Glass and windows

Why glass?

Whether you’re planning a new build, a renovation, or just a refresh, a glass shower makes an elegant and durable solution for any bathroom. Combining beauty and function, glass showers create a sense of spaciousness and light that enhances everything from compact ensuites to larger bathrooms.

Key Facts

A glass shower can bring timeless, elegant style to your ensuite or bathroom.

Choose from a simple shower screen, frameless or framed style.

The building code requires safety glass to be used.

Check your shower uses safety glass by looking for the compliance code AS/NZS 2208 permanently marked on one corner.

Choosing a glass shower

The style of glass shower you choose will depend on the size and shape of space available in your bathroom, the level of privacy and ease of accessibility you need, your personal taste – and, of course, your budget.

Options include:

Glass and window

Single glass shower screen

A door-less shower style that minimises spray and splashes and is generally leak proof, these are a great alternative to shower curtains where the shower is fixed over the bath.

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Frameless glass shower

These showers have panels with no frames for a seamless, minimalist look. Whilst they may not be quite as watertight as framed glass showers, they are easier to keep clean than a framed panel, as they have few places to settle and attract mould and dirt. And because there is no frame to reinforce them, they usually require thicker, heavier glass.

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Framed glass shower

Strong and watertight, these showers have their glass edges protected with a structural frame made from a material such as aluminium. They generally come in standard sizes, which can make them less expensive than customised frameless styles.

Types of shower glass

All modern showers are required to use safety glass. Glass is classified as a ‘hazardous building material’ in the New Zealand Building Code, and bathrooms are an especially high-risk area.

Toughened or laminated safety glass

Safety glass is treated to make it extra strong; two main types of safety glass are used in New Zealand. Toughened glass will break into many small cubes (instead of sharp shards like annealed or standard float glass) if it is broken. Laminated safety glass has a thin layer of vinyl between two panels of standard float glass, which keeps the pane intact if it is broken. Both types of safety glass are acceptable in bathrooms and will help protect you and your family from serious injury if your shower glass breaks for any reason. However, laminated glass is not suitable in all applications and should be discussed with your supplier.

Glass and window

How to check your shower uses safety glass

To make sure your shower uses safety glass, look for the compliance logo on one corner. If it’s not marked with NZS 4223.3 in either permanent ink or an etch-marking, it’s not safety glass and is not compliant. We recommend you either reject it if it’s not already installed, or replace it with safety glass urgently.

Look for the safety glass label. The license number is for third-party certification.

Click here to read our Technical Bulletin Guide to Unframed Shower Screens

Shower glass design and textures

Clear toughened or laminated safety glass lets lots of light in and looks modern and clean, but your options don’t end there.
Safety glass can also be:

  • Ultra clear, which will help ensure the colour of tiles or linings look crisp and true vs. slightly yellow or green.
  • Frosted, tinted or digitally printed for aesthetics and privacy.
  • Textured or hammered so it looks slightly dimpled – good for hiding fingerprints and marks.
  • Printed glass wall(s) instead of tile.

Some glass shower companies even offer specially treated glass that is easier to clean.


As with any wet area, slips and falls can occur in a glass shower, but there are some things you can do to reduce the chance of serious injury:

Check your shower uses either toughened or laminated safety glass.

Use a textured, non-slip surface on the floor.

Install a walk-in shower with a level entry, which will make trips less likely.

Install a grab rail.

Choose fittings and frames with rounded instead of sharp edges.

Ensure your bathroom has good ventilation to reduce the build-up of moisture and condensation on slippery surfaces. Showers can produce around 500 ml of condensation per day.

Children and glass showers

As long as you use safety glass, glass showers can be a great option in homes with children.


The easiest way to maintain your shower glass is to squeegee after every use. If soap scum does build up, and glass cleaners don’t remove the residue, try rubbing some toothpaste on the problem areas with a wet cloth. Wait a few moments, then rinse with a mix of half-water, half-vinegar to clean. Showers with special coatings will have specific cleaning instructions, so consult the documentation included with the shower for details.