Shining a Light on Productive Workspaces with Glass

The Harvard Business Review reported on a study conducted by the HR advisory firm Future Workplace, which found that the #1 office perk is natural light.

Of course, with our passion for clear glass railings and glass panels, you don’t have to convince us of the importance of natural light and the difference something as simple as a window can make in someone’s day!

Survey Says…

“The Employee Experience” survey polled 1,614 North American employees. And, as Jeanne C. Meister, who was the managing partner of Future Workplace at the time of the study, said in the Harvard Business Review, “Access to natural light and views of the outdoors was the number one attribute of the workplace environment outranking stalwarts like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare.

Other findings from the study include:

  • The employee experience is negatively impacted by the absence of natural light and outdoor views. 
  • More than a third of employees say that the amount of natural light in their workspace is not adequate. 
  • Nearly half of the employees surveyed said the absence of natural light or a window in their office makes them feel tired. 
  • More than 40 percent of employees said they feel “gloomy” as a result of the lack of natural light.

 

Employees apparently know what’s good for them. In the HBR write up, Meister referred to academic research, which has determined that employees who have natural light in their workplace environment had significantly fewer headaches, reported much less eyestrain and were more alert.

Glass railings and glass panels that let natural light reach further into workplaces can also add a chic, contemporary style to any office environment. Interested in learning more? Contact our glass professionals. They love to talk about the benefits and beauty of frameless glass railings and panels!

Why Is Red Glass More Expensive than Clear Glass?

Most types of commercial glass, including the kind of glass used in our frameless shower enclosures and our glass railings, are made of three simple ingredients. 

Making glass, as it has for centuries, starts with sand, which you might see referred to as silicon dioxide. The other essential ingredients are limestone, which is also known as calcium carbonate, and sodium carbonate, which is sometimes referred to as sodium ash. 

The Recipe for Colored Glass

Just as you can add a pinch of garlic or a teaspoon of vanilla extract to your favorite recipe to alter the final results, ingredients can be added to the basic formula for glass to achieve different effects. 

The recipe for producing colored glass usually involves the addition of a metal to the glass,” the experts at Geology.com explain. This is often accomplished by adding some powdered oxide, sulfide, or other compound of that metal to the glass while it is molten. 

Here are some of the most popular colors used in glassmaking and the metals which are added to create them:

  • Yellow cadmium sulfide 
  • Blue-Violet cobalt oxide
  • Purple manganese dioxide
  • Emerald Green chromic oxide
  • White antimony oxides or tin compounds 
  • Yellow-Amber sulfur
  • Brown iron oxide

 

So, What About Red?

You can’t make the stained-glass windows that were so important in the history of the church without colored glass. Well, the ancient artists who were first experimenting with colored glass, realized that some of the colors they were using to make windows would fade over time. Red glass, it turned out, was particularly likely to fade. 

Artists in many countries worked to produce a red glass that would hold its color through the years under the direct sunlight that passed through the windows,” Geology.com reports. Eventually a permanent red color was developed by adding small amounts of gold to the glass.

While the addition of gold enabled artists to create a beautiful shade of red that would remain vivid year after year, it also made red glass a valuable commodity. “Even today,” Geology.com says, “if you purchase a red sheet of glass it will cost significantly more than any other color.

We have never had a customer request red glass shower panels or red glass railings, so we don’t know how much gold would be needed or how the cost would be affected. If you are interested in clear glass for a shower enclosure or frameless glass balcony railing, however, we would be happy to give you a free estimate.  

3 Reasons Why Glass Is So Special

Glass has fascinated people for thousands of years. Its unusual qualities and variety of uses – from jewelry to glass shower panels – continues to capture our imaginations. 

Believe it or not, there are things about glass that scientists still can’t fully explain. That mystery is just one of the things that make glass so special. Here are a few others:

  1. To create the flat glass sheets used to make everything from windows to glass railings and clear glass shower enclosures, a method known as the float process is used. “In this method, molten glass moves over the lip of a broad spout, passes between rollers, and floats over a bath of molten tin in a steel container,” the folks at Explain That Stuff tell us.
  1. Did you know that glass is stronger than most metals?When tested in a flawless state, glass can withstand a relatively reversible compression yet not fracture,” the experts at Sonoran Glass say. But, of course, who among us is completely flawless? “Its theoretical strength in tension is estimated to be 2 to 5 million pounds per square inch. However, the strength of most commercial glass products ranges from only 2,000 to 25,000 pounds per square inch, owing to the presence of scratches and microscopic flaws.”
  1. Glass is not a solid. “You can make glass by heating ordinary sand (which is mostly made of silicon dioxide) until it melts and turns into a liquid,” the folks at Explain That Stuff tell us. “When molten sand cools, it doesn’t turn back into the gritty yellow stuff you started out with: it undergoes a complete transformation and gains an entirely different inner structure. But it doesn’t matter how much you cool the sand, it never quite sets into a solid.” So what is it? Scientists use the term amorphous solid to describe glass. “It’s like a cross between a solid and a liquid with some of the crystalline order of a solid and some of the molecular randomness of a liquid.”

