Glass Shelves

Glass shelves are attractive, practical, and versatile decorative options. Since glass is transparent, glass shelves often seem less out of place than their metal or wooden counterparts. They can even refract some of the color from the walls they’re mounted against, making for a more seamless, natural look. The system shown above is a great example of a modern glass shelving system, and it should be available for sale on the website here shortly.

In the meantime, we have several styles of glass shelves available, including round corner shelves and rectangular glass shelves. The round corner shelves are great for in-shower use since they don’t take up much space. Frequently, homeowners use them for odds and ends like shampoo, conditioner, or soap. You can even apply a glass sealant to make sure the glass corner shelves clean easily.

The rectangular shelves (like most glass shelves) are perfect for living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The rounded corner glass shelves can be used in various rooms too, but they’re most frequently seen in bathrooms. Our rectangular glass shelf systems have aluminum cables that give them a very modern look, and they’re available in varying sizes to make sure they fit your functional needs.

All of our glass shelf systems can be purchased via the following link. Pick some up today, and you’ll find that your walls really pop from a decor standpoint. How often do you get the chance to save space in style?

TPC Surface Protector Keeps Your Shower Glass Clean!

Glass showers open up rooms and put custom tile work on fully display. But what happens when water spots and mineral deposits build up on the glass? It can actually look worse than just having a shower curtain! Getting rid of these blemishes can involve some serious effort, so it’s best to take a proactive stance against them. After all, why clean water spots when you can prevent them? Enter TPC Surface Protector, your new best friend in the bathroom.

Unlike factory-applied glass sealants, TPC Surface Protector has to be reapplied every few months, but it’s a simple spray and wipe process. The great thing is that the product isn’t just for shower glass. From the manufacturer:

CRL TPC Surface Protector will actually seal the pores of glass, porcelain, ceramic, plastics, polished metals, fiberglass, and marble to make the surface water, soil, and stain resistant. The clear coating guards against the adhesion and build-up of dirt, grime, mold, mildew, rust and mineral deposits. Environmentally friendly and non-toxic, CRL TPC Surface Protector permits the practice of preventive maintenance, reducing costly cleaning, repairs and replacement. Simply spray on and polish off. 1 Fl. oz. (29 ml) of TPC Surface Protector protects approximately 15 sq. ft. (1.4 meters square) of glass.

The stuff really works too! We’ve used many different glass sealants, and the TPC Surface Protector is in a class unto itself when it comes to self-application convenience and versatility. Our philosophy is that if a glass sealant cumulatively saves you one weekend a year in time spent cleaning, it’s worth its weight in gold! Plus, it’s good for the environment since it reduces the need for harsh chemical cleaning products. Go green with TPC Surface Protector, and save yourself the time and hassle of dealing with hard water stains and mineral deposits.

Full information and instructions can be viewed here. 16 ounce bottles are available for sale via the following link:

Happy showering!

Framed Mirrors

The style and placement of mirrors can have a significant impact on how a room feels. Whether it’s a bathroom, bedroom, or living room, homeowners need to make several important decisions when it comes to mirrors. How big should they be? Where should I put them? How will they be mounted? What style of mirror best suits my decor? These decisions should not be made on a whim. Sometimes it’s tempting to buy a pre-fabbed mirror from Target or Walmart and just be done with it, but going this route typically yields less than satisfactory results. The odds of a mass-produced mirror being the ideal fit for one’s personalized space are not good. However, having custom plate mirrors cut to spec can be an incredibly expensive proposition. So what’s a homeowner to do?

An attractive, cost-effective compromise is framed mirrors. We sell them in several popular sizes, but we can also fabricate them in custom dimensions. They’re available in a number of popular finishes, as seen below:

We like the framed mirror systems for several reasons. First, the cost of these systems is usually less than custom-cut flat mirror in the same dimensions. Second, the various finishes and frame styles make framed mirrors highly adaptable to various rooms and decor styles. The three different frame styles can be seen below:

Third, mounting these systems is a breeze. Instead of using messy mirror mastic, which can be difficult to work with, our framed mirrors use J-channel (see below). The J-channel gets mounted with a few screws, and then the framed mirror slides on. It’s a cinch to work with, and it’s ultimately more stable than mirrors adhered with mastic.

So consider our framed mirrors for bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. They look great over vanities, dressers, and fireplaces. Ultimately, you’ll be paying less money for more stability and an easier mounting process. Cheap, pre-fabbed mirrors reflect poorly (pun intended) on the surrounding decor, and custom-cut flat mirrors can be appallingly expensive. Buy framed mirrors from us instead, and you’ll be happy you did!

