There are nearly infinite ways to customize a glass shower enclosure, and if you’re planning a bathroom renovation, you’ve probably explored hundreds of styles and ideas. Once you’ve narrowed down your design, one pressing decision remains: What kind of glass shower hinges do you buy? This might seem like a small detail, but you need to choose the right kind of hinge for the door to function safely and properly. The exact type of hinge for your project will depend on your design and the type of glass. Here’s what you need to know to decide which glass shower hinges are best for your renovation.
Types of Glass Shower Hinges
First, let’s look at the mechanical differences between different kinds of hinges.
- Glass-to-glass hinges – as the name states, these are hinges that attach two pieces of glass. You can get them in different opening degrees, including 180 degrees, 135 degrees, and 90 degrees. UPG will choose the hinge that best fits your glass. Glass-to-glass hinges come in standard and heavy duty variants.
- Glass-to-wall mount hinges – if your door will be attached to a wall, these are the hinges for you. The most important part of selecting a wall mount is making sure it will support the weight of the glass (that’s covered in the next section) and making sure it’s attached to a stud or reinforcement behind the drywall. There are different styles of glass-to-wall hinges that create a different look, depending on your design:
- Standard wall mount
- Offset hinge or offset back plate
- Inline wall mount
- Heavy duty (for heavier or thicker glass)
- Pivot hinges – some pivot hinges are designed to be used glass-to-glass or glass-to-wall, but often they’re mounted on the floor and/or the ceiling to create a door that pivots. If your design requires a pivoting glass door, this is the hinge to choose. You may also need an adapter block, depending on your layout. Pivot hinges are typically available in these styles:
- Heavy duty
- Offset bracket pivot
- L-bracket wall mount
Types of Wall-mount Back Plates
Now that you know the types of hinges, let’s take a closer look at wall-mount back plates. Since these are common in shower renovation designs, you’ll need to know your options. The back plate is the flat metal piece that’s attached to the wall in glass-to-wall hinges.
Glass shower door hinge back plate options include:
- Pony wall mount hinges – these have a small back plate with only two screw holes for attaching it to the wall. They will support lighter pony wall glass.
- Full back plate – these back plates are the full height of the hinge with four screw holes. These are a more stable and heavier duty option.
- Short back plate – this is an in-between option that is shorter than a full back plate, but not as short as a pony wall mount. There are four holes for screws, making them a sturdy option for residential and light commercial applications.
Glass Door Weights and Widths
Finally, let’s talk weight and width. Different types of hinges can support different weights and door widths. It’s important to have an experienced professional review the design to make sure the right number of hinges are used for the type of glass, enclosure style and application.
For example, a standard wall mount hinge with a short back plate can typically support an 80 lb. door with two hinges, or 120 lbs. with three hinges. Of course, that’s assuming it’s correctly mounted. The door widths supported could be as wide as 28” or 32”, respectively. However, that’s just an example and your glass type and wall studs or reinforcements could vary. The type of glass may also influence the hinge choice, check out the glass types blog to learn more.
These types of decisions are where UPG comes in to provide the best possible option for your unique project.
Experienced glass professionals like our team at UPG will help you find the right hinges for your glass shower enclosure. Each type of hinge comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes to match any renovation.
Whether you’re planning a shower renovation, or you already have a design and are ready for installation, we can help put your mind at ease. Rest-assured that decisions like this that impact the safety, function and longevity of your shower glass will be made by experienced and trustworthy professionals. Give us a call to get started!
Interested in protecting your existing shower glass and keeping it looking new? Read The Benefits of Clearshield.