Posts

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.