Friday, October 28, 2011

Shower Glass Sealant: The Chemistry

Building on the introduction as to what glass sealant "is", it's important to understand how it works. On a microscopic level, glass is a relatively porous material. If you've ever been in the unfortunate position of having to scrub mineral deposits (hard water stains) off of glass, you can attest to the fact that once the stains are there, it's a bear of a project getting them off. Sometimes it proves to be impossible, depending on how long the stains have been present. As any acne-encrusted teen can tell you, it's all about the pores! A protective glass coating, or sealant, makes the surface uniform and somewhat Teflon-like, causing water to bead up and eliminating the microscopic nooks and crannies where mineral deposits and soap scum accumulate. For the chemist's view on how this works, see below:

At roughly $5/square foot, a protective glass coating with an explicit warranty is a wise investment. Since shower enclosures range from $750 to $3,000, it adds up to pennies on the dollar in most cases, and it'll save you time and money. Time is saved through not having to squeegee after every use and less scrubbing of mineral deposits and hard water stains. Money is saved through not having to buy expensive, abrasive, often toxic chemicals for the life of the unit. As we always say, a well-made glass shower enclosure should be a once-in-a-generation project. As such, 20+ years of money saved through not buying Windex adds up. More importantly, the aggregate amount of time saved on maintenance over 20+ years equals an extra two weeks or more of free time. Perhaps that should be the new sales pitch...

"Buy Shower Glass Sealant, Get an Extra Two Weeks of Life FREE!!"

All kidding aside, we apply Vindico 10 year glass sealant to our shower installations in DC, MD, VA, PA, and WV. Please find a link to their website below, followed by a self-applied glass sealant we recommend for clients outside of our service area. And as always...

Happy Showering!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shower Glass Sealant: An Introduction

We've used a number of these products over the years, and we've refined what we look for in a glass sealant as a result. First, the product obviously has to work. Does it seal the pores of the glass and reduce the buildup of mineral deposits (the dreaded "hard water" effect) and soap scum? Second, it has to be convenient to use. Does it have the sort of longevity that precludes having to reapply it regularly? Does it have an explicit warranty regarding how long it lasts?

We use Vindico glass sealant since it more fully meets these criteria than any other product we've used. First, the stuff works! We have it on our home shower enclosures, our car windshields - basically, anywhere it can be used, we use it. Second, it's a one-time application at the time of installation, and the company guarantees it for a minimum of 10 years thereafter. A glass sealant with a 10 year warranty?! Yes, please. Without an explicit warranty, glass sealant has sort of a "magic beans" quality to it, making it as difficult to sell as it is to purchase. Vindico's 10 year warranty has been a game-changer, and since the one-time cost of glass sealant works out to about $5/square foot, it's usually a no-brainer. Our philosophy is: if it cumulatively keeps you out of the bathroom one weekend a year through reduced cleaning time, it's worth its weight in gold!

Lastly, glass sealant, aside from the way it improves shower enclosure ownership through a reduction in maintenance, is a fairly easy way to go "green". Sealed glass doesn't need to be cleaned with glass sprays or harsh chemicals of any kind, keeping these chemicals out of the watershed and out of your home. This will save you money, but it'll also save the planet in a small, but important, way.

More to come on the benefits of glass sealant, but consider this your crash course in what it does and why it's useful.

Happy showering!


Shower doors can be confounding projects. They seem so simple in principle, yet many homeowners are shocked to learn about the wide array of options, costs, lead times, etc., as there can be a staggering number of details to account for with even the most basic shower project. We've been working exclusively with custom glass shower enclosures for the past 20 years, so we've seen it all and we've done it all. Ideally, this blog will become a platform for sharing some knowledge and providing some time and cost-saving tips. We're excited about that! And hopefully there will be some lively back-and-forth towards avoiding some common mistakes and making sure your next custom shower project is a homerun.