Of course, another reason glass is so special is because it has the ability to transform a dated bathroom into a stylish, contemporary bathroom. If you would like information about how frameless glass shower enclosures can do that, all you have to do is contact us.

Putting Clear Glass Panels to Work

Installing a frameless glass shower enclosure is a great way to bring the beauty and benefits of glass into your home. But it’s not the only way that glass can help to make your home more functional and more stylish.

Does your home look out over the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Atlantic Ocean or even a scenic lake? Clear glass balcony railings are a great way to get more pleasure and enjoyment out of your beautiful view. But that’s just the start!

Ever since Covid-19 changed the way we work, people have been struggling to set up home offices that allow them to be productive during their working hours without reducing the comfort and functionality of the house for the other hours of the day.

Getting Down to Business with Glass

Glass ceilings in the workplace are meant to be shattered, but there are ways that clear glass panels can be used to great advantage in a home office. 

Glass Walls/Panels

Frosted glass or etched glass can provide privacy without sacrificing the flow of natural light in your space. They are also a wonderful way to divide up a space without making things feel too small or cramped. 

Glass windows and sliders

In addition to providing lots of beneficial natural light, they can reduce noise.

Glass Railings

If you have an awkward or underutilized space at the top of your stairs or along an upper-level gallery, glass railings can help transform it into a bright and airy workspace for you or for the kids. 

Glass topped furniture

Heavy, dark furniture can make what could otherwise be an intimate and charming space feel crowded and claustrophobic. The savvy use of glass for your workspace – whether as the surface for your desk, a glass tabletop or glass shelving used in place of a bookcase or credenza – can help to create a light and breezy atmosphere.

If you are interested in more innovative design ideas involving glass or would like to request a free estimate on a clear glass shower enclosure, please contact us.

How Do You Define Glass?

Here at Florida State Glass and Mirror, we’re not only experts in the creation and installation of clear glass shower enclosures, frameless glass balcony railings and frameless glass shower doors, we are also fans of glass itself!

 When you spend as much time as we do around glass you develop a true appreciation for this amazing and amazingly beautiful material. The more you know about glass, the more you, too, will come to appreciate glass.

What Is Glass?

Sure, we all know what glass is. It’s the stuff that our windows, drinking glasses and seamless shower enclosures are made of. Those are all examples of ways that glass is used, but the question of what it is still remains to be answered.  

  • According to the folks at Chemistry Explained, “Glass is a state of matter. It is a solid produced by cooling molten material so that the internal arrangement of atoms, or molecules, remains in a random or disordered state, similar to the arrangement in a liquid. Such a solid is said to be amorphous or glassy.”

 

“Without glass, the world would be unrecognizable,” Douglas Main, writing for The Atlantic, said, “It’s in the eyeglasses on your face, the lightbulbs in your room, and the windows that let you see outside. But despite its ubiquity, there’s still some debate within the research community about how to define ‘glass.’

 That’s right, despite the fact that glass is just about everywhere, there is no definitive way to define exactly what it is. “Unanswered questions abound, like what makes one type of glass stronger than another, or why certain mixtures produce their unique optical or structural properties. Add to this the nearly infinite varieties of glass—one database lists over 350,000 types of currently known glass, though in principle the number of mixtures is limitless—and you get a surprisingly large and active field of research that regularly produces astounding new products.” Main writes. “Glass has shaped the world more than any other substance, and in many sneaky ways, it’s the defining material of the human era.”

 Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in chemistry to appreciate the beauty and functionality of clear glass shower panels and frameless glass railings. We’ll be honest, we’re not chemists, either, but we do have a wealth of professional expertise when it comes to stylish frameless glass balcony railings and frameless shower enclosures. Contact us if you would like to know more.

Shattering the Glass in Hollywood

Have you ever seen a movie and watched an actor walk or fall through glass and remain uninjured? Don’t get any ideas! The glass they use for stunts in the movies either isn’t the same as the glass in your windows or glass shower panels. Special effects specialists and stunt coordinators have a few tricks up their sleeves to create movie magic with glass. 

