We had a great response to our recent Member Survey about decorative glass (huge thanks to those who participated). While few members had experienced issues with cabinetry glazing and other decorative glass, an overwhelming number of Members made reference to exploding glass shower screens.

This prompted us to put together a technical bulletin regarding shower screens and doors (request your copy below), and instigated some interesting conversations.

Sydney-based Member, Matt Michel, proved to be a great glass guru, having worked in the decorative glass industry for thirteen long years before settling into design (with Matt Michel Design).

According to Matt, Australian and New Zealand Standards for the use and handling of glass are amongst the most stringent in the world, ensuring that the safety of fabricators, installers and clients is the top priority.

Matt shared some great advice for designers to consider when dealing with glass. His top tips follow:

Toughened glass cannot be cut down after toughening or it will explode. All cutting, drilling of holes and polishing of edges is done BEFORE the toughening process, so the accuracy of measurements is essential.

The dimension accuracy standard is +/- 2mm and actually needs that 2mm gap as a silicon joint for expansion and contraction of the glass. If toughened glass comes into contact with a harder material like stone or steel it will explode, which is why there are often plastic gaskets and washers around threaded pins through glass etc.

And finally:

Complaining about toughened glass exploding is like complaining about the loud bang when the airbag goes off in your car during an accident – it just saved your life!

Members will find out more about NCC and Australian Standard requirements for glass in this month’s technical bulletin. Request your copy below.