle or handle/towel bar combination.

Q: Does the type of existing tile/stone or fiberglass shower stall affect whether or not a frameless shower enclosure can be installed? 

A: Absolutely! For frameless installations, the preferred type is tile/stone installation is preferred due to the very fact of "floating the walls". This is accomplished by applying wire mesh and multiple layers of a cement product to the walls. Combined with the added wood sub-structure beneath the hinge locations and mounting clips/brackets, this method can support the weight of just about anything. When this type of tile/stone work is used the resulting thickness of the cement, thinnest, and tile/stone is between 1" and 1 1/4" thick. Although this process is more costly, it is far preferable for a frameless shower enclosure.
While a fiberglass shower pan/stall is constructed out of thin plastic/fiberglass material, it is not strong enough to support the fasteners anchoring force. Therefore the installation of heavy glass is not recommended, and a semi-frameless type enclosure is what fits best for these type of fiberglass pan/stalls.

Q: What is the difference between a Frameless and Semi-frameless enclosure? 

A: Few things that differ:
  • The frame: Frameless enclosures use no frames at wall whatsoever, they only use hardware components to attach glass panels/doors to walls. Semi-frameless enclosures use frames all around the glass panels (in some styles frames around door also) and this frame includes top and header tracks and wall jambs, corner posts, strikes, etc.
  • The Glass: Frameless enclosures use heavy plate thick glass 3/8 or 1/2 thick. Semi-frameless use 3/16" or 1/4" thick, which is another reason they require a frame; to strengthen the glass because it's thin and flimsy. 
  • The cost: Frameless units are more costly for a few number of reasons. Glass more expensive, measuring, cutting and fabricating the glass is more accurate and tight-fit. As well as installation is more elaborate complicated and heavy, in most cases it takes two installers for one single unit.
  • The Style: Semi-frameless units give you the old typical framed style door, and a Frameless unit gives the clean all-glass elegant contemporary view. They give you the sense of a deluxe more expensive modern glass unit enclosure.

Q: Can a multi-paneled shower enclosure have metal around its perimeter and a header across the top and still be considered a heavy, glass, frameless shower? 

A: Yes. Some shower enclosure configurations function better with a header, but do not necessarily require metal around the perimeter, as the header itself, once attached to the top of the glass and screwed to the wall, will provide all the support the glass needs to maintain strength and rigidity. In some cases a top header may be substituted by a glass transom header, functioning as well and sturdy as a metal header, but giving you the complete clean frameless elegant look.

Q: For which types of shower configurations does Genesis Glass Installations recommend a metal/glass transom header at the top of an enclosure? 

A: A metal/glass header is recommended on any multi-panel shower enclosure where the door is glass mounted instead of wall mounted, i.e. 90-degree, neo-angle, and inline, 180-degree type units. The header strengthens the enclosure, while transferring the supporting weight of the door from the wall to the threshold. 
Having given these recommendations, if you absolutely must have a header-less shower enclosure, Genesis Glass Installations can probably design a system that is tailored to meet your specific needs.

Q: Are header-less shower enclosures safe? 

A: Yes, most definitely. Header-less enclosures are made from the same 3/8" and 1/2" tempered glass as enclosures with headers. The only difference, structurally speaking, is that they tend to wobble a little, as the top of the glass is not being held securely in place with a header. Nonetheless, if the minor wobble is inconsequential, a header-less shower is the way to go. 
As mentioned in this section, there are circumstances where Genesis Glass Installations will not install a header-less system. If a header is mandatory the customer will be informed of such during the estimate.

Q: What is tempered glass? 

A: Tempered glass is glass that has been heat-treated to make it approximately four times stronger than normal. During the process, glass passes through an oven via a conveyer belt. It is then cooled. As it cools a hard, outer crust forms. If you have ever seen a car's rear/side window break you have seen tempered glass in action. The glass breaks into tiny pieces, none large enough to either hurt anyone or do any serious damage. Tempered glass is the only safe way to construct a frameless shower enclosure. And it is now-a-days a universal building code, required to be used in every shower door enclosure.

Q: Some shower enclosures are made of glass that appears to have a curve or warp to it, and sometimes has tiny imperfections in it. What causes this, and is this normal for tempered glass? 

A: It is, more often than not, a natural by-product of the tempering process. Glass lies flat on the conveyor belt as it progresses through the oven. When it approaches the melting point it can attract specks of dust and/or pick up an imprint from the conveyor belt. Warping can develop as the glass comes out of the oven and begins to cool. Although it is nearly impossible to completely prevent, the best way to avoid warping is to stay away from tall, narrow pieces of glass, as these tend to warp more readily.

Q: What is the most significant difference between top and bottom-pivoting hinges and traditional wall-mounted hinges? 

A: Wall-mounted hinges require stronger wall anchorage in order to support the weight that is hung from them. Whereas, top and bottom-pivoting hinges employ hardened steel bushings to carry the weight of the door, which rests on the bottom hinge. The top hinge actually supports very little lateral weight. Pivoting hinges will often give you wider opening clearance (90° plus) wall mount hinges open to stop at 90°. 

Q: Can Genesis Glass Installations match the finish of the new shower enclosure hardware to existing faucets, towel bars and light fixtures? 

A: Yes, most hardware finishes are available on the market today. However, there are some faucet and lighting manufactures who make colors and finishes that nothing will match! Even if they carry the same name. In such cases, it is best to match the new shower enclosure's hardware with something else in the bathroom. 
There can also be a problem with achieving an exact color match. Because plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, shower door hinges, and shower door headers are all made out of different metals, the color finishes vary. As an example, an aluminum shower header with an oil-rubbed bronze finish will not be a perfect match for a faucet made from brass with an oil-rubbed bronze finish. In turn, the same faucet will not match a light fixture made from punched-steel with an oil-rubbed bronze finish. They will be close, but will not match perfectly.

Q: What types of mirror work does Genesis Glass Installations do? 

A: Genesis Glass Installations designs and installs a variety of decorative and functional mirrors including mirrors on bathroom vanities, bathtub walls, ceilings, fireplaces, bar areas (often with clear glass "floating" shelves), wardrobe doors for closets, multi-paneled walls of mirror, and beveled mirrors of all kinds and shapes--just about anything you can think of. 
Mirror comes in a wide range of colors, and can add a touch of elegance to any room, particularly a room with an outside view you would like to "bring into" the room in question.

Q: Can a light fixture be attached through a mirror? 

A: Yes. But fixture weight is a limiting factor. The best fixtures for such an installation are light bar fixtures with backing plates. These bar configurations can easily be wired in through a hole in the mirror and glued in place. Sconce-type lighting fixtures are more difficult, but not impossible.

Q: What is the best product found in the stores to keep a mirror clean?

A: Any cleaner is good as long as it's ammonia free. We recommend to find a foam cleaner, due to the easy evaporation feature from the mirror/glass surface, it makes it very practical and easy to clean leaving the surface spot-less and lint free.

Q: What is the difference between Flat Polished edge and Beveled edge, on a mirror?

A: Flat polished is a straight flat edging polishing done on the edge of the mirror. Most commonly used in modern/contemporary homes, due to the square edge detail. Unlike Beveling the edge of a mirror is not flat but a faded edging that starts to fade down from within 1" to 1-½” of the mirror surface toward the edge, giving the mirror a frame type look. Mostly used in wood frames or any other application that has a frame around it. They both look great and very typical. It’s more of a designer’s taste when it comes to decide.

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