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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.

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

Decorating Your Home with Custom Mirrors

Here at Florida State Glass and Mirror we are well known for our clear glass shower enclosures, our seamless glass railings and frameless glass balcony railings but we also offer a full range of beautiful custom mirrors that can add style and light to your home. 

“In the world of home decor, mirrors can be a magical design tool,” the home improvement pros at Realtor.com say. “They can brighten a dark room. They can make a tiny space look much bigger. And they can add an affordable touch of glamour and style to even the most ordinary of spaces.”

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The folks at Realtor.com also say that a mirror can help you make the most of a beautiful view. “Create more of a good thing by positioning a mirror to reflect eye-catching rosebushes, a view of a lake, the mountains, or even the trees in your yard,” they suggest.

We can help you bring more of Florida’s lush beauty inside with a variety of custom window options, including: 

 

And when it comes to bathroom mirrors, the folks at Realtor.com recommend going all out. “You almost can’t overdo mirrors in the bathroom, so definitely go to town in this space.” Amy Bell, a designer at Red Chair Home Interiors, in Cary, NC, gives Realtor.com some counter-intuitive advice: “An easy, instant fix to a claustrophobic bathroom is to swap out a small mirror for a larger one.” 

Other great ideas for decorating with custom mirrors might include:

and

  • Mirrored Closet Doors

 

Using custom mirrors on closet doors is always a popular choice. They not only make the space appear larger, but they also provide a practical function. For your convenience, we offer a full range of mirrored closet doors to fit your personal style and budget, including: 

  • Bi-fold framed door
  • Sliding framed doors
  • Bi-fold frameless doors
  • Sliding frameless doors

 

You are probably familiar with frameless glass shower enclosures but wait until you see that design aesthetic applied to mirrored closet doors! Beautiful! Contact us for more information.

Take Luxury to the Next Level with Glass Shower Panels

Frameless glass shower doors are a great and stylish way to update any bathroom. They are modern and practical and add a sense of instant luxury.

If you are planning a bathroom renovation and want to create a luxurious, spa-like atmosphere there are other features that you may also want to consider in your planning process. One thing that always makes a space feel luxurious is space. In most cases, you will just have to work with what you have, but if you have an extra room that is being underutilized and if your budget will stretch to cover it, you might want to think about expanding the footprint of your new bathroom. 

The Luxe Treatment

Clear glass shower enclosures and extra space are not your only options when it comes to creating a luxurious bathroom. The folks at Better Homes & Gardens offer some great suggestions for fulfilling your dream of a luxury bathroom. Here are a few of our favorites:  

  • Showerheads

A small showerhead is not what you want for your luxury bathroom. These days you have lots of options, including rain showers and steam showers. You should also consider which finishes will highlight your design. 

  • Mirrors

An elegant mirror is a must in a luxury bathroom. You can have a fixed mirror and a couple of flanked mirrors that will allow you to see yourself from multiple angles. Wall-mount lights at each side of the mirror at about eye level, with a third light above the mirror, will illuminate your face from both sides and above, removing shadows. Get a mirror with quality optics. It will always tell you that you are “the fairest of them all.”

  • Faucets

The easiest way to change your bathroom look is a faucet. Make it contemporary or minimalistic, but let it stand out on its own.

  • A Bouquet of Fresh Flowers

Luxury doesn’t necessarily equate to expensive. For example, fresh flowers in a lovely vase will emphasize the beauty of any room, including your bathroom. 

Of course, frameless shower doors are still one of the easiest ways to instantly evoke a sense of luxury in your bathroom. And we aren’t the only ones who think they are beautiful. Frameless glass shower doors – and frameless glass balcony railings – remain a top trend this year. If you aren’t sure what would work in your home, contact us. We would be happy to discuss your options.

A Clear Look at the History of Glass: Part 1

Here at Florida State Glass and Mirror, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Mesopotamians. Without their ingenuity, which gave us not only glass but also the first form of writing and the wheel among many other things, we would not be able to offer you our beautiful clear glass shower enclosures or frameless glass balcony railings

We don’t know exactly how the Mesopotamians managed to develop a method for making glass, but we are awfully glad they did! 

The Early Chapters in the History of Glass

While many questions remain about the introduction of glass, Historians think that the discovery was first made about 4,000 years ago – maybe more – in Mesopotamia! “Scholars believe that the ability to make glass developed over a long period of time from experiments with a mixture of silica-sand or ground quartz pebbles – and an alkali,” the experts at the Corning Museum of Glass tell us. 

“Other high heat industries, including ceramics and metalworking, could have inspired early glassmakers. Perhaps the development of glass began with potters firing their wares. Could the first glass have been colorful, hard, shiny decoration fused to a clay pot’s surface in the heat of the furnace? No one knows,” they say.

What we do know is that Pliny the Elder, a Roman military commander, author and philosopher who died in 79 AD, got it wrong. He credited the Phoenicians with the discovery of glass. The Phoenicians may have been superb sailors, who came up with a set of letters that would eventually become the alphabet we use today, but they were not the first to make glass, as Pliny would have us believe.

According to the Corning Museum of Glass, Pliny said that Phoenician sailors accidentally discovered glass when they made a cooking fire on the beach. “Though this is an interesting explanation, this scenario is not possible since a cooking fire cannot reach the melting temperature of glass, and the story most likely involved Ptolemais because its beach sand was historically known to be heavily used for glassmaking,” they say.

It may not seem like much compared to the ancient Mesopotamians and Phoenicians, but here at Florida State Glass and Mirror, we are very proud of our history as a family-owned and operated business with more than 20 years of experience working with high-quality glass products, including glass shower panels and glass railings.