Breaking Into the Movies 

Old-time Hollywood tricks and new technology make it safe for actors to break through glass barriers. Here’s how they do it:

  • Sugar Glass has been used in movies since Hollywood’s early days. It looks like glass but tastes like candy! It’s also not dangerous for actors and actresses to work with. It’s made by dissolving sugar in water and heating it. Adding corn syrup prevents the sugar from recrystallizing. Cream of tartar is part of the mix, too. It helps by turning the sugar into glucose and fructose. Unfortunately, it will become soft and lose its breakable quality if not used soon after preparation. The reason it’s used less often nowadays is because more stable materials were created.
  • Tempered or Toughened Glass, as Jason Hilton, a stunt coordinator, explains on quora.com is a good choice when a director wants a window to shatter into tiny pieces or pebbles, like when a gun is fired into it. Instead of a bullet, Hilton says, on the set they will use a glass popper to shatter the glass. ”A glass popper ( Glass Breakers / Poppers ) is basically a nail in a tube that is forced into the glass, shattering it, and can be powered pneumatically or with a squib,” Hilton says. 
  • Breakaway Glass is the way to go if the director wants the glass to break into shards instead of pebbles. “Breakaway glass ( Film Production Equipment | Breakaway Glass | Thomas FX) is an alternative material that is designed to break and shatter to produce shards that, while pointy, have a much lower chance of causing injury than real glass,” Hilton says.

 

But the material used is only part of the way moviemakers ensure safety when using glass. “Regardless of the method and material employed, significant planning and safety considerations go into the execution of stunts and effects that involve glass breaking,” Hilton says.

Sugar glass and breakaway glass are found pretty exclusively on movie sets, but tempered glass is used in many applications. Because of the way it breaks, tempered glass is less likely to injure a person, which makes it an excellent choice for car windows as well as frameless glass shower doors, bathtub enclosures, sliding doors, windows, skylights, glass facades, frameless glass balconies and many more. Even the glass panels around hockey rinks in some sports arenas are made of tempered glass. In other words, it’s tough, strong and stable. 

If you would like to install frameless balcony glass railing, frameless shower doors, glass frameless shower doors, glass shower panels, or shower enclosure glass using the safest glass possible, call us at (561) 997-6990 or contact us online.

Glass Railings Enhance the View – Wherever You Go

One of the main criteria for travelers is the view. Whether it’s an urban jungle or an African photo safari, a river or a lake, you don’t want anything to stand between your eyes and the view. That’s why many hotel and residential rental owners choose frameless glass balcony railings for their properties.

It’s so exciting to wake up in the morning in a new place, open your eyes and see a new city skyline or the roaring ocean waves. And it’s so invigorating to come out of your room with a cup of coffee and sit in a chair overlooking the landscape – and with the advantage of frameless glass railings, feeling like you’re a part of it.

The Safety of Frameless Glass Railings

Some people wonder though if frameless glass balcony railings are safe. The answer is yes, and here’s why:

  • The installation is super strong and secure, using all the newest technologies. 
  • Frameless glass railings don’t have slats or openings, which makes it impossible for a pet or child to get through. The space between the glass and the supports is very small.
  • Smooth glass makes it tricky to climb, so once again, it’s better for families with small children who like to climb on everything.
  • The glass for frameless glass railings is tempered safety glass. It’s about four times stronger than regular glass. According to Science ABC, tempered glass breaks into small pieces that interlock with neighboring pieces and therefore doesn’t fall apart easily. The tiny pebbles are not sharp, which makes it more difficult for people to get injured.
  • Glass railings with stainless steel fasteners are not going to decay like wooden balcony railings, which makes these railings safer as well. 

Choosing the right place to stay while traveling is extremely important. And there are so many options, from hotels and RVs to private houses and apartments! The sky is the limit. So, whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, your friends or your precious pets, you can safely choose to stay in a place with frameless glass balcony railings. Imagine those Instagram photos you’re going to post!

If you’d like to install frameless glass balcony railings at your property in Florida, contact us for more information.

The Luxurious Looking Glass

They may look totally different, but mirrors are made of glass – just like the beautiful frameless shower enclosures and glass railings that we make. 

Today, mirrors are part of our everyday lives. You probably wouldn’t think of leaving the house before checking your appearance in one. Most cars these days have more than one mirror. Women might carry one in their purse. Even the trendy tiny homes you might have seen on TV have mirrors.

We take mirrors for granted today, but for most of their history, mirrors were considered a luxury item. 

Early Mirror Makers

According to the Columbia Tribune, “The early method for making a glass mirror consisted of coating the back of a sheet of glass with an amalgam of mercury and tin. The surface was overlaid with several sheets of tinfoil and rubbed smooth. The entire surface was then covered with mercury. Finally, a cloth made of soft wool was placed on the surface and weighted down for a day. The glass was then tilted so that the excess mercury ran off and could be save.” 

Whew! No wonder it was considered unlucky to break a mirror! And no wonder mirrors were considered to be luxury items. 

Other advancements – like adding gilt frames and making oval or round mirrors – only added to the luxurious appeal of mirrors. 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that someone figured out how to coat the back of the glass with silver. It still wasn’t exactly easy to make a mirror, but it did simplify things and shorten the timeline. 

 Today, mirrors can be mass produced, but quality custom mirrors – as well as chic frameless glass balcony railings and clear glass shower enclosures – can still add a touch of luxury to your life.

The History of Glass Making: Mesopotamia

The technology involved in creating beautiful clear glass shower enclosures and frameless glass railings has advanced from the earliest days of glass making.  

No one is sure about who first figured out how to make glass or why they did it. “However,” as the experts at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York explain in their discussion of the origins of glassmaking, “it is generally believed that glassmaking was discovered 4,000 years ago, or more, in Mesopotamia.” 

The Ancient Equivalent of Silicon Valley

If you were paying attention dur your history classes in school, you might remember that Mesopotamia is known as the Cradle of Civilization. 

“In what the Greeks later called Mesopotamia, Sumerians invented new technologies and perfected the large-scale use of existing ones. In the process, they transformed how humans cultivated food, built dwellings, communicated and kept track of information and time,” the experts at History.com tell us.

In Mesopotamia as it is today, it appears that necessity was the mother of invention. A lack of natural resources forced the ancient Sumerians to get creative and, in the process, as History.com says, they “built a civilization that in some ways was the ancient equivalent of Silicon Valley.”

We don’t know what historians of the future will say when they look back on the technological innovation that has come out of Silicon Valley, but we do have historical perspective on the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. In fact, History.com quotes the late historian Samuel Noah Kramer who wrote, “The people of Sumer had an unusual flair for technological invention.”

That might be a bit of an understatement! In addition to glass, the list of inventions that came out of Mesopotamia includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Writing
  • Chariots
  • The Plow
  • Metallurgy
  • Mathematics
  • Textile Mills
  • Hydraulic Engineering 
  • Mass-Produced Clay Products, including Pottery and Bricks  

 

If necessity is inspiring you to create something new – like a beautiful new bathroom featuring frameless glass shower doors – or if you would like to chat more about the history of glass, contact us

March Is National Women’s Health Month

When it comes to making decisions about renovating the bathroom – like whether you should get install a clear glass shower enclosure or simply add glass shower panels to an existing tub and shower configuration – it is usually a woman calling the shots.

The folks at Contractor magazine reported on a survey conducted by Service Magic, saying, “Women and home-improvement contractors agree that the woman in the household is the primary decision-maker when it comes to managing home-improvement projects.”

Survey Says!

What’s really interesting about this particular survey is the different responses from homeowners and contractors.

When they asked men, the survey found:

  • 30% of them said they make the decisions.
  • Only 8% admitted that women are usually the primary decision-makers.

The women, on the other hand, saw things differently, as the survey found:

  • 25% of them said that women call the shots.
  • Once again, a minority of 8% said their counterparts, in this case the guys, were the primary decision-makers

What about the rest of the folks surveyed?

  • 65% of them said that they make decisions together.

You noticed some discrepancies between what the men and women said. But just wait until you see how the contractors responded!

Contractor magazine reports that, when the contractors that homeowners work with on their renovation projects were asked the same question, they had much different results:

  • 17% of contractors said that the man makes the decisions.
  • 28% of them said that the decisions are made by the couples acting as a team.
  • But a whopping 55% of contractors said that woman are calling the shots.

Rodney Rice, who is the co-CEO of the company that conducted the survey – ServiceMagic, told Contractor magazine, “This is a very telling survey. There is a gap between perception and reality within the household.”

We haven’t had any real problems (maybe because it’s so easy to agree on the beauty and style of our frameless glass balcony railings and glass shower enclosures) but we have heard that some contractors get caught in the middle, when the man thinks he is making the decisions and so does the woman.

But we don’t need a survey to tell us how important women are to the success of our business. We are grateful to all the women who have chosen to install our glass shower enclosures, seamless glass railings and custom mirrors in their homes. And we encourage all of your to check in with your doctors regularly and take good care of your health.