Glass Protection for Glass Shower Enclosures- Is it worth the money? Which one is the best? Do they work the same? Can I use Rainex and do it myself?
I will answer all these questions! I will tell you my own personal experience with the glass in my shower. I think by the end you will have made your mind up on whether to get glass protection or not for your shower.
Not a Gimmick
I was hesitant to push Glass Protection for Glass Shower Enclosures to my clients in fear of them thinking it is just another sale pitch to upgrade their bill 20%. If I am going to offer an upgrade, you better believe I am offering it only because I feel it’s worth it. I will tell you now that getting a protective coating on your glass is worth every penny. I feel it is such an important investment that I am willing to offer it with a minimal margin. I want glass protectant to be affordable and available to my clients. After doing a test run in my own home, I would never want to go back. I will share my experience with my glass enclosure.
I moved into a house that had cheaped out on the door part of the shower door. They opted for the ‘Splash Panel’ In Lieu of a shower door and fixed panel. It was freezing in there! That alone was enough to make a door a priority, but the water ‘splashing’ out was rather annoying.
I replaced the splash panel that was on the right side knee wall with a notched panel to the floor and hinged a 26″ door off the left side. I opted for 1/2″ glass because I had recently discovered that 1/2″ glass was a far superior in look and feel than the standard 3/8″ clear shower glass. This was another upgrade I never offered until I tested the two side by side. The 1/2′ really does feel luxurious next to the 3/8″. I decided not to put the glass protectant on right away. I wanted to try having one panel treated and one panel not treated for a couple years and report back if the glass protectant worked. I felt this was the only way I would feel confident enough in the product to have my name in it.
I was truly shocked by what happened. It was not 3 months when I couldn’t stand looking at the dirty panel that I hadn’t treated. I started to feel the beginning stages of mineral etching when I tried to clean the glass. The surface starts to feel rough when the etching starts. I was even squeegeeing 98% of the time and the hard water was still starting to permanently etch the glass. I knew it was time to end this experiment before I let the damage go too far. ONce the glass is deeply etched you can never get it truly clean looking. The etched part will look white when it’s dry despite how clean it may be. I remember in my first house, when I was too young and lazy to squeegee, I had etched glass on my hands in in time. ONce it was etched I hate how it looked so, of course, I start to clean with the best of the best glass cleaners. Nothing worked until I tried Bio-Clean. Bio-Clean is an abrasive cleaner that is safe for glass. It has a gritty texture to it and requires you buff it into the glass until it shines. I couldn’t believe how good it looked. The door was brand new and it wasn’t that much elbow grease. This was until I showered. When the glass was wet it still looked good, as soon as it dried it turned white. I cleaned it again until it was shiny and as soon as it dried the white came back. Let this be a lesson to you. I decided to move.
In my next house, I decided that I own a glass company and I shouldn’t have to clean my glass after every shower. I would rather replace it in a few years than waste all that time. I was amazed that after 3 5 years the glass still looked pretty good. I wondered if the water was not as hard? It didn’t make sense why the glass in this house wasn’t etched but the last house a few block away etched in quick time. It wasn’t until my cleaning lady quit that I realized how the glass stayed new. I didn’t have a cleaning lady in the first house. My idea of cleaning the shower glass was taking a shower. In the next house, I hired a weekly cleaning lady and she cleaned that glass every week to a sparkly shine. When she left, I eventually hired a new cleaning lady but I think she mostly skipped the shower glass and it took no time at all for the damage to start building. My shower glass was only cleaned once a week, and it didn’t look great in between cleanings, but those weekly cleanings proved to be successful in preventing etching on the glass. After having a glass protectant, Cleaning the glass weekly is the only other sure way to preserve the glass.
When it comes to ordering your shower door I can’t urge you enough to pay the extra $100 or $200 to have a glass protectant applied. I will go into more detail about how the different protectants stand up but under no circumstances should you have nothing between your glass investment and the water that will wreak havoc on it.