Perplexing Perspex: Should You Have a Broken Glass Shower Screen Replaced With Acrylic Glass?

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Shopping for glass can be difficult. Whether you are searching for a new shower screen, a window, a glass splashback or any other type of glass, you have to keep in mind several ideas. Want to learn more about the insulating properties of glass? Curious about repairs and how to do them on your own? Looking for cleaning tips? Need inspiration for a project? In this blog, I plan to write about all of those elements and more. If you want to learn about glass, you have come to the right place. Feel free to explore my posts, and if you enjoy them, share them with your friends. Thanks.

Perplexing Perspex: Should You Have a Broken Glass Shower Screen Replaced With Acrylic Glass?

14 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog

A glass shower screen can be a luxurious, yet practical addition to any bathroom shower setup, providing protection against splashing far superior to a conventional shower curtain. However, while the glass used for shower screens is very durable and specially toughened to prevent shattering, it can still become cracked, chipped or broken entirely as a result of physical damage or other mishaps.

As such, you might wish to have broken glass panes in your shower screen or door replaced with acrylic glass, a plastic-based alternative that can be far more durable. However, while acrylic glass has a number of advantages over conventional screen glass, it also has a few disadvantages that you need to bear in mind, so it's important to take stock of your needs before deciding on how you want your shower screen to be repaired.

What are the advantages of replacing broken screen glass with acrylic glass?

  • Durability: Unlike brittle traditional glass, acrylic glass is very slightly flexible. While this flexibility is minimal and does not affect the strength of the shower screen, it allows an acrylic shower screen to absorb some of the impact from falls, impact damage etc., making it much less likely to crack or shatter. It is also highly resistant to chipping, which is a particularly important concern for people with frameless shower screens.
  • Easy fitting: Acrylic glass is significantly lighter than traditional glass, and is less vulnerable to damage caused by being dropped or knocked against walls. As such, fitting an acrylic screen into an existing shower screen setup is significantly easier and quicker that conventional glass replacements.
  • Heat insulation: If you have an extensive shower door that provides a complete seal between the shower and the bathroom, you may notice that acrylic glass helps keep warm air in your shower more effectively. This is because acrylic glass has much high heat insulation properties than conventional glass, and can be a particularly useful trait on those cold winter mornings.

What about the disadvantages?

  • Scratching: Acrylic glass is far more vulnerable to being scratched by hard objects such as jewelry and cleaning brushes, and while these scratches can be buffed out to a certain extent using acrylic polishing solutions, they are generally permanent additions to your screen. Aged acrylic shower screens can lose a lot of transparency and light transmission due to accumulated scratches and scuffs, without mentioning how unsightly this can look. Specialised scratch-resistant coatings can be applied to acrylic glass to provide effective protection, but acrylic glass treated in this way tends to be significantly more expensive.
  • Yellowing: Acrylic glass also reacts poorly to extended exposure to UV light, and can become yellow and translucent over time. However, this is generally only a concern for particularly large and well-lit bathrooms.
  • Price: Acrylic glass tends to be somewhat more expensive than equivalently-sized panes of conventional glass, and will generally need to be cut to size specifically to fit your shower screen's frames, which can add to the overall cost.