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.

Home-Improvement Projects Can Help Brighten Days Ahead

With the confusion, fear and turmoil of 2020 behind us, perhaps it is in everyone’s best interest to look at 2021 with open eyes, positive thoughts and a mind as unclouded as a clear glass shower enclosure offered by Florida State Glass and Mirror.

Taking such an optimistic approach to the new year can’t hurt, right? Thoughts along those lines might even be valid now that a COVID-19 vaccine is here.

“Rising confidence in the vaccine points to a deeper trend that could make 2021 a critical turning point,” a Foreign Policy article notes. “If that claim sounds overblown, consider a few important facts. The first is that confidence in the vaccine hasn’t just grown but is likely to keep growing.”

Do You Have Projects You Need to Finish?

As more and more people get vaccinated, life will be able to start getting back to some semblance of normal. So, if you have any home-improvement projects that you’ve been talking about taking on, now is the time!

If modernizing your bathroom is on the to-do list, we would love to help. Just think how great frameless shower doors or glass shower panels from Florida State Glass and Mirror would look in your special sanctuary!

We can also help with a full selection of mirrors, including LED mirrors, glow mirrors, mirrors with illuminated borders and vanity / makeup mirrors. And, if you are thinking of a home improvement project outside the bathroom, we might still be able to help. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking:

  • Staircases (glass railings)
  • Fireplaces (custom fireplace mirrors)
  • Foyers (custom foyer mirrors)

So, go ahead and put your energy into something that will ensure happiness and joy for your family in 2021. If we’ve learned anything this past year, it is that Dorothy was right… there really is no place like home.

If you have questions about putting in a clear glass shower enclosure or installing seamless glass railings, contact us.

Does Santa Have Glass Shower Panels?

There are a lot of things we know about Santa Claus – and an awful lot of things we don’t know. When it comes to what his bathroom looks like and whether or not they have glass shower panels up at the North Pole or whether there are glass railings on the balcony overlooking the workshop, well that’s definitely something we can only wonder about. 

Nevertheless, House and Home reported on a log cabin in the North Pole that is decorated like Santa’s house. Or at least what someone imagines Santa’s house to look like. You or I might have different ideas dancing in our heads on these long winter nights, but it’s still fun to take a peek at this chill abode!

Santa’s Cabin in the Woods

The folks at House and Home start off by saying, “If Santa Claus were real, his house would look something like this rustic log cabin in the North Pole. Though it may look more like the set of a Christmas movie, this real house was decorated by its owner to look and feel like somewhere Santa would live.”

We don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but since when does Santa live in a log cabin? Haven’t these folks ever watched any of the Christmas specials on TV? We like to think of Santa ensconced in a castle with plenty of room for his workshop and all of those busy little elves – something like the one featured in the 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

But for now, we’ll play along. 

According to House and Home, the log cabin is “Described as “a toy-lover’s paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole — perfect for spirited reindeer games” in the listing, the vintage log house was built in the 1800s and renovated in 2013 with modern-day amenities.” 

The home has 2,500 square feet – not quite a castle, but not exactly a cozy little cabin, either – three bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

Based on the picture of Santa’s bathroom that House and Home ran, which shows a red plaid shower curtain rather than a chic clear glass shower enclosure, we would have to say he is more of a traditional guy. But if he is ever interested in updating his décor with frameless glass shower doors, we would love to help!

Glass Panels in the Kitchen

It’s true, most people associate clear glass with shower enclosures in the bathroom, or maybe even frameless glass balcony railings. But glass panels can also work beautifully in your kitchen.

With the pandemic, we have all been eating at home more. A lot more. And that, of course, means that we are all spending more time in our kitchens. (Even if it is only to grab some silverware or get the ketchup out of the frig.) 

Not surprisingly, many people are noticing that their kitchen could use a little updating. The good news is that you don’t have to embark on a complete kitchen renovation project. For a lot less money – and in a lot less time – you can give your kitchen a whole new look and feel by freshening up the look of your kitchen cabinets.

 

Kitchen Cabinet Updates

When it comes to freshening up the look of your kitchen, you have several options: 

  1. Glass-fronted cabinet doors.
    • Of course, here at Florida State Glass and Mirror, we love this option. But we are not the only ones. As HGTV notes in its write up on glass kitchen cabinet doors, “There are many benefits to adding glass doors to your kitchen cabinets, the first of which is obvious: you’ll be able to see what’s in your cabinets. This offers a stylish touch that allows you to show off attractive glassware and dinnerware,” the say. And remember, you don’t have to convert all of your cabinet doors, so you can still have plenty of storage space for things you might not want on display.
  2. Painted cabinets
    • An even easier and more affordable way to change things up in your kitchen is by painting your cabinets. You can try for something simple and fresh, like all white cabinets or explore the popular trend of using a darker color for your bottom cabinets and a lighter color above.
  3. New hardware
    • You might not pay much attention to the drawer pulls and the handles on your cabinet doors, but you would be surprised by how much of a difference installing new hardware can make – especially if you pair the metal used in your new hardware with a new kitchen faucet.

If you would like some ideas about updating your bathroom, too, we would love to show you how much of a difference a new clear glass shower enclosure or frameless shower doors will make!