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The Case of the Etched Shower Glass

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Question About Etched Shower Glass:

Hi Glass Detective,

I am wanting glass glass linings for my shower alcove walls.  The glass will have a ceramic paint picture of a waterfall etched onto the back surface.  The glass is backed by villaboard wall linings.  Which glass is more suitable for this application?  UV, sound and flexibility are perhaps not as important as strength and impact resistance.

Thank you for your service.


Answer to Question About Etched Shower Glass:


Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective with your question regarding some help in selecting the proper glass for your decorative, etched, painted glass installation. Your choices are going to be somewhat limited because of the fabrication process you are going to be employing. Based on the description of the job, I believe you will want to use an annealed low-iron glass in either a 3/8” or ½” thickness. This is one of those projects where you really need to fully discuss your plans with the fabricator who will be doing the etching/painting.

The thickness of the glass to be used will depend on the depth of the etching. The mounting technique is also critical and again, the artist you are using should be talked to because a coating or film may be needed to protect the treated side of the panel.

If you are not confident in the artist, please feel free to make contact again and we can put you in touch with one who is well versed in the necessary steps to be followed. I wish you well with your project. I am a huge fan of back painted and/or sandblasted glass panels and have them in my own home.

And thank you again for contacting the Glass Detective.

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Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management. Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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