Shower Door Handles: Standard vs. Upgrades

When it comes to shower door handles, there are a staggering number of choices available. They come in a range of shapes, sizes, hardware finishes, and styles. The “standard” handle is a 6″ c-pull handle, so-named due to its resemblance to the capital letter “C”. Some people call this a D-pull handle, arguing that it looks more like the capital letter “D”, but generally you’ll hear it called a “c-pull”. This handle can be seen below:

The great thing about the c-pull is its aesthetic versatility, as it’s equally appropriate among traditional and contemporary decor. This neutrality helps explain its appeal.

Sometimes customers wish to have the shower handle make a statement though, using it to complement a modern or traditional theme in the rest of the bathroom. The great thing about shower handles is that six inch holes are six inch holes, so as long as you’re comfortable with your handle size, you can switch it out as often as you’re inspired to. It’s usually a quick, simple process involving Allen screws and/or a flat-tip screwdriver, which makes switching handles a great option for modernizing the look of a shower enclosure.

We’re partial to the handles fabricated by Portals Hardware because of their unique designs and top-notch composition. Their Symphony, Sonata, Overture II, and Counterpoint lines are especially handsome. The sleek, acrylic look of the Overture II can be seen below, and it’s a real show-stopper on a custom enclosure:

Overall, a custom shower handle can make more of a statement than people generally think. If you were to look at two otherwise identical units, one with a standard handle and one with an upgraded handle, the one with the upgraded handle would “pop” in a way that the other doesn’t. Plus, Portals make complementary towel bars (through-the-glass or wall-mounted) and robe hooks to tie all the hardware together. Whether you have an existing unit that needs a makeover, or you’re buying a new unit and want to upgrade from the start, custom shower handles are worthwhile to consider, as the visual statement they make is exponentially more valuable than their one-time cost.

Earthquakes in MD?!

Yeah, that was weird. Our showroom is in a well-made building from the 1830′s, and at first the floor seemed to be moving. Strange…

Then glass started clattering, and Tom and I locked eyes then sprinted out the front door. It was shorter than I had imagined nearly a magnitude 6 earthquake being, thankfully. Not as intense either. Other than some VoIP issues immediately thereafter, things calmed down pretty quickly.

It made me think about the worst or near-worst an earthquake could do to our setup in the showroom. Then the residential and commercial elements came to mind. Now, we don’t work with commercial glass facades or anything. As you may have heard we are truly and exclusively Shower Door Experts. So I did some digging on earthquakes and shower doors, just to be prepared if any of our clients end up having earthquake-related difficulties:

  • Interesting industry news: Kohler’s Purist series has some hardware that can shatter and run the risk of serious lacerations:
  • The Santa Clarita Valley’s record of note, The Signal, talks about securing furniture with best practices, and it also speaks about the importance of shower doors, noting “older shower doors are also a liability in a quake. However, instead of covering them with [protective laminate] film, they should be replaced with new tempered ones either by a professional, or by the homeowner, if he or she is comfortable with DIY projects.” We’ve got tempered and laminate systems in spades, and we’re all too happy to discuss your full range of options at your convenience. You know, like sometime when an earthquake hasn’t just happened?

We can’t overstress the importance of safety glass! Thankfully the DMV was left relatively unscathed, but homeowners might fine some operation issues that need tweaks here and there. Please feel free to give us a call regarding any advice, products, or services we offer, and we’ll do our best to make everything good as new. And if we see something that could be problematic during the next Big One (in 10, 50, or 100 years), we’ll bring it to your attention.

Most of all, I’m glad people stayed calm and no one got hurt. For a minimally earthquake-prone region such as ours, that’s a victory.

Happy Showering!


After twenty years of installing and selling custom shower enclosures in DC, MD, and VA, and this blog represent an opportunity to help homeowners make better decisions about shower enclosures. When we started out in 1991, frameless heavy glass enclosures were expensive novelty items. Shortly thereafter, anodized aluminum brought prices down across the board, and custom shower enclosures became more accessible. The last two decades have seen a robust industry evolve, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse; better because of lower prices and increased selection, but worse because quality is all over the place and the nuances of proper installation aren’t well known. Helping homeowners understand the best shower products and shower installation techniques is our main goal. The right custom shower enclosure can be the crown jewel of a well-designed bathroom, and every unit (even the least expensive, fully framed shower enclosure) should be a once-in-a-generation project.

Like any home improvement project, homeowners generally want to research the process and their options. The problem is that there are very few custom shower enclosure resources on the web, just snippets of information that can make selection and troubleshooting difficult. Our goal is to make this blog a central hub for information related to shower enclosure products, shower hardware, shower installation, and shower repair techniques. Whether it’s frameless, semi-frameless, or framed, we’ll discuss it, and try to pass on some tips for turning your shower project into something special. Along the way we’ll also touch on the use of other bathroom accessories like mirrors, glass shelves, and medicine cabinets, along with general bathroom design trends. It should be an exciting ride, and we’re very much looking forward to an informative, interactive dialogue.