Exploding Glass? What You Need To Know

Exploding Glass? What You Need To Know

If you’re installing a glass balustrade, pool fence, or shower screen, you may wonder about the risk of breakage. The spontaneous explosion of toughened glass is not uncommon, and it’s important to be aware of the potential causes and how they can be prevented.

To help explain further, we’ve put together this helpful blog with all you need to know about exploding glass.

exploding glass
Table of Contents

Common causes

Exploding glass is commonly caused by installation defects or damage, binding in the frame, internal defects and inclusions, thermal stresses, and inadequate glass thickness.

Installation damage

If glass is chipped or nicked during transport and installation, it can spontaneously explode. While these small areas of damage might not cause instantaneous breakage, over time stress concentration can develop as the glass expands. If you’re using tempered glass, it’s often the case that the entire unit will break. 

Binding in the frame

As temperatures change, glass naturally expands and contracts. As a result, glass is placed on resilient blocks, and space is allowed for expansion around the sides and at the top. The gaskets keeping the glass within the frame usually protect the glass against wind buffering. If there isn’t any space left around the glass, it will end up binding against the frame. Stresses will then develop in the glass which will overtake its strength and thus lead to breakage. 

Internal defects and inclusions in the glass

Glass can sometimes include nickel sulphide, or “stones”, which is the result of using stainless-steel machinery in the manufacture and handling of the glass. Over time, these stones change their structure and grow, leading to internal stresses. If these stresses exceed the glass’s strength, it will break. Tempered glass is particularly susceptible to this kind of breakage, which can be identified through the appearance of a characteristic “figure-eight” shape.

Additionally, small pieces of brick may be eroded from the internal walls of the furnace used during processing and become lodged in the final product. These pieces are also known as “stones” and may result in breakage when the glass is heated. 

Thermal stresses

Larger pieces of sealed insulating glass coated with a reflective heat-absorbing surface are susceptible to breakage caused by thermal stress. This particular coating is generally applied to the inner face of the outside lite. As the coating converts solar radiant heat into sensible heat, it causes the outside lite to heat up more quickly than the inside lite. As the outside lite heats and expands, it causes the entire glass unit to bend. If the two lites form a rigid connection, undue stress may result which is greater than the strength of the glass, thus causing breakage. 

Inadequate glass thickness

If the glass hasn’t been properly manufactured to cope with wind, or if it’s too large or thin, it can be broken by wind strength. 

Modern Bathroom With Glass Door

Want a glass installation you can trust? Choose Frameless Glass Installations

For quality frameless shower screen, splashback, balustrade, and pool fencing installations on the Sunshine Coast, Frameless Glass Installations has the perfect solution. Backed by over 15 years of experience in the industry, we’re an owner-operated company with a passion for delivering high-quality products and efficient service.

We’ve put great effort into perfecting our materials, manufacturing and installation techniques, and customer service, to ensure we stay up-to-date with industry developments and client needs. Whatever your project size or requirements, we’re on hand to provide outstanding products, assistance and service for every job.

Our glaziers are on hand to discuss your particular requirements and to suggest the perfect solution. Contact us on (07) 5479 0003 to learn more about our products and services.

Benefits of Glass Shower Screens vs. Perspex Screens and Shower Curtains

Benefits of Glass Shower Screens vs. Perspex Screens and Shower Curtains

5 reasons why you'll be glad you chose a glass shower screen

Your initial outlay for a glass shower screen may be higher than for other options such as perspex screens or simple shower curtains, but in the long run, a glass shower screen will pay for itself many times over. Here are some of the benefits of glass shower screens over perspex screens or even shower curtains.

Glass shower screen - Sunshine Coast

1. Appearance

A glass shower screen simply looks better. The newer frameless and semi-frameless shower screens add a touch of class to your bathroom, making it appear bigger and brighter. With regular cleaning, the glass remains clear and sparkling, whereas perspex shower screens can very quickly graze and become dull with age. Shower curtains can look very untidy and even ugly too, particularly if they become mouldy due to infrequent cleaning.

2. Easy to clean

Glass is easy to clean and is quite forgiving even of the strongest cleaning agents. A quick wipe-down of a glass shower screen will usually have it looking clean and bright in no time. In comparison, perspex shower screens can be badly affected by bathroom cleaners and will break down if not treated with care. Shower curtains must be removed completely and washed, either by hand or in the washing machine.

3. Durability

A glass shower screen can last a lifetime if correctly installed and maintained. Shower screens use tempered glass, which is a treatment that is used to make them stronger. This type of glass is also shatter- and scratch-resistant, which means that it’s safe and long-lasting. In comparison, a perspex shower screen can scratch very easily. Although perspex is a type of plastic, it can still fracture, creating jagged edges that can be very sharp. At the bottom of the durability scale, shower curtains may last a few months to a few years, depending on the material they are made from. All shower curtains attract mould, and the only way to remove it is to take the shower curtain down and soak or wash it. Sometimes the mould leaves permanent stains, at which time the shower curtain must be replaced.

4. Light and space

When you hang a shower curtain in your bathroom, it immediately creates a barrier in the room and takes up more space, making it seem smaller and darker. In contrast, a glass shower screen allows light to flow through and around it, creating a feeling of space. This is particularly important for smaller bathrooms, which may seem cramped and dark when you add in a shower curtain. Even perspex shower screens can let less light into the bathroom as the perspex dulls over time.

5. Comfort, stability and quality

Nobody likes the feeling of the shower curtain sticking to their legs when trying to have a shower. Glass shower screens eliminate this problem, as do perspex shower screens. But a solid glass shower screen provides a feeling of stability and quality that perspex just can’t offer. With their much lighter weight, perspex screens feel flimsy in comparison, and don’t offer the high-quality look and feel that a glass shower screen does.

Get a quality glass shower screen

For high quality shower screens on the Sunshine Coast, contact Frameless Shower Installations today by calling 07 5479 0003.

Types of Shower Screens

Of all the rooms in your home that take the most effort and thought to renovate, the kitchen and bathroom are both up there at the top of the list. There are so many different elements and features to consider on both a bathroom and kitchen that it can sometimes feel overwhelming, so allow us to take one small part of it off your shoulders! 

Here at Frameless Shower Installations, what we can sort out for you is a good quality shower screen. Believe it or not, there are probably more types and variations than you might think! To help you out on this subject, here are some suggestions for the different types of available shower screens on the Sunshine Coast.

Glass shower screen in Sunshine Coast bathroom


A frameless shower screen is the number one choice for anybody who is trying to evoke a really sleek and modern vibe in their bathroom. The lack of framing makes everything seem a lot more minimalistic, which can often be a really positive aspect for smaller spaces that you want to make seem larger and airier.

Semi Frameless

Semi frameless shower screens still possess a sleek and stylish vibe, but they also feature a subtle type of framing. This might be a good choice for you if you are looking for something that looks effortlessly modern, but that also has a slightly more durable and traditional aspect to it. A lot of people believe that semi frameless shower screens are the ideal combination of style and substance.

Sliding Doors

If you have a shower space that is set back into an alcove, then sliding doors are absolutely the best choice. You get all of the usual security and water sealing of a swinging door, whilst being able to save space and utilising the room that you have to play with within your bathroom. Bathrooms can often be the smallest room in a home and sliding doors can make a big difference by not having to worry about the space a conventional door needs to open.

If you are looking at new shower screens on the Sunshine Coast, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Don’t be afraid to start a discussion with one of our trained and experienced team members to have any questions that you might have answered. Our aim is to make an appointment in good time and have you set up with your dream shower screens in no time